"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, 13 January 2010

PMQs: Verdict - The Chablis Edition

Aye, aye, aye, where to start?   Someone (Bercow?) in their wisdom has changed the format of PMQs and others have agreed to it.   Instead of the first question followed by Brown's response and Cameron's six questions we now have a mess of here-there-&-everyflippingwhere.   Cameron had two questions followed by backbenchers; Clegg had two; more b/benchers; Cameron two; more b/benchers; Cameron two.  I have to say that in all this consultation no-one thought to ask me though I take consolation in the fact that Matthew Paris and Quentin Letts are also rather put out.  In fairness, Bercow did extend this week's session by roughly four minutes to take account of the time taken for Brown to read out the names of this week's fallen in Afghanistan and to sympathise with the Haitians.

Brown is definitely on a roll and has been since Autumn last year.  Something's happened with him.  Perhaps he has an imaginary pal sitting on his shoulder telling him to show more aggression or perhaps he's realised, as we do, that Cameron is pulling his punches so he's gained confidence and is stepping into the breach.  Either way, Brown is still on a sticky wicket but, more importantly, Cameron is risking a hung Parliament or a narrow majority.  Mr Dave Nicey-Nicey won't cut it with an angry electorate and he has to step up to the mark, not retreat, if he wants the Conservatives to form the next government.  This country has never taken kindly to the euro-concept of coalition government and it would be better if politicians recognised this now.

Here we go, bang on twelve o'clock for a change:

Brown: flanked by Murphy and Harman (the Rozencrantz & Guildernstern of British politics) began with his tributes: first to our fallen in Afghanistan, then to Haiti.  He was a meek,  grey-haired automaton with striped tie spread over a fat gut.  For those of you who note the PM's sartorial habits, the colour of tie this week is royal blue and lilac combined with a pale blue shirt and a dark blue suit.  His socks are no doubt a rather jaunty blue with little gold stars.

The first question went to Bill Wiggin, Con, Leominster: "Our economy went into the recession with one of the largest budget deficits of any first world economy.  On refection, does the PM regret that?"
Brown: "No, Mr Speaker, we had, we had, we had, one of the lowest debts, the second lowest debt of the G7."  [Whoopidoo]  "Lower than America, lower than Germany, lower than the Euro area and lower than Italy."  Excuse me for pointing out that the 'euro-area' encompasses Germany & Italy.   This is the standard of response we get from the PM - no fucking clue.

The House was full and boisterous.  Jolly MP's all enjoying the banter together; the House of Commons joined in One-ness.  Except it wasn't that at all - it was a display of how far removed they are from the electorate - not the anarchists, not the lefty-greenies, not the Libertarians, English Democrats or BNP'ers - but we, the people.

It was six minutes before Cameron spoke, and that was about salt and grit.
Brown took full advantage of Cameron's easy opening and it was eight mins until Cameron's next question - more salt, asking about a review & learning lessons.

Ten minutes in there was a question from Dari Taylor Lab Stockton South about 'looked-after children'
Brown - waffle about public expenditure, of course we support children and another report promised.

Clegg next - Aligned the Party to the PM's tributes to the fallen and those in Haiti,  Will PM do decent thing and volunteer to give evidence in the Chilcot Inquiry?
Brown:  Not up to me, guv.  It wisnae me.  Nothing to hide, happy to give evidence.
Clegg:  It's not just for Chilcot, question is for the  PMs own conscience.  He was the one who signed the cheques and shd insist on going to Inquiry now before the GE.
Brown:  Chilcot should decide.

Family Intervention Programmes, extremist groups, airbrushed posters and wee Dougie Alexander followed.

Bercow:  Such a raucous voice for such a little man as he intervened to call order.

Videos will be posted asap so you can make up your own minds.  I try to be impartial but really, enough is enough; I can't bear this sanctimonious shit much longer.

Next week: Muffin the Mule meets Peter Mandelson.

UPDATE: Videos of Brown/Cameron and Brown/Clegg exchanges are going to be tricky in future but here's the first question plus part of Cameron's exchange and Clegg's feisty performance:


  1. We must have watched a different Brown. I saw a broken and desperate, very unpopular man.

  2. Clegg's week for a change, GV. Gordon was well and truly smacked down over the Iraq inquiry by him.

  3. I wanted to see a punchy, rejuvenated Cameron OR - and I didn't see that. Brown is just capitalising on Cameron's weakness, much as the govt has done on the Opposition's weakness.
    You're right VotR, Clegg did well this week and the weaker Cameron sounds the better Clegg seems. We're f*cked.

  4. Caeron has before hi JGB, the worst Chancellor and the worst PM in the history of democracy and Caneron cannot score into an open goal.

    Come the think about it, Cameron couldn't score in a Bordello, that other House of Shame and Self Indulgence.

  5. Bugger, if I decipher that correctly, I'd say you've got a hole in one.

  6. That would do nicely,




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