I recently heard the alarming rumour that Mr Speaker Bercow still has it in his power (a power he used on an earlier occasion) to duck out of his promise to retire.
He said on 9 September that he would step down on 31 October, but apparently he may decide at the last minute that his country still needs him. I have no idea whether this speculation is correct.
We do all know, however, that Mr Bercow long ago decided that the Speaker can break any convention according to whim and describe his whim as an assertion of the rights of parliament.
This article is an extract from Charles Moore’s Spectator Notes, available in this week’s magazine.