"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, 20 October 2010


They're off!  Peter Bone had the first question and it was surprising - planted but still with the capacity to be controversial: "During this Parliament our contributions to the European Union will increase by £17.5bn so yesterday's cuts to the defence budget will not go to reduce the deficit but to subsidise our European partners. This is obscene. What would the Prime Minister like to say to the European Union?"

Cameron: "First of all, the point is that the previous government gave away £8m of rebate and got nothing in return." He then read from a prepared script: "I am absolutely clear we will not accept any increases in the EU budget in the next 7yr financial perspective. We've called for a cash freeze in the size of the EU budget for 2011 and we're working very hard to make this case across Europe. Just yesterday I spoke to the new Dutch Prime Minister as he is another ally in trying to make sure that as we make difficult decisions at home we do not spend extra money on the EU budget."

Miliband is not doing well: he struggles to make himself heard; frequently loses his place in his script and is too often caught with his trousers down when it comes to facts. He's nervous, tries to be clever but doesn't pull it off - he needs more practice; Cameron has had many years to perfect his acting role. It isn't enough for Miliband to throw past quotes into the air and hope one hits home - after 13yrs of Blair/Brown Cameron has more than enough fuel to rebut them.

Cameron's claws were out and he made mincemeat of Miliband but it has to be said that he was rather spiteful.  Everyone in the Chamber seemed to find it amusing but I thought it sad - I always find PMQs dispiriting and a sorry indictment of the way we're governed with plenty of bluster and hot air; sound and fury signifying nothing except soundbites for the evening news.  However, Miliband will have to grow several inches taller if he wants to lead an opposition party.  I'll find a video for an update later.

This PMQs was only notable for the number of questions about the EU; there were three in all so it looks possible that, thanks to the GE, anti-EU Conservative backbenchers are growing more teeth after all.

Did your MP ask a question?
Nicky Morgan, Con, Loughborough; Chi Onwurah, Lab, Newcastle upon Tyne Central;  Oliver Heald, Con, Hertfordshire East; Sandra Osborne, Lab, Ayr Carrick & Cumnock; Jessica Lee, Con, Erewash; Lindsay Roy, Lab, Glenrothes; Christopher Chope, Con Christchurch; William McCrea, DUP, South Antrim; Daniel Byles, Con, North Warwickshire; Michael Connarty, Lab, Linlithgow & Falkirk East; David Nuttall, Con, Bury North; Tom Watson, Lab, West Bromwich East; Philip Davies, Con, Shipley; David Anderson, Lab, Blaydon; David Everett, Con, Bexleyheath & Crayford; Jenny Chapman, Lab, Darlington; Nick Boles, Con, Grantham & Stamford; Nick Raynsford, Lab, Greenwich & Woolwich; Annette Brooke, LibDem, Dorset Mid & Poole North; Stephen Twigg, Lab Co-op, Liverpool West Derby; Duncan Hames, LibDem, Chippenham; Virendra Sharma, Lab, Ealing Southall; Andrew Selous, Con, South West Bedfordshire; Jim Sheridan, Lab, Paisley & Renfrewshire North;

Efficiency & transparency in local govt;  investment in jobs;  Save the Children Fund & the release of the aid worker in Somalia; global crack-down on 'tax-dodging'; Ilkeston football club; too few immigrants to Glenrothes; why is FPTP fairer than AV; funding for N.Ireland Assembly; the financial advice of Mao Tse Tsung; a Human Rights Act for N.Ireland; the expansion of EU bureacracy; off-shore tax havens; unacceptable rubber-stamping of the budget for the EU; loss of building jobs; the economy (and a dig at Shad.Chancellor, Alan Johnson); will the private sector thrive in the face of public sector job cuts; protecting the NHS; social housing reform; secondary breast cancer awareness; the repatriation of the body of Gary Dunn; graduate tax; Ealing Hospital; sentencing for young offenders; BA strikers.

Cameron -v- Miliband:

Part 1
Part 2
With thanks to LiarPoliticians for the videos.


  1. Milliband sounded terrible: the Union barons must be feeling a little sick ...

    LOL: "Chi Onwurah", Lab, Newcastle upon Tyne Central

  2. You're right, Harry, he did sound terrible and lets hope they are :-)

    As for Chi Onwurah/Newcastle upon Tyne Central, people deserve what they vote for. It wasn't an impressive performance but she'll find her feet in the HoC, just like the Milibands/Straw/Blair/Brown/Cameron/Osborne found theirs.


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