"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

PMQs: Verdict Part Deux

After Maples, the second question was from:
Begg, Lab. Aberdeen Sth who addressed the Speaker. She reminded Bercow that Brown had asked Michael somebody-or-other, aka Gorbals Mick, (oh, how these names fade into blessed oblivion) wanted ‘A Speaker’s Conference’ to increase the numbers of women, disabled, people from ethnic minorities elected to the House. Essentially a long statement about Harman’s Equality Bill followed by short question: does the PM agree …? which gave Brown a chance to talk about women, disabled, black, asian & minority ethnic people ‘in our Parliament’ plus have a dig at the Cons in the process.

Following Cameron we had Todd, Lab. Sth Derbyshire who asked Brown to reflect on the decision of the MoD to appeal against a judgement allowing hearings of nuclear test vets seeking compensation for themselves and their families.
Brown, Will look at it but legal matters, have to be careful
Clegg: After everything that’s happened in the last few months people crying out for change, spectacle of PM busy doing nothing. [Brown sits back looking mightily pissed off, crosses legs, tosses head back, looks down at his groin – possibly checking if he has any balls]. Pretends to want to clean up politics; fiddles figures, nothing has happened. People want action. What’s stopping him? [Well done, Cleggy].
Brown takes us back to “the country are wanting us to take them through this difficult world recession and that is what we’re doing. The Opposition parties have no policies for jobs, no policies to tackle the recession, no policies for a recovery, no policies for homeowners, no policies to help small businesses. We have the policies and we are taking the people through this difficult time.”
Clegg: who does the PM think he’s kidding [lots of jeering]. City bonuses ‘back in fashion’, huge Exec pay packages for ‘banks we own’; No action on electoral reform, none on party funding and recently blocked move to give people right to sack disgraced MPs. Business as usual – a deliberate betrayal of people’s demands for change.
Brown: We are bringing in the Political Parties Bill & the Bill to reform the HoC. He & Leader of Opposition should go away for the summer and think why it is the opposition parties have no policies to deal with the recession, no policies to recovery, no policy to create jobs, no policies for the future of this country and perhaps, after going back to the drawing board, they’ll think again.

What is it with Vince Cable? While others were supporting Clegg he sat with arms folded, head to one side and a smirk on his face.

The next question brought us back to a faction within the Labour Party:
Davidson (Lab Co-op, Glasgie SW). Comrade Leader [sic], in these difficult times what the country needs more than anything else is a 3rd aircraft carrier. Necessary for British navy, British shipyards and a big chunk of British industry. Why is it that only the govt is committed to building the two aircraft carriers [and by the way, when I say British, I mean Scottish - two, three, who cares so long as they' re built in Scotland].
Brown: An important part of our future and will proceed despite views of parties opposite.
Hendry Con, asked re child adoption
Williams Lab, somewhere in Wales, spoke about the 'make poverty history' campaign.Brown says are bringing forward a Bill to ‘abolish child poverty’ ffs.
Burt Con NE Beds re gypsy sites – policy of shifting decisions away from local councils to regional bodies is causing intense concern - wants review of planning policy since it’s no longer seen as even handed.
will look at what he says but must make sure balance needs of local residents against obligations we have as a country [another wtf? occasion]
Noddy Holder’s sister (Lab. Amber Valley): “At two o’clock a hanging plant basket...” - to highlight the Autism bill. Brown: Gr-gr-gr-grateful. The Autism bill will be put before the Hse - more must be done - Green paper on social care published yesterday.
Paice (Con. Cambridgeshire SE) Why does he go on pretending need for helis only arisen today when troop numbers rising all the time … …
Speaker intervenes – question simply too long.
Brown, question wd have had more validity if we hadn’t increased etc etc Tehran different from Iraq = need new blades on helis. Hopes the Cons will come to accept that we are doing everything we can…..
Noddy Holder’s mother (Lab Cardiff Nth) re Private Member’s Bill advocating lowering voting age to 16 – what plans does PM have? Brown, apparently, is looking at it: the youth-led Citizenship Commission has started and we are ready to push fwd. The Youth Parliament will be sitting in the Chamber while Parliament is in recess. Load of rubbish.
Campbell (DUP East Londonderry) spoke about recognition for Armed Forces.
Howarth (Lab,) spoke about Jaguar Landrover job losses at Halewood.
Lewis (Con New Forest East) Before Iraq and Afg defence spending was 2 ½ % GDP – it’s still 2 ½ % - Cameron & Clegg didn’t get a straight answer and neither did these three.

Overall, Brown sounded strong: he said all the words in the right order for a change; there was lots of finger-stabbing too but he didn’t seem to waver and he stuck to the script. He was visibly rattled when he sat down at the end of Cameron’s six questions and I’m sure he mouthed the beginnings of ‘bl….. ‘ (you’ll have to get your own video for that). The question from Mark Todd seemed a welcome relief to him after Cameron's questions. He should work on eye contact– it doesn’t do to be looking at Ainsworth when answering a question from someone else. Apart from the fact that he’s a lying piece of sh*t and everyone knows it, I’d say he’s got the next GE sewn up!

Hotshot: it has to be Cleggy this time round for riling Brown and the Labour backbenches and making the most obvious impact for tv news. However, I think Cameron really gets under Brown's skin - and I like that.

PS A very shifty and evasive John Hutton former Defence Secretary was questioned by Andrew Neil today. If anyone has a video, I’m more than happy to post it.

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