Tuesday 29 November 2011

"Omnes aequi sunt", John Bercow tells us

The Speaker of the London parliament has released a double whammy to cheer us up through the dark days of Osborne's austerity, and heaven knows, we need it.

His portrait and coat of arms, which in case you missed them, are displayed here for your delectation have been released to us.

Although I can't claim to be Brian Sewell, I dare to offer the opinion that it's not a bad likeness, catching him, as it does, in one of his regular pompous poses. I feel rather sorry for the poor clerk sitting on his left who manages to get only half of himself into the portrait, but that aside, I suppose it's good enough, until you hear the price tag. 

Like most things commissioned by the state it is massively overpriced at £37,000. I mean, who required a year and a half at average wages to paint this. Surely a few weeks would have been sufficient. And how, when we are in such a mess, with a new black hole opening up this very day, can we afford £37,000 for a picture? That would heat 50 pensioners' homes over winter, maybe keeping them alive!

Moving on, the coat of arms, which looks like something you could buy from the pound shop, comes without a price tag, but you can bet it wasn't cheap.

The swords supposedly represent the ancient swords of the kings of East Saxony, adopted by the University of Essex, his Alma Mater. The ladder shows that he has risen from humble beginnings to be the most senior commoner in the land (sigh), although some have suggested that it's because he is rather on the short side! The balls, wait for it, because he likes tennis, and under the scroll the gay and lesbian flag which indicates that...well, who knows?

"All are Equal" had me rolling about on the floor with laughter, coming as it does, from the man who demanded that ordinary mortals  clear the corridors for him and his procession of clerks on their way to the chamber on an ordinary working day.

What utter nonsense it is anyway. All are not and have never been equal. And what is more, 'all' are becoming less and less equal by the day. 

But there, I suppose it is the kind of thing that looks good on the bottom of a coat of arms. I mean we'd have criticised the man if he'd chosen "I'm better than you lot" as his motto.

At least, unlike me, he resisted the temptation to have it in Latin.


  1. Mr Bercow commissioned this song to complement his new portrait and coat of arms. I think it encapsulates the man completely.


  2. Ah yes Mr Biggun. Very amusing. And a pretty good impersonation of the window cleaning man.

    Anyone of a delicate disposition should avoid listening to it though...


  3. Since my Latin goes no further than ubi and amo amas amant my translation of "Omnes aequi sunt" is one wet ....

  4. It just looks like a photograph, even when I look at magnified so, are you sure it is the right image?

  5. omnes-aequi-sunt

    Is that a hard or soft second S ?

  6. I'll stick with my Clann MacKinnon motto ... plus an additional one of my own:

    Scientia per Oculus

  7. In his case...yes, CH. He most assuredly is.

  8. It does look like it's a photo. I think I got it out of the Telegraph so I assumed it was the real thing...

    Ha ha ha to your pronunciation: And you with a Latin name too!

  9. That's a good enough one, if the oculus is taken to mean, 'by sight', Dean, but there's another translation meaning disgust or dislike or something like that... I assume you mean 'Learn by experience of your own eyes'?

    I found your clan motto: Audentes Fortuna Juvat

    Fortune for the audacious?

    Fortune favours the brave?

  10. my Motto

    To be used in the Labour Leadership hustings

    "Those are my principles. If you don't like them, I have others." --G. Marx

  11. LOL Niko

    Who you think would be best (apart from none of them)?

  12. I see some wag has suggested that the motto should read:

    Uxor mea barba est
    (my wife is a beard!)

    I didn't know there were rumours of dubiety about his sexual proclivities!

    Jeez, if he had to get a beard he could have got one a bit more presentable than her.

  13. Tris....When I saw the portrait, I immediately knew where that odd pose came from. Mr. Bercow has chosen to copy the official portrait of the 58th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives....our beloved Newt Gingrich. The only difference being that the hand holding the paper and the hand that is outstretched are reversed. And of course, your Speaker did not have the magnificent Washington vista of the National Mall, as seen from the West Front of the US Capitol, to use as background. So he used the Commons Chamber.

    Hereeees NEWT....in that Speaker's pose:


    I don't know if any public money goes to pay for our Speaker's portraits or not. But the White House presidential portraits are paid for by the outgoing president (or his rich friends) and are presented as a gift to the nation. (He has to give the White House a huge set of expensive china when he leaves too.) Anyway, I really think that Speaker Bercow should pay for his own picture.

    And speaking of presidential portraits, old Newt may soon be President of the United States (God help us.) And his loony right wing Republican base may not possess the highest of artistic taste. They may tend to favor their portraits painted on black velvet. So here is a suggestion of what Newt's black velvet presidential portrait may look like.


    At least you aren't likely to have to be concerned with a Prime Minister's portrait for Speaker Bercow.

  14. PS: Be sure to bring Newt's presidential portrait up to maximum size by clicking on it......so the full black velvet effect can be appreciated. ;-)

  15. LOL, You know, Danny, some times you just have to wonder where on earth the expression "pretty as a picture" came from...specially the tasteful Vegas one. All you need is Elvis looking over his shoulder in his 1970s gear.

    I remember you sending me the link for some of the presidential dinner services. I also remember thinking that the patterns would be a very good reason for picking sparingly at the meal, so that the true horror of the pattern would at least be hidden from sight by the remaining sausage or burger or chips ("freedom" fries).

    It's horrific just how appallingly awful some rich people's taste is.

    I always think that Bercow looks as if he is explaining something incredibly simple to a bunch of congenital morons... and then I remember that he probably is.

    But that's no reason for being a smug stuck up little prat.