I went to An Evening with John Bercow tonight at one of the local universities and found it very interesting to hear his explanations of how some aspects of the UK’s representative democracy works, and about the things he wants to change and about the outreach programs he leads to bring parliament into relevance in people’s lives.

It is important not to judge someone who you are only hearing their own opinion of and it’s equally important that you don’t judge more favourably because they’re eloquent and amiable, though that’s not a reason not to appreciate this. I think that Mr Bercow used humour when he didn’t need to, and this brought things down in a way that wasn’t needed: we would all have gone away with respect for him regardless of whether he’d made us laugh, and there is a trivialising effect by opening himself up to the accusation from the likes of me that he was merely playing the crowd — which he wasn’t.