Tilt is a poker term for a state of mental confusion or frustration in which a player adopts a less than optimal strategy, usually resulting in the player becoming over-aggressive... Placing an opponent on tilt or dealing with being on tilt oneself is an important aspect of poker. It is a relatively frequent occurrence due to frustration, animosity against other players, or simply bad luck. Experienced players recommend learning to recognize that one is experiencing tilt and avoid allowing it to influence one’s play.
The expenses row seems to have precipitated a tilt-like madness in the Labour Party from the painful process involved in getting the expenses published, to Gordon's retracted youtube, from the eve of an election resignation to blacked-out claims. The exposure of these expenses on any government's watch would have been deeply damaging, but the unhinged reaction of Brown's clowns is making things even more grisly for their beloved party.
Clear evidence of Labour whips arm-twisting MPs to back the anti-reform candidate for Speaker might just be the final straw for the public. I am afraid to say that this story may be a self-fulfilling prophesy. After all, it is a secret vote and theoretically Labour can force through their choice of Speaker. Machiavellian Tories may decide to vote for her on the basis that they may calculate that their party will be the beneficiaries of the public outrage that would follow her appointment.
From the very start of this process over a month ago, I made it clear that my favourite choice for Speaker is Richard Shepherd. None of the objections to his candidacy that I have heard have been anything other than cosmetic. Late backing from Guido and Douglas Carswell is not likely to help his chances. Whilst some Tories may back Beckett to make Labour look bad, I contend that the lack of support for a Tory like Shepherd on the Labour benches is due to the fact that his clarity and integrity would make Labour look bad. If pushed, I am sure Labour MPs would much prefer a pantomime baddie like Widdecombe in the Chair.
Update - Douglas Carswell and some of my favourite bloggers (Guido Fawkes, Graeme Archer, Cranmer and Jonathan Calder) called it right. As Tony Sharp observes the mood of the country does not extend to Westminster. I suppose we have to hope for the best from Bercow.