30 June 2015 @ 01:20 pm
 *The saddest part about packing away Sally's things wasn't so much the removal of the items themselves, or the memories they had evoked as John carefully put them in the box, but the dawning realisation that Sally had all but moved out of her own accord quite a while ago. When he'd gone to empty her wardrobe he'd found it empty bar an old dress he knew she hadn't worn in years and a jacket she'd never really liked. All her favourite mugs were already in the Battersea flat, as were her DVDs. When John had met Sally in the car park to hand over a few final things, there hadn't been much more than a tennis racquet, a few old photos and a book she'd left behind.*

*Walking back through Speaker's House John thought that it hardly looked different. A little bare, perhaps, but not compared to the emptiness John usually recognised once the Christmas decorations came down every year. Finding one of Sally's odd socks in the wash was more strange than it was sad. He found an empty box and put it in cupboard in the hallway; in the unlikely event that he found anything else of Sally's, at least he'd have somewhere out of sight to put it.*

*He sat down in his chair with a cup of tea, musing. It was probably a mistake to unexpectedly drop in on the All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism's meeting the previous evening but they seemed to take his comments in the spirit consciously intended. And the vultures of the press appear to have found another Westminster marriage falling apart to pick apart with glee.*

*Without thinking about it a great deal, he started to fiddle with his wedding ring. He found himself wondering if he should take it off. He dismissed the idea quickly - he was still married. If one is married, one wears one's wedding ring. To think otherwise is... well, it is disrespectful in the extreme. Besides, even if he did wish to remove it at any point, John's not sure he physically could; his physique has changed ever so slightly in the 13 years he and Sally had... have been married.*

*John take a sip of his tea and tries to move his thoughts on.*
05 February 2014 @ 09:21 am
*Another day and another slew of "news stories" about his marriage to Sally. John really shouldn't be surprised by it now, but he is - how difficult is it for the media at large to understand that his marriage to Sally is of note only to himself and to Sally; whatever works for us is for us and us alone to worry about. Why is that so difficult for them to grasp? And while not all the stories are negative, it does not change the very simple fact that the state of his marriage is not - or at the very least, should not - be worthy of being splashed across newspaper front page after newspaper front page.*

*After he'd returned from having curry with Ken Clarke and Sally had finished her twitter spat with Owen Jones the previous evening, Sally had sat him down and shown him some of the positive comments made about him on twitter. He'd been particularly fond of Louise Mensch's comments and retelling of a certain Autumn Statement incident. He couldn't help but beam with pride at Zac Goldsmith's remark, as well as all the follow up comments in agreement.*

*All that was left for him to do now was to try and remember those words of encouragement rather than red-top headlines when the almost inevitable jibes at Prime Minister's Questions this afternoon...*

13 May 2013 @ 03:02 pm
Colleagues should be made aware that I am in the course of deliberating the pros and cons of selecting the particular amendment I know has been causing such a stir at the moment. Should it be selected, the debate would be held on Wednesday, whether or not the Prime Minister is there to participate in the proceedings.

I apologise for the delay, but personal matters have kept me rather busy at the moment.
28 April 2013 @ 03:47 pm
*Fed up of filling in yet another incident report (the morning's feelings of triumph and righteousness fading), John grabs his work phone and sends around a quick message. Somewhere in the background, he can hear Sally cackling with glee at something to do with Ed Balls. He doesn't worry a great deal about it.*

Text from 078## ######

Dear all,

Whomsoever is responsible for the numerous suspicious packages and fires across the Parliamentary estate must halt their actions immediately or face legal repercussions.

Those with information about the culprit(s) behind these mindless acts are encouraged to come forward anonymously post-haste.


*Text sent, John goes to make himself another cup of tea before sitting down to do some more paperwork.*
Sally is my wife not my chattel, appendage, or add-on!

If she does not wish to attend the funeral, she is at perfect liberty to decline the invitation. She is her own woman, makes her own decisions and they are not related to me in any way, shape or form.

The mere fact that I have to point this out yet again is proof that the media and politics as a whole still has a great deal to improve on when it comes to the way it portrays women.
31 March 2013 @ 05:46 pm
*It is the morning after the night before and John knows he should have a hangover (Peter visited in the evening, of course John should have a hangover) but as John blearily blinks at the light streaming in through the curtains, he feels a strange lack of pounding in his head. After a sip of water, he's almost fine. A little tired, but fine. How on earth did he manage to avoid a hangover?*

*And then the memories start to come back. The evening had started so well, but then... but then...*

*Slowly the rest of the evening comes back to him. Sally had come home and the night had continued (once Sally herself had gone and had a word with Jemima which, according to her reports later that evening, was much more successful than John's attempts). The Bercow adults had been determined to cheer Peter up. From what John remembers, they were quite successful.*

*It's then that John recalls why he's only very slightly hungover - on a trip to get another bottle, Sally had insisted he switch to water. There had been a bit of a disagreement but he'd been persuaded in the end and a compromised reached; one more glass then water for the rest of the night. If John's memory serves correctly, Peter had not been made to agree to such an arrangement.*

*A groan in the bed next to him pulls John's thoughts away from last night and to this morning. He bids Sally a good morning, which is met with the usual demand for coffee. John quietly goes downstairs, puts the kettle on to boil and bread in the toaster. Armed with a pint of water, he goes off in search of their guest. John remembers Peter falling asleep on the sofa, but can't remember moving him upstairs to a bed, so he checks the livingroom first.*
27 January 2013 @ 07:04 pm
*John is sitting on the edge of his seat. His hands are clasped in front of him and his eyes never look away from the screen on the other side of the room. A cold, forgotten mug of tea is by his feet. The biscuits, open and just waiting to be eaten, are completely ignored. There's no time for biscuits - the tennis is on.*

*If John were more self aware during his tennis binges, he'd realises he's making rather ridiculous noises quite frequently. He sucks in his breath every time there's a close shot, yells when he thinks the ball is out - no actual words, just a loud noise that those familiar with spectating tennis understand as the universal phrase for "Is it? Is it out? It can't be - umpire, is it? Is it?!". As it is, he's too engrossed in watching the sport to even pay attention to the other person in the room, let alone what sounds he's making.*

*He's paying so much attention to the television that he doesn't even remember that he's still in his clothes from last night, or that he's sitting on Peter's sofa, not his own. Sally had thrown him out for the night, declaring that she couldn't take any more of this tennis talk and that he could come back when he was capable of holding a conversation about anything else. He'd turned up at Peter's place that evening, sheepishly holding a sleeping bag, change of clothes and a bottle of wine. After the usual snarkiness, Peter had rolled his eyes and told John not to snore too loudly.*

*By the time Peter had come down in the morning, John was already awake, frantically checking the internet, his phone and the television all at once for any news about the tennis. He'd managed to find a live stream, thankfully, and The Machine was only too willing to help John find updates and commentaries from all over the digital world. The (miniscule) part of John's brain not focused on the tennis presumed it must be exciting for her to be so focused on real time events again - a practice for 2015, no doubt.*

*It didn't take long for John to be totally engrossed in the tennis, all thoughts of The Machine, Peter, Sally or anything else completely banished.*
Current Location: Peter's house
Current Mood: anxious
26 December 2012 @ 09:56 am
*John and Sally are fast asleep, John snoring slightly. In her sleep Sally reaches out to nudge John and murmurs to indicate that he should probably roll over or get hit in the face with a pillow until he stops snoring. Ten years of marriage has taught John well and he quickly shifts his sleeping position until he is situated on his other side. Just as he settles down to go back to sleep the bedroom door bursts open and three children jump onto the bed. Freddie is yelling “He’s been! He’s been!” at the top of his voice, while Oliver is explaining all about the special present Father Christmas (actually John) left at the end of his bed. Jemima, meanwhile, is demanding to know when they can open the rest of the gifts.*

*It takes a while, but eventually the Bercow family are situated in the living room, Sally clutching a rather large mug of coffee and John already on his second cup of tea. Freddie and Oliver are distributing the presents to their owners with a pile by one end of the sofa for Peter. Jemima watches, making sure they don’t “accidentally” take one of her presents.*

*The presents are distributed by 7 o’clock. Slightly more awake, Sally and John manage to distract the children for another half an hour with various Christmas-related issues but by 7.30 they can put the inevitable off no longer. John picks up the phone and calls Peter.*
02 December 2012 @ 11:22 am
*With Sally back on twitter John thinks it can only be a matter of time before they have to downsize again to pay for legal fees. He hopes her return with distract from the blasted Private Eye parody account but doesn't hold out much hope. Instead, he focuses on flicking through the property pages of the newspapers in an attempt to find a new, cheaper home, should they need it.*

*A large box of Roses chocolates is empty on the table next to him, the colourful wrappers strewn all over the floor. John reaches for the new box of Celebrations as he turns the page.*
15 November 2012 @ 05:44 pm
*John and the children are on their way to see Peter and The Machine. With Sally busy talking to her lawyer, it seemed like a good idea to get out of the house and let her sort things out by herself. With a letter due soon, the more preparation, the better. John would offer to help, but he's spending most of his free time trying to convince large swathes of the media and population that he's not "a bully" who is "interfering" and "forcing people out" at all.*

*With all that happening at home, a nice little trip to see The Machine would hopefully distract the children and tire them out so John and Sally can get back to saving their reputations - and jobs.*

*Peter is waiting for them when they arrive. Freddie, as usual, run to greet Uncle Peter, while Oliver attempts to act cool. Jemima, meanwhile, seems to be fascinated with some part or other of The Machine and John has to carry her away from the buttons.*

Hello, Peter.
08 November 2012 @ 09:32 am
*John stumbles out of bed, Sally's sleepy moans of "coffeeeeeee" reminding him of his aim. She and the children had come back to London last night - thankfully, after the Viagra had worn off - and John and Sally had spent most of the night preparing for Freddie's birthday celebrations.*

*As he makes breakfast, he takes his phone off charge and texts Peter.*

Text from 078## ######


Freddie's birthday today - we're having a little party later and I'm sure he'd love for you to visit about 5 pm.

Further to that, this week's episode of Question Time looks promising: Damian Green, Chuka Umunna, Shirley Williams, Jane Moore and Professor David Blanchflower.

See you later.

14 August 2012 @ 01:31 pm
For all those interested, extracts from my World at One interview can be found here.

As for my trip to South Africa, updates are available on the Twitter by following the tag-thing #SpeakerinSA, or so I've been told. I'm sure that if I am mistaken, Sally will be prompt in informing me.
Current Location: South Africa
27 April 2012 @ 12:47 pm
In case any honourable or right honourable members are interested, my wife and I are taking part in Stonewall's Equality Walk in Brighton on May 6th to raise vital funds to tackle homophobic bullying in Britain’s schools. If you wish to donate, our JustGiving page is here.

Along similar lines, I am giving a lecture regarding international LGBT equality and human rights on the 16th of the same month for The Kaleidoscope Trust. Tickets are available here for any and all interested parties.
28 March 2012 @ 08:03 pm
A few Tweets taken out of all possible context and proportion does not constitute a story, or at the very least it shouldn't; my wife and I are in total agreement on this point, I think you will find.
08 March 2012 @ 08:35 am

Thank you for the thank you letter. As my wife has already said, it was a privilege to host the evening and a delight to see you again.

Warmest regards,

21 February 2012 @ 08:07 am

*Somewhere in the distance, John can hear his wife laughing. Slowly the laughing gets louder and he can see flashes of light on the otherside of his eyelids.*
*Annoyed, buries his face closer into warmth next to him. The arm around his tightens and John smiles.*
*But the laughter and flashes do not stop. Groggily, John turns his head towards to the irritation and opens one eye*

Oh do kindly stop it, Sally.

*John returns to the warm body next to him. It is a full 30 seconds before he realises the person he's curdled up to isn't his wife.*
*Very carefully, to avoid startling the person next to him, John leans back until he can look at the face of the person he's spent the night with. By the time he has done so, the other person is staring back at him.*

...Good morning, Peter.