PMQs SKETCH: Ed, the Final Victim of Miller’s Resignation

Six questions on Maria Miller’s resignation, or five questions and a peroration.

Is that what’s meant by “holding the Executive to account”? It’s just as well Recall isn’t in place, Ed’s feet wouldn’t touch the ground.

He fired five blanks, got two potshots off and finished with a summary of his discontent in four disjointed sentences. Viz:

1) “He just doesn’t get it.” (Did someone shout Bingo?)

2) “He needs to learn profound lessons about how he runs his Government.” (Does he? From this, the passing zephyr of an insignificant minister?)

3) “The Culture Secretary went not because of her bad conduct but because of her bad press.” (This must have been a line left over from the pre-PMQs planning session.)

4) “He promised in Opposition to be an apostle for better standards and he’s spent the last week being an apologist for unacceptable behaviour.” (It was the big line. Apostle/apologist. Ed put the ass in assonance.)

It wasn’t an easy topic, and while friends and foes will have different reactions, objective observers will agree the Leader of HM’s Opposition made a complete **** of himself. Too strong? A complete @£$% of himself.

To go through the exchanges.

The plan was to ask Cameron a simple, innocent question – what had he learnt from the episode.

Cameron said the lesson was not to over-react and instantly dismiss someone. Not a bad reply, in the moment.

Miliband, assuming he was going to have no answer said, “He has no answer.” Friends winced. Then he said, “What in his view did the Culture Secretary do wrong?”

This cunning question can either be answered with a list of her crimes (and the PM denounced for not acting earlier), or by saying she didn’t do anything wrong (and be denounced for being out of touch).

But Cameron played a cleverly dead bat. “She set out the reasons for her resignation in her letter.” That avenue was henceforth blocked. It was bollarded. Which didn’t stop Labour trying it. In their do-or-die stupidity they seemed almost like Tories.

Cameron continued: “She was accused of a serious offence, housing her parents at public expense. She was cleared of that allegation.”

That is correct. But Miliband, assuming the second line of his prepared argument was in play said: “I’ve got to say to him, it will be completely unclear to the country why the Culture Secretary is not still in her job. Because he thinks she did nothing wrong.” (A general, “Huh?”)

Ed himself had to itemize the wrongdoing: “She refused to co-operate with the inquiry. She breached the Code of Conduct. She gave a perfunctory and inadequate apology to this House.”

Put like that, it hardly seems worth a resignation. A perfunctory apology? He had to pull something special out of the bag.

It was time for the damaged puppy.

It’s an expression he sometimes uses, to hint at a bruise of the soul. He put it on to tell the Prime Minister he had made “a terrible” – and it was more a groan than a word, a suffering groan – “a terrible error of judgement.”

The poor boy, how could the PM do this to him? His faith – his very faith – in politics has been damaged by this terrible error of judgement?

What language will he have left when a terrible error of judgement is made? Making Rachel Reeves shadow chancellor? Doing a Rubik’s cube at Conference, eyelids fluttering.

For all his public suffering, for all his indignation on our behalf, when Miliband scores a debating point, he lets his teeth out, laughs like a horse, and looks around for applause. It’s all about him, still, not about the issue. That’s what makes him sixth form.

So, if some brutal electoral arithmetic does make him premier, no one should be surprised when he demonstrates his own brilliant judgement by invading the first Middle Eastern country that puts its hand up.




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Owen Smith backs one hour contracts but wants to abolish zero hours contracts:

“You need to give people a contract to say, ‘here’s what you will be working’. It could be one, but I’m saying it shouldn’t be zero, we should invert that emphasis.”

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

MACHO, LADDISH CULTURE OF BBC WALES BOYOS MACHO, LADDISH CULTURE OF BBC WALES BOYOS
TOBY PERKINS: “I LOVE TO SHOW MY BODY” TOBY PERKINS: “I LOVE TO SHOW MY BODY”
TRUMP ASKS RUSSIA TO HACK HILLARY’S EMAILS TRUMP ASKS RUSSIA TO HACK HILLARY’S EMAILS
TRUMP ASKS RUSSIA TO HACK HILLARY’S EMAILS TRUMP ASKS RUSSIA TO HACK HILLARY’S EMAILS
CANADIAN “HOT” LESBIAN OIL ADVERT PULLED CANADIAN “HOT” LESBIAN OIL ADVERT PULLED
EVERYBODY’S INVESTING IN BREXIT BRITAIN EVERYBODY’S INVESTING IN BREXIT BRITAIN
EMPTY SEATS AT SMITH CAMPAIGN RALLY EMPTY SEATS AT SMITH CAMPAIGN RALLY
“AMERITUDE” TRUMP JAM DAD SUES TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN “AMERITUDE” TRUMP JAM DAD SUES TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN
THERESA MAY SMILING AS TORY POLLS IMPROVING THERESA MAY SMILING AS TORY POLLS IMPROVING
HIGH COURT JUDGE COULD CROWN OILY LEADER HIGH COURT JUDGE COULD CROWN OILY LEADER
Trump 5% Ahead of Clinton Trump 5% Ahead of Clinton
LILY COLE FRONTS BBC “CEO SECRETS” SERIES AFTER RUNNING COMPANY INTO GROUND LILY COLE FRONTS BBC “CEO SECRETS” SERIES AFTER RUNNING COMPANY INTO GROUND
Guardian Media Group’s Losses Total £173 Million Guardian Media Group’s Losses Total £173 Million
MCGINN WHIPPED LABOUR MPS TO “KEEP UP THE PRESSURE ON JC” MCGINN WHIPPED LABOUR MPS TO “KEEP UP THE PRESSURE ON JC”
VICTORIA’S SECRET LINGERIE AND 5 STAR HOTELS: WELSH GOVT’S £7.5 MILLION CREDIT CARD SPEND VICTORIA’S SECRET LINGERIE AND 5 STAR HOTELS: WELSH GOVT’S £7.5 MILLION CREDIT CARD SPEND
OWEN SMITH HIRES TOP PFIZER LOBBYIST TO RUN CAMPAIGN OWEN SMITH HIRES TOP PFIZER LOBBYIST TO RUN CAMPAIGN
HAMMOND FIBS AND SAUDI SLAVERY SLIPPED OUT ON DUMPING DAY HAMMOND FIBS AND SAUDI SLAVERY SLIPPED OUT ON DUMPING DAY
MATTHEW ELLIOTT ON WHY LEAVE WON MATTHEW ELLIOTT ON WHY LEAVE WON