"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, 12 January 2011

PMQs: Summary + Videos

Cameron began by paying tribute to the fallen in Afghanistan:  Private Joseva Vatubua of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders 5th Btn Royal Regiment of Scotland;  Corporal Steven Dunn , 216 (Para) Signal Squadron, both attached to 2nd Btn Parachute Regiment, and  WO2 Charles Wood from 23 Pioneer Regiment RLC (Royal Logistic Corps), Counter-IED.
The 'Yesterday upon the stair I met a man who wasn't there.  He wasn't there again today.  Oh, how I wish he'd go away,' edition.

This was the speaking-by-rote PMQs - everyone was neatly primed so as to avoid fireworks and it passed off uneventfully.  Nil points all round for information.

Miliband quoted Cameron's words on bankers' bonuses back to him (no bonuses over £2k) and the usual friendly ping-pong match began.

Cameron sat between the eternally-crumpled George Osborne and the paunchy & well-fed Nick Clegg who both looked bored witless.  He made a couple of digs at Alan Johnson's inability to add up - "the Shadow Chancellor who can't count and the Labour Leader who doesn't count." Johnson sat beside Miliband, unamused and arms tightly-wrapped around himself.  Harriet the Inscrutable was also rather listless today and she too sat with folded arms and deadpan features.  Body language experts would have a field day here.

Miliband went on to question transparency in government (!) and Cable's 'nuclear weapon' sting was ridiculed (perhaps too strong a word). Cameron countered that Ed should consider a career in tv and his brother could run the Labour Party. He would 'take no lectures from Labour on bank regulation' and reiterated the point that Miliband was in the Treasury when Fred Goodwin was knighted by Gordon Brown for 'services to banking' and given a £17m pay-off.

I have to admit I miss the days of Gordon Brown at the despatch box - at least he was funny, albeit unintentionally, and ripe for plucking.  The present crop are unfunny and weak through consensualism.  The joke, the charade, has gone on for too long and I find nothing amusing in PMQs anymore.

* Did your MP speak?
David Hanson, Lab, Delyn;  Sarah Wollaston, Con, Totnes; Stephen Metcalfe, Con, South Basildon & East Thurrock; Alex Cunningham, Lab, Stockton North; Bernard Jenkin, Con, Harwich & North Essex; Nic Dakin, Lab, Scunthorpe; Caroline Dineage, Con, Gosport; Angus Robertson, SNP, Moray, Westminster Leader; Stephen Mosley, Con City of Chester; Ian Lucas, Lab, Wrexham; Anne McIntosh, Con, Thirsk & Malton; Paul Flynn, Lab, Newport West; Nick de Bois, Con, Enfield North; Jenny Chapman, Lab, Darlington; Brandon Lewis, Con, Gt Yarmouth; Jim Shannon, DUP, Strangford; Oliver Colville, Con, Plymouth & Devonport; Jim Sheridan, Lab, Paisley & Renfrewshire North;  Richard Ottaway, Con, Croydon South; Lindsay Roy, Lab, Glenrothes; Henry Smith, Con, Crawley.

Matters raised:
Reneging on promises;  regeneration in Gloucester;  disability living allowance;  road closures for royal wedding street parties; BSkyB takeover bid & Jeremy Hunt; control orders; EMA; war medals for veterans of the WW2 Atlantic convoys; who is the bigger liar Cameron or Clegg?; Chester council tax freeze; cuts in police numbers affecting crime; fuel duty stabiliser; closure of Newport's Passport Office; Chase Farm NHS closure of hospitals; moving jobs from Whitehall to 'the Regions'; Pathfinder project & NHS reform; closure of coastguard/air-sea rescue station at Bangor; control orders/terrorism; foreign-based media mogul; the right to strike and Union law; damp squib of 'bonfire of quangos'; cancer services and Crawley Hospital.

The first few MPs/Questions might be slightly muddled - it's down to 'live stream' time lag and me switching between two sources of info.

Two Points of Order were raised immediately after PMQs:
Ed Balls regarding the 'leaking' of Treasury documents before a statement to the House.
Kevin Baron asked whether, given extensive media coverage, Eric Ilsley's case is still sub judice. The short answer is 'yes' (Ilsley, a man who not only shames Parliament but the County of Yorkshire too, has yet to be sentenced).
Videos to follow

A taster:

H/t:  MegaSpliffster

H/t: LiarPoliticians


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