PMQs SKETCH: Beast On a Leash, Parliament Behaves Itself

They could at least have brought in visual aids to express solidarity, to raise awareness, to promote resilience among the nation’s flood victims. Fabricant in flippers. Hancock in a wetsuit. Dromey with his big black periscope.

No, they played PMQs like it was Lent.

All the Tories wanted to do was express their joy at Miliband in wet weather gear – you can’t do that under Storm Force Eight.

The Leader from Primrose Hill pretending not to have wellington boots filled with black, freezing water – that could only be honoured with Tory thunder.

When Miliband stood, they started to crank it but some sense of propriety, or possibly a Whips’ choke chain silenced them.

It was like watching drunks nearly throwing up.

All MPs realized how their natural effusions would come across on TV. The storm-tossed public out there in the plashy fens – they didn’t want to see their representatives enjoying themselves.

And Miliband without the mockery doesn’t do as badly as Tories think. He asked about “money no object” – what did that actually mean?

Sandbags.

Then, why was Cameron laying off 500 flood workers from the Environment Agency.

He knew Cameron couldn’t say, “Because they’re indolent box-tickers corrupted by left-wing, humanity-hating environmental ideology.” So he said they were spending £200 million more than Labour on the humanity-hating agency. Miliband asked the question again, planting it somewhere in the argument.

The session did produce one good laugh. Cameron said: “He seeks to divide the House when we should be coming together for the nation.”

Unfortunately, it wasn’t perfectly clear whom we were laughing at.

Several MPs from the submarine regions said they wanted money not just for flood relief but for marketing the south west as “open for business”.

Come to Devon and Cornwall to buy mud. Faecalised run-off on special. Buy two drowned voles get third free.

Good luck with that: we flood tourists are off to the Okavango Delta for half term.



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GuidoFawkes Quote of the Day

Labour’s Austin Mitchell muses on the campaign:

“What’s the problem? No use pointing at the leader. Too late to change and unnecessary for Miliband is doing well at Question Time. His problem is connecting with the real world. He doesn`t speak people and his protective team of naive kids are playing West Wing rather than letting the leader relate to real people. We could point at the party, shrunk in numbers and enthusiasm because everything, from policy formulation to candidate selection, comes top down rather than bubbling up from below so campaigning becomes the opium of members deprived of any real role, though they`re not even sure what they’re campaigning about, with or for, but its role is marginal.”

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