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Friday, December 02, 2011

Heritage and heraldry

We have not yet come to terms with how best to commemorate the work of Assembly Presiding Officers (if at all) - a framed photograph in the Pierhead perhaps? However, this does not appear to be a problem in Westminster, where it seems that it is acceptable to spend substantial sums of public money on a full scale portrait and a coat of arms.

Today's Telegraph highlights the fact that the total cost of this extravagance has risen to £44,000 after some unaccounted for bills were unearthed.

The portrait, by the British artist Brendan Kelly, cost £22,000 and will hang with the coat of arms in the Speaker’s residence in the Palace of Westminster, alongside those of previous holders of the office.

The coat of arms itself is an astonishing piece of work, containing a ladder to highlight how far the taxi driver’s son has risen in life. There are also pink triangles to signify Mr. Bercow's support for gay rights and some roundels or golden balls supposedly to signify his love of tennis, though I guess that bit is open to interpretation.

It is hardly a traditional approach to heraldry but then it is hardly cut price either.
And the spend, spend, spend mentality continues unabated. Watch bercow's home, any sign of a moat yet?
It's time the entire Westminster charade was put to bed for good.

Simply try listing its successes and failures - or look at the state of the UK today.

Let's have sovereign democratic constitutional legislatures in London, Cardiff and Edinburgh elected by STV. Unless and until that happens we're in for more of the same indefinitely.
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