April 2nd, 2014

PMQs SKETCH: Titanic Fights in the Commons

Cosy capitalism against Socialism, sir. Public versus private ownership. Primrose Hill versus the Playing Fields of Eton. Tax cuts versus the Collective. Labour bellowing versus Tory barrage.

My niche interest is the fight between Better Bercow and Bad Bercow.

The new iteration – I-Don’t-Hate-Tories – is a success. We should pay tribute to it, celebrate it rather than carp.

But Better Bercow can’t keep Bad Bercow in its kennel.

What must be going in that inner court of his, where he remonstrates with himself: “Your constant interruptions are just prolonging the proceedings. Your attention-seeking behaviour is childish, you need to grow up and the sooner the better. And the way you call Andrew Selous – the public detest it! Your electorate hate it! If you go on like this they’ll have you out after the next election!”

Good Bercow has been prevailing, but when provoked, Bad Bercow slips the leash.

We can thank Simon Burns for that. Or that corner where he sits with Alec Shelbrooke in a supporting role behind him. Anna Soubry, Tim Loughton and Keith Simpson, are all there or thereabouts, each of whom have had complex relations with the Speaker.

So, when Czaibhaggan MacDonagh fluffed her line about the “Bobby Tax”, it prompted heckling from the Burns Corner.

Out Bad Bercow slavered, fangs bared, to savage them as he only savages Tories: “Braying, and sneering and making rude remarks is the sort of thing the public despise!” he barked at them.

But three points Bad Bercow’s keeper might consider:

“Braying and sneering” is a rude remark by any measure and an example of what he is complaining about. Second, the microphone arrangements being as they are, the public wouldn’t have been aware of any braying and sneering without him having made a West End hit of it. And third, it is by no means clear the public despise rude remarks at all.

In other battle news. The noise was amazing, I’m told, by floor-level Members. “Answer! Answer! Answer!” Labour chanted so loudly they couldn’t hear what answers might be.

Cameron was being asked what the share price of Royal Mail was now and how £750m had been lost, and what had happened to the “gentleman’s agreement” not to sell shares quickly, and nobody wanted the sale and nobody voted for it.

Labour liked all this and felt the shafts going home. To me it sounded like Violet Elizabeth Bott. You’ll have your own view.

Labour took comfort from Cameron’s line, “Nobody wanted it? It was in your manifesto!” which has, at best, a poetic truth in it.

Labour has to wave away the Gordon Brown gold sale (£9bn below the current price), and pretend that they would have got a better price for Royal Mail. Their leadership team do believe they can predict the economic cycle, remember.

But Cameron’s responses seem to me to be pulling slowly away from the level of the questions and of his questioners. Tax cuts, record employment and worker-shareholders is set against Labour’s “Aren’t things expensive these days?”

Vote for Your Job may be worth 10 polling points on election day. That’s the bet. Labour’s clairvoyance may turn out to be less clear than they are claiming now.


  1. 1
    please Sir! says:

    Wots Czaibhaggan?

  2. 2
    PC Dixon says:

    Whats the point of Milliband ?

  3. 3
    Fred the pensioner says:

    A brand of European ice cream I think.

  4. 4
    Mind the gap says:

    Court jester?

  5. 5
    Is this it? says:

  6. 6
    DR says:

    Even Google doesn’t know …

  7. 7
    Sally Bercow says:

    I love labour I do ………. especially the Big Black ones

  8. 8
    C.O.Jones says:

    Nice curtains.

  9. 9
    Tory MP says:

    Did SheBang Macdonough actually say “Booby tax”?

  10. 10
    Thuggie Whelan says:

    Is she trying to be a pikey?

  11. 11
    Hansard writer says:

    Re Squeaker

    Once a barrow boy, always a barrow boy

  12. 12
    LibLabCon says:

    We always sell taxpayers’ assets at a discount

    How do you think we can retire on Bolly?

  13. 13
    Cinna says:

    I believe that to be what is called a “poncho”.

  14. 14
    albacore says:

    Who gives a toss about Bercow as Speaker
    And which of his sides is stronger or weaker?
    This whole Parliament is no more than a farce
    All it ever does is suck the E U’s arse

  15. 15
    LibLabCon sham says:


    I like Primrose Hill versus playing fields of Eton

    But the Primrose Hill/hedgie/oligarch gang are now sending their children to Eton…

    Crony capitalism is merging with sham socialism to the detriment of the British People

    Join the dots…

  16. 16
    ancientpopeye says:

    But he’s not funny.

  17. 17
    Grant Shapps says:

    Miliband says Cameron is “Not so much the Wolf of Wall Street but the Dunce of Downing Street”. Will it stick? It’s actually trending.

    A classic from Ed Mili.

  18. 18
    Ah! don't laugh says:

    Feng Shui master is buried alive in landslide at Hong Kong cemetery – seconds after showing a family the ‘perfect burial plot’ for their relative’s grave

  19. 19
    A bloke says:

    Dear Deidre

    I’m having trouble getting my wife to let me demonstrate with her how the homogaysexuals consumate their marriages.

  20. 20
    A Brazilian Rent Boy says:

    Hearing about a major development later today following Sunday Mirror’s Mark Menzies investigation..

  21. 21
    Ah! now we're getting down to it says:

    The Prime Minster would welcome a rethink on the price of England replica football shirts, according to his spokesman.

  22. 22
    Vlad, chillaxing says:

    You kiss EU ass

    I kick it

  23. 23
    Prime Minister"The Dunce Of Downing Street" Cameron says:

    Mark Menzies has my support.

    He’s probably wearing it,and so next time he can jolly well buy his own support.

  24. 24
    Observer says:

    PMQs interesting today

    Not one word about Ukraine or Mid East

    Funny that

  25. 25
    Jack says:

    Dave did say we should cut the Army though

  26. 26
    Prime Minister"The Dunce Of Downing Street" Cameron says:

    16 to Smoke
    18 to Buy Cigarettes

    16 to Have Sex
    18 to Watch Porn

    16 to go to Army
    18 to play Call of Duty

    Conservative led Coalition Logic!

  27. 27
    Gok Wan says:

    Is 1973 making a come-back?

  28. 28
  29. 29
    Lord Tebbitt says:

    When will some MP find the balls to say

    On a point of order, Mr Squeaker…

  30. 30
    jgm2 says:

    I must have missed the bit where the ‘conservative lead coalition’ brought in those conflicting age limits.

  31. 31
    Anonymous says:


  32. 32
    Mrs Dale's Diary says:

    Did he feel Squeaker’s privates on the qt? During one of Squeaker’s Gay and Lesbian parties?


  33. 33
    jgm2 says:

    It’s a bit ‘Abigail’s Party’ isn’t it.

  34. 34
  35. 35
    broderick crawford says:

    It s Oirish for Siobhan pronounced SHEVVVAUGHNNNN

  36. 36
    Brownbadger says:

    I bet no one’s pulled them

  37. 37
    Ah! probably says:

    While you were in City 363. :)

  38. 38
    jgm2 says:

    Sheevawn shurely.

  39. 39
    broderick crawford says:

    You can take the cow out of the Berc but ……

  40. 40
    jgm2 says:

    Shurely Siobhan is Oirish for Sheevawn?

  41. 41
    Fred d'Eton says:

    Heaven help us if that is the best that he can do.

  42. 42
    broderick crawford says:



  43. 43
    non taxable pikey says:

    32 years ago today the Argentinians invaded the Falklands. Just thought I would mention it since it seems to have been forgotten by many. Thinking of those lost on HMS Glamorgan especially.

  44. 44
    jgm2 says:

    Tee hee.

  45. 45
    John Masefield says:

    Does that make Millipede the Prick of Primrose Hill?

  46. 46
    Dougie says:

    16 (with parental consent) to join Army but 18 to deploy on operations.

  47. 47
    Ah! now says:

    Spanish boats enter Gib territorial waters and we sent them a helium balloon with ” GET OUT ” on it.

  48. 48
    EU Funded Pro-EU Troll says:

    Vote UKIP

  49. 49
    jgm2 says:

    Presumably because the number 32 is not a ‘landmark’ anniversary like (say) 25 years or 50 years or 100 years.

  50. 50
    Ah! went says:

    To fight in WWI when I was 14. Remember!

  51. 51
    Rinsed Blonde says:

    So. Is she expecting rain, or buckets of water?

  52. 52
    Mrs Dale's Diary says:

    Pimp of Primrose Hill

    Closer to the truth

    One of Conman Blair’s adolescent mob

  53. 53
    Fred the pensioner says:

    Well, I suppose imitation is the best form of flattery.

  54. 54
    Maggie says:

    W H A T ???

  55. 55
    Fred the pensioner says:

    Wasn’t there an old folk song about the sweet ass of Primrose Hill?

  56. 56
    Fred the pensioner says:

    Are you still rather worried about Jim, dear?

  57. 57
    Ah! hmm says:

    About time you took a trip to Argentina.

    And reported back!

  58. 58
    Prime Minister"The Dunce Of Downing Street" Cameron says:

    la la la la la

  59. 59
    Fred the pensioner says:

    The price should start at one pound, and then double for every win England get at the World Cup. Price soon goes up if you just keep doubling up.

  60. 60
    Fred the pensioner says:

    None of our business. The price of stamps is far more relevant to us.

  61. 61
    Justin Beiber says:

    Fylde MP Mark Menzies says he needs time to “rebuild” his private life, see Lytham St Annes Express and tomorrow’s Gazette

  62. 62
    Kwooooooorrrrrrrrrr says:

  63. 63
    Mind the gap says:

    Lead is a heavy metal – just like fluoride (however you spell it)

  64. 64
    Toenails from the BBC says:

    Of course it’s trending – and we’ll make sure it continues to do so.

    A clear win for Ed today….left Cameron for dead…the Cotht of Living Cwithis is really hitting home.

    Nasty, Downing Street Dunce, Cameron calling the Ed’s, ‘muppets’. Disgusting.

  65. 65
    Cheap labour says:

    Whereas Labour would have
    “4 to have sex”

  66. 66
    E Wing says:

    The best time to rebuild a private life is when doing 6 months in solitary at HMP Belmarst

  67. 67
    Fuck the EU says:

    That Span!sh should be a bit more concerned about the regions which are looking to secede rather than playing with the RN.

    What is the Dunce of Downing street going to do ?

  68. 68
    Romany Soup says:

    …….I reckon she sells clothes pegs,and does a bit of palm reading,plus a bit of “lucky white heather” selling!

  69. 69
    Mong the Miliband says:

    Ed should apologize for his Dunce of Downing street line and point out that Dave actually has a double first in PPE from Oxford.

  70. 70
    Disgruntled spad says:

    Then he would just be the little Berc.

  71. 71
    Simon Cowell says:

    I’m not gay, I’ve got a baby and I’m surrounded by women.

  72. 72
    Gooey Blob says:

    There’s only one way the tide is heading now; The electoral cycle, swingback, call it what you will, it’s all one way. There’ll be the odd good day for Labour here and there but Miliband is not going to get any better. Those poll averages will continue to move very slowly toward the Tories, and short of changing leader – it’s too late to do that – there is nothing Labour can do.

    Expect PMQs to get more bad-tempered as Miliband tries every trick he can to delay the inevitable.

  73. 73
    Elton John says:

    I’m not gay either, I’ve got a baby and I’m also surrounded by women.

  74. 74
    Vladimir Putin says:

    I hate gays and I’ve got a baby and I’m surrounded by women.

  75. 75
    Mr Chalmondley-Warner. says:

    Czaibhaggen ‘WIKI’ – An ugly old northern bitch who should be washing the dishes and warming Hubbies slippers. Not interfering in the workings of Governmental concepts.

  76. 76
    Bill Quango MP says:

    Bercow is at his best when calling on Miliband to ask his questions.

    “Air’d Mullah-barn”

  77. 77
    Father Analpolyp says:

    I suggest you administer prodigious quantities of GHB then chain her to the sofa and apply a leather torture mask whilst projecting on the walls still images from the Wizard of Oz to a soundtrack of Great Showtunes of All Times. Then have bumsex in public with anyone except the person you’ve just ‘married’.

    Then criticise her choice of wallpaper.

    That should do it.

  78. 78
    Nigel Evans says:

    I’m s bent as a bottle of crisps, no baby and surrounded by rent boys.

  79. 79
    One Man One Vote says:

    There is still the small matter of a 6% advantage due to gerrymandering and unequal constituencies and up to 25% inaccuracy in the electoral registers. And that’s before anyone gets busy stuffing postal vote envelopes.

  80. 80
    The CPS says:

    And allegedly also victims of indecent assault.

  81. 81
  82. 82
    Gooey Blob says:

    Whatever it is will be more than Muppet Miliband will ever do as he’ll never find himself in power.

  83. 83
    Miliband the Muppet says:

    My policy sheet is still blank !

    Oh – except for the ban Frosties thing…

  84. 84
    Anonymous says:

    tory scum

  85. 85
    Ah! hmm says:

    {Watch out Labour. Opposition parties lose av 5.7% in final year before election notes @atulh > http://bit.ly/1iTNhbS }

    You may well be correct. But, we have never had fixed-term parliaments before1

  86. 86
    Fuck the EU says:

    On balance the tide seems to be turning towards UKIP.

    Neither Dave nor Ed came away looking good today.

  87. 87
    Baroness Warsi says:


  88. 88
    Gerbil 7 says:

    Well, that’s being a bit generous, it’s clearly a classic from sombebody.

  89. 89
    Confucius says:

    To make us hate Ukip when he becomes PM.

  90. 90
    Gerbil 7 says:

    I’m growing very tired of that midget telling me what I do and don’t want to hear from politicians.

  91. 91
    Prime Minister"The Dunce Of Downing Street" Cameron says:

    The Conservative Party has lost 270,000 members since the year 2000.

    Oy Vey indeed.

  92. 92
    Brent says:

    Alison Steadman. So that’s who Ricky Gervais got his ‘thing’ from…

  93. 93
    ëक says:

    sun. rests above the centre of the forehead. wherever mother earth goes , the sun follows. sun has no gun put to its head. when the earth gives the sun whatever the sun wants, i.e incredible beauty, it is the end of the moon. the end the cow that is a bitch and her shadow of a husband who is a pig. die daily mirror, die.

  94. 94
    Anonymous says:

    Outstanding! ;)

  95. 95
  96. 96
    Tim Yeo-yo says:

    Isn’t Ed the “fcuking, tw@, c untchops, lisping, mongtard, millionaire Marxist from Primrose Hill?”

  97. 97
    C.O.Jones says:

    I imagine Bercow thinks that he brings some form of eloquence to his office.

    From a common mans position I feel he is just some trumped up little Hunt who does not realise what others think about him.

  98. 98
    Felix says:

    There’s nothing quite as satisfying as an own goal.

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