"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 April 2012

PMQs: Summary & Videos

Cameron paid tribute to Sapper Connor Ray, 33 Engineer Regiment, Explosive Ordnance Disposal who died in a Birmingham hospital from wounds sustained in Afghanistan.

 The end of Wales Questions was very noisy as MPs entered the arena for the crucifixion of the gladiators PMQs. The place was positively buzzing in expectation of seeing a bloodied scalp hoisted above the Speaker's Chair. 

Miliband was welcomed by huge cheers from the Tory benches and he led with this morning's GDP figures and the recession. "What excuses will he make this time?"  Called Cameron 'arrogant & complacent' and said the recession was made by him and Osborne.  The phrase "too far, too fast" made a re-appearance but Cameron fought back: "The solution to a debt crisis cannot be more debt."

Miliband then moved on to Jeremy Hunt/News Corp and the House actually fell fairly silent to hear him.  Cameron initially responded by returning to the economy and "we will not forget who got us into this mess".  He insisted that there will be "no pre-judging of the Inquiry" and read a short statement from Lord Justice Leveson.

Harriet seemed to smirk quite a bit as she glanced up approvingly at Miliband but Balls was fairly subdued compared to his usual melodramatic self.  Clegg was his normal glum self and Sir George Young was as calm and unperturbed as ever.  Osborne seemed rather animated at times and, most unusually for him, didn't give us his impression of a louche baronet anticipating the delights of a Marrakesh houri.

All in all, they were a noisy and tiresome bunch - where's the Anadin?

Did your MP speak?
Gordon Henderson,  Con, Sittingbourne & Sheppey; Karl McCartney, Con, Lincoln;  Yasmin Qureshi, Lab, Bolton South-East;  Gordon Birtwistle, LibDem, Burnley; Shabana Mahmood, Lab, Birmingham Ladywood; Jeremy Lefroy, Con, Stafford; Mark Hendrick, Lab Co-op, Preston; Craig Whittaker, Con, Calder Valley; Iain McKenzie, Lab, Inverclyde; Andrew Jones, Con, Harrogate & Knaresborough; David Simpson, DUP, Upper Bann; David Amess, Con, Southend West; Fiona O'Donnell, Lab, East Lothian; Andrew Griffiths, Con, Burton;  Barbara Keeley, Lab, Worsley & Eccles South; Bob Blackman, Con, Harrow East; James Cunningham, Lab, Coventry South; Stephen Lloyd, LibDem, Eastbourne; Angela Smith, Lab, Penistone & Stocksbridge; Stephen Hammond, Con, Wimbledon; David Winnick, Lab, Walsall North.

Matters raised:
Withdrawal of UK Forces from Afghanistan;  improved engineering/manufacturing figures from Lincoln; GDP/recession/economy; lack of skills/investment in technical colleges; debt/deficit/ cutting "too far, too fast"; World Malaria Day; UK economy "in the danger zone"; Priority School Buildings project; Nadine Dorries' comment re "posh, arrogant, out of touch"; expanding markets/Queen's Award for Enterprise; call to scrap August fuel increase; some nonsense fluff about encouraging British Olympic athletes "to go for gold" & his mother; Alex Salmond's role with News Corp; high salaries of Town Hall employees/TPA figures; GDP/deficit; Ken Livingstone's tax affairs/Artful Dodger quip; regional pay; public giving to charities/tax implications; economy/GDP/deficit; economy/GDP/deficit; economy.

Cameron made an uncalled for comment (re Russell Brand & drugs) in response to David Winnick, an honourable and long-standing MP in the mould of Tony Benn, who deserves more respect, despite his politics.

All followed by a Statement to the House by Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who was heckled widely throughout.  Harriet Harman responded for the Opposition.

Videos of PMQs to follow.

The DUP Channel are quick off the mark again this week. Here's David Simpson's question about fuel duty:

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