© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Former British House Of Commons Speaker Is The New Star Of A Belgian Dance Track


Britain's House of Commons has just chosen a new speaker. He's Sir Lindsay Hoyle, a member of the opposition Labour Party. Hoyle replaces John Bercow, who, with his foghorn voice and rhetorical acrobatics, became a breakout Brexit star. Bercow stepped down last week after a decade in the job. Now, as NPR's Frank Langfitt reports from London, Bercow is the star of a Belgian dance track called "Order."


FRANK LANGFITT, BYLINE: Bercow sounds like a character from "Downton Abbey" with a vocabulary that would strain the bindings of a thesaurus, so perhaps it was inevitable that a European musician would immortalize him with a track named after Bercow's signature word.


NIGEL WILLIAMS: (Imitating John Bercow) Order.

LANGFITT: It's the work of Belgian DJ and drummer Michael Schack with a comedian supplying a spot-on impression of Bercow, including this moment, when the House voted down then-Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal by the largest margin in British history.


WILLIAMS: (Imitating John Bercow) The ayes to the right, 202; the nos to the left, 432 - so the nos have it. The nos have it. Unlock.

LANGFITT: There's even a music video where a puppet depicting Bercow warns British lawmakers to behave themselves just as the real Bercow did...


WILLIAMS: (Imitating John Bercow) The rules of this House are clear. The House must behave with decorum.

LANGFITT: ...At which point Bercow and puppets depicting Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn shake their heads wildly to the beat beneath flashing red, purple and yellow lights as if in a nightclub.


WILLIAMS: (Imitating John Bercow) Members must calm down. This debate must be conducted in a seemly manner.

LANGFITT: Bercow may be gone from the speaker's chair, but his distinctive way with words may live on on dance floors across Europe.

Frank Langfitt, NPR News, London.


WILLIAMS: (Imitating John Bercow) Calm. Order.


No idea how Frank Langfitt made it through that without laughing. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Frank Langfitt is NPR's London correspondent. He covers the UK and Ireland, as well as stories elsewhere in Europe.
Journalism at this station is made possible by donors who value local reporting. Donate today to keep stories like this one coming. It is thanks to your generosity that we can keep this content free and accessible for everyone. Thanks!