"Michael Martin, the Speaker of the House of Commons, and his unlucky placewoman Jill Pay, the serjeant-at-arms, were prepared to let the police into the Commons. I don’t believe there was any conspiracy; both were just too ignorant to do their jobs properly and had too little real understanding of the point of parliamentary procedure.
"It may be snobbish, but it’s true. Neither is really qualified for the post by education or by experience. They both showed an unquestioning deference to the police. The rise of democracy was supposed to be the end of undue deference, yet here were the defenders of the people’s Commons touching their forelocks to the filth." —Minette Marrin