"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, 25 November 2009

PMQs: Summary

Oh dear, where to begin?

Brown began, as usual, by paying tribute to the fallen in Afghanistan and also to the Cumbrian emergency services and PC Bill Barker who lost his life in the floods.

Cameron echoed his tribute and spoke of the community spirit which united the people of Cockermouth.  He didn't utter the word 'blitz' but he didn't have to - we all know what he meant.  Catastrophes unite people and that's not a lesson lost on would-be world leaders since 1945.

Cameron's 2nd question was about chivvying the insurance companies to pay out as soon as possible, particularly with Christmas just around the corner.

What is it with Jim Murphy?  The Scottish Secretary is trying to increase Labour support in Scotland by proposing tax-raising powers for the Scottish Assembly despite a poll showing that the desire for independence from the Union has fallen and the SNP vote is falling away in some areas.  I hate to get personal, really I do, but Murphy reminds me of Banquo's cadaverous ghost.  He did a good job for the government in pushing through the Lisbon Treaty debate in the House (guillotined debates) and so was made Scottish Secretary.  The Labour Party surely know the meaning of 'post-democracy/post-bureacracy/post-modern' but the problem is that we, the people, haven't yet tuned in.

Cameron then turned to Hizb'ut Tahrir and the funding of three Islamic schools by taxpayers.  He quoted some of their mission statements and asked if Brown had any evidence of their funding by taxpayers (? but we all know this, we all read the newspapers).  Brown said he had no evidence.

I'm at a loss here.  Does the man not read the press?  Is everything that happens in England so irrelevant to this man and his team as they pursue their 'global agenda'?

Cameron put him straight and asked him how money from the Pathfinder Scheme could find its way into the pockets of an extremist organisation.

Cameron has a point: we are being taxed so that this govt can give a proportion of that money to extremist organisations who want to undermine our democracy.  Brown, of course, said he had no knowledge and would 'look into it'.  All the while, Ed Balls looked like nothing so much as a naughty boy caught in an act of misfeasance:  red-faced, eyes down, hands clasping knees.  Naughty-naughty, spanky-spanky, see me in my office later.  The crux of the question was how the govt's anti-extremist fund can end up funding extremists, passed by OfSted and approved by the Charity Commission.  Cameron then lost it by asking for 'a much bigger inquiry' into how such things can happen.  We know how they happen - whisper it softly, 'Common Purpose'.  We're sick of paying for Inquiries - in fact we've had far more Inquiries since 1997 than ever before in a 12yr period.  To coin a football chant: 'you're sh!it and you know it, take a hike...'

Brown said everything would be 'investigated in great detail'; and went on to praise 'the vast majority of law-abiding Muslims in this country' who are not terrorists.  I'm sure he's right but I expect more than platitudes and soundbites from a Prime Minister.  He seems to take every criticism and question as a personal affront.  He went on to say that 'we have investigated it; we have looked at it ...  If he [Cameron] has any  new evidence that should make us proscribe it [Hizb'ut Tahrir] we will look at this again... "

Cameron: Hizb'ut Tahrir say: "Jews should be killed wherever you find them".  On Islam4Uk and Choudhary: "magnificent people carrying out their Islamic responsibility," "calling for blood on the streets of London and New York".   He asked when the PM 'tell us that he will get a grip on this issue'.

Lots of downturned mouths (Burnham) and shakey dogs (Balls) whilst this exchange was going on.

Brown:   'We need full detailed evidence in the cold light of day and I think he will regret some of the remarks he has made.... ...'  He spoke of the DNA database - normally difficult ground but Cameron had used up all his questions.  Brown accused the Conservatives of reneging on an 'all-Party consensus'. 

According to Speaker Bercow the government's backbenchers are still 'excitable'  and need to calm down.  He looked like a public school Latin master yet spoke like a pompous prat -  in my experience the two are not mutually exclusive.

Bradshaw thinks he is going places - where, I don't know, but he sat with elbow propped on backrest, eyes wide and head nodding like a parcel-shelf puppy.  I suspect he's had a few accolades lately for all the media appearances he's made.

Straw of course sat to the right of his Precious - no chewing gum this week but a white ribbon in his lapel: is that the new Peace Pledge Union alternative to a white poppy?

So sorry, but I have to say, fucking bastards they've sold us down the river lock stock kit caboodle and barrel.

There was more from Clegg and backbenchers but I'm feeling rather unrepresented in Parliament now. Some questions hit home but the answers fell short: I can't help feeling it will make no difference whatsoever.


  1. The white ribbon is for domestic violence day, I believe

  2. Thank you Tarquin - so many different coloured ribbons and so many days! I see Harman wasn't wearing one.


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