It's not often that I praise Tory MPs on this blog, but I think Harwich and Clacton MP Douglas Carswell has played a blinder over the past few days on the whole issue of the Speaker.
It took significant courage to be the first MP to raise his head above the parapet and demand that Michael Martin should go.
And what's important is that he hasn't called on the Speaker to go because of a personal vendetta against him - far from it. Contrary to what some of the Speaker's supporters have been saying, the issue is not about Michael Martin's background, but about his ability to do the job.
If you read Carswell's blog, you'll see that he views the removal of the Speaker as the first, necessary, step in a wider programme of political reform and constitutional change designed to make Parliament more transparent, more accountable and more important. Hell, he even favours switching to the single transferable vote for elections to the House of Commons, to give voters a choice between candidates from the same party and to avoid having too many safe seats.
Although I'm a political geek, I have to say that Douglas Carswell had barely registered on my radar until now. But I am impressed with what I've heard from him over the past week or so.
If he keeps this up, I'll be sending him a Lib Dem membership form.
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