With the media in age-old pack-hunting mode all putting the boot into Mallard, an excellent point lost on them was made by the ever astute Damien Grant in the Sunday Times.

He made the correct observation that no-one’s infallible and it’s accepted of necessity that the state pick up the tab for say Cabinet Ministers’ mistakes, writing, “It is the custom in this country that employees have an indemnity for actions they take in the course of their employment”. No-one disputes that.

What commentators overlook is that the recent injudicious attack by Mallard on his tormentor Chris Bishop, was not done in his capacity as Speaker. Rather, he temporarily abandoned the Speaker’s Chair to a deputy and from the floor of the House in his supplementary role as an MP, attacked Bishop.

If it was unwise, albeit brave to resurrect the matter just as it was dying down, thereby leading to contrived fainting fits from the Press Gallery, it bears repeating that he did not do this wearing his Speaker’s hat. The subsequent media carry-on is akin to calling for his sacking for picking up a speeding ticket.

The one thing Mallard can take comfort in is the inevitability of fresh targets arising to captivate the media.


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