"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, 30 March 2011

PMQs: Summary/Videos

Tributes were paid to Major Matthew Collins and Lance Sergeant Mark Burgen of the Irish Guards, whose vehicle was caught in an ied explosion on 23rd March.
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Miliband was more sure-footed this week but Cameron still managed to make him blush.  The first question related to Libya and the legality of arming the rebels.  Cameron responded that the situation was 'very fluid' and the ceasefire is still being breached.  The arms embargo applies to whole of Libya but provision of assistance to protect civilians "in certain circumstances" is not ruled out by the UN Resolution.

Miliband then moved on to tuition fees - how many universities have indicated they will charge the full £9k?   Cameron said that figures were 'not available' so Miliband told him that 18 of 27 unis have said they will charge the full amount.  He also queried the number of frontline police officers being cut or moved to back office duties.  Cameron insisted there was no reason why frontline visibility would diminish and both leaders sat down to shouts of' 'more, more' from all sides.

There was a nice put-down of Ed Balls towards the end:  'I wish the Shadow Chancellor would occasionally shut up and listen to the answers ... I may be alone in finding him the most annoying person in modern politics...'    I don't think Balls was particularly bothered, he seems to revel in being seen as 'the bad boy'.

Did your MP speak?
Jackie Doyle-Price, Con, Thurrock;  Sarah Newton, Con, Truro & Falmouth; Margaret Ritchie,  SDLP, South Down;  Daniel Byles, Con, North Warwickshire;  Ian Austin, Lab, Dudley North; Peter Aldous, Con, Waveney;  Nigel Dodds, DUP, North Belfast;  Greg Mulholland, LibDem, Leeeds North-West; Geraint Davies, Lab Co-op, Swansea West;  David Burrowes, Con, Enfield Southgate; Dr Alasdair McDonnell, SDLP, South Belfast;  Robert Halfon, Con, Harlowe; Christopher Leslie, Lab Co-op, Nottingham East;  David Amess, Con, Southend West;  Helen Jones, Lab, Warrington North;  Caroline Dinenage, Con, Gosport;  Chris Williamson, Lab, Derby North;  Tony Baldry, Con, Banbury;  Yvonne Fovargue, Lab, Makerfield;  Menzies Campbell, LibDem, North East Fife; Heidi Alexander, Labour, Lewisham East;   Fiona Bruce, Con, Congleton;  Joan Walley, Lab, Stoke-on-Trent North; Malcolm Bruce, LibDem, Gordon.

Topics raised:
Condemnation of an EDM congratulating UKuncut;  cuts to Coastguards particularly as they affect Cornwall;  cancer diagnosis & care/reform of DLA; Monday's Libya Summit; cuts to welfare for unemployed;  deprivation in East Anglia & creation of an Enterprise Zone;  terrorist activity in N. Ireland;  children's heart units/ambulance transfers;  carbon trading/Tata/Wales;  investment in NHS prostate cancer care;  changes to pension age;  the Baker Report & new technical colleges;  NHS spending; Miliband's Hyde Park speech;  one-stop-shop 'teams' in the NHS;  SureStart services; winter fuel allowances;  manufacturing in Banbury/unemployment;  fines for people who wrongly claim benefit/Citizens' Advice Bureaux;  cautioned against arming Libyan rebels; cuts to 'English as a second language' courses;  incinerator planning proposals and local input;  job creation in Stoke-on-Trent; field allowances/StatOil.

Followed by a Statement from William Hague on Monday's meeting - 'Outcome of London Conference on Libya & Related Events'.

Videos to follow.

A taster:


Cameron - Aldous


Dodds - Bruce


Walley - end


With thanks, as usual, for the videos: LiarPoliticians

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