Order! Order! Listen To How The Speaker Of Britain's House Of Commons Became A Meme

Jan 18, 2019
Originally published on January 18, 2019 9:50 pm
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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Does watching news of government dysfunction ever make you want to scream at everyone, get it together?

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHN BERCOW: Order.

KELLY: I give you John Bercow. He is speaker of the House of Commons in Britain, and he is the one charged with keeping...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BERCOW: Order. Order.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

He's been speaker for years, but this week, his expressive bellows during the chaotic Brexit debate in Parliament became a meme. You have to just picture garish rainbow ties, a shock of silver hair and a face as exasperated as the voice.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BERCOW: Order.

KELLY: There are lots of montages out there. This one by the CBC really shows his full range.

(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE)

BERCOW: Order.

Order.

Order.

Order.

Order.

KELLY: Perhaps not surprisingly, Bercow is not so popular with some of the members of Parliament we have just heard him berating, thus the news this week that the government might not elevate him to the House of Lords when he retires, which would be a major snub.

SHAPIRO: But hey, maybe he can use his skills elsewhere, like managing kids' birthday parties.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BERCOW: Order. Order.

KELLY: How about dining decisions, like should we go out for pizza or should we just...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

BERCOW: Order.

KELLY: So much meme potential and still so much Brexit debate to go. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.