"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, 23 January 2013

PMQs: Summary & Videos

A bit late this week, sorry. One minute I'm tuning into Andrew Neil and the next I'm dreaming fitfully of British pensioners burning EU flags to keep warm.  Still, here it is - The Fresh From His Triumph edition - aided by the miracle of BBC iPlayer:

Cameron opened the proceedings by paying tribute to Kingsman David Robert Shaw, 1st Btn Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, who died of wounds sustained in Afghanistan.

Miliband asked, if Cameron got 'his in/out referendum', would he campaign for Britain to stay in? Cameron said he would. Miliband wasn't happy and re-phrased his question: 'Is he saying that if he doesn't achieve his negotiation strategy he will recommend Britain leave the EU?'

Cameron didn't actually answer directly but instead congratulated him on tacitly accepting that the Conservatives will win the next GE and he went on to mention that unemployment figures had fallen with employment up by 90,000 this quarter and rate of job growth last year was fastest since 1989.  He then repeated that he wanted to see 'a strong Britain in a reformed Europe'; the govt 'wants to reset the relationship'.

He asked what Miliband, who used all his six questions on the EU, would do. Miliband pushed and pushed, the House grew noisier, Bercow intervened and Cameron became exasperated.  When the pressure was directed back at Miliband he finally blurted out: "My position is no, we don't want an in/out referendum," at which the House dissolved into laughter, jeers and abuse.

Stand-out quote from Cameron: "We also want to make sure that 'ever closer union' doesn't apply to the United Kingdom."

Your MP: Party toady or independent thinker?

Nic Dakin, Lab, Scunthorpe; Nadhim Zahawi, Con, Stratford on Avon; Gavin Barwell, Con, Croydon Central; Jack Dromey, Lab, Birmingham Erdington; Duncan Hames, LibDem, Chippenham; Clive Efford, Lab, Eltham; James Duddridge, Con, Rochford & Southend East; Mark Hendrick, Lab Co-op, Preston; Gerald Howarth, Con, Aldershot; Mike Weir, SNP, Angus; Mark Pawsey, Con, Rugby; Louise Ellman, Lab Co-op, Liverpool Riverside; Dan Rogerson, LibDem, North Cornwall; Jack Straw, Lab, Blackburn; Graham Stuart, Con, Beverley & Holderness; Ian Lavery, Lab, Wansbeck; Bill Cash, Con, Stone; Dennis Skinner, Lab, Bolsover; Eleanor Laing, Con, Epping Forest; Julie Hilling*, Lab, Bolton West; Menzies Campbell, LibDem, North East Fife; Geraint Davies, Lab Co-op, Swansea West; Richard Fuller, Con, Bedford; Robert Flello, Lab, Stone-on-Trent South; Rehman Chishti, Con, Gillingham & Rainham; Helen Jones, Lab, Warrington North; Crispin Blunt, Con, Reigate.

Issues raised:

Terrorism & the Armed Forces;  Holocaust Memorial Day & education; Save the Children & the aid budget; UK car industry and the EU; The forthcoming G8 & the aid budget; a government-funded energy efficiency scheme; employment in his constituency (R&SE) particularly as it relates to women; 12% cut in local govt funding to Preston; other members of the EU, particularly in the eurozone, also want re-negotiation; timing disparity between Scottish referendum & EU referendum; DCLG savings & 'troubled' families; child poverty in Britain & the re-definition of poverty; restrictive practices by mortgage companies when outsourcing conveyancing work; cuts in defence spending & the Strategic Defence Review; 'Cons trust the people, Labour want to deny them their say'; black-listing, police & security services; EU has a habit of going its own way so what will he do if re-negotiation request is ignored; austerity-riddled Britain, wining & dining, Davos, bankers, tax-avoiders, posh boys (it's Skinner so you get the picture); Conservative govt = an EU referendum, Labour govt = no EU referendum; disabilities/benefits cuts; a suggestion that Heseltine conducts an Inquiry into consequences of Britain leaving the EU; welfare cuts, energy bills; public health & locally-directed govt funds; food banks; the British Transplant Games & organ donation; lack of places in special needs schools; Pitt the Younger: 'England would save Europe by her example'.

* Two choice screen-grabs of Julie Hilling in full flow, just because:

Hilling put so much drama, energy and passion into her brief question about disability living allowance, it's a shame she began from a false premise.

Here is Denis Skinner's question:

PMQs in full:

Courtesy of UKParliamentChannel

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