FINAL PMQs SKETCH: Commons Warns to Valedictory Dave

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There behind the PM were the Home Secretary looking sly, the Chancellor looking cruel and the Chief Whip looking even more pleased with himself than usual. Hard to imagine the Tories’ broadening their appeal with any of them.

Cameron was entirely relaxed, amiable, in charge. He flattened Miliband with his tax avoidance answers (no rise in VAT, he promised, I wonder how he’ll get out of that . . . oh! By resigning just before the rise!). He praised certain opposition members, teased them, laughed along with them. The Commons rather warmed to him and his valedictory ways.

Win or lose, Cameron has created and for five years held together an unlikely coalition and presided over an amazing period of job creation.

Gallery witnesses report Mrs Cameron and their daughter were up in the gallery, and little Nancy was punching the air when her father made some crushing sally. She might have felt superior in mental age to the scenes below. At the phrase “Alex Salmond’s poodle” the House went “Woof woof! Woof woof! Woof woof woof!”

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Chickens, Lame Ducks and Poodles at PMQs

As 10 year old Nancy Cameron cheered on from the gallery…

Via @liarpoliticians

Cameron Rules Out VAT Rise in PMQs Miliband Mauling

camdance

Save Ed…

Final PMQs LIVE: Who is Asking the Questions

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Ann McKechin (Glasgow North)

Q2 Rory Stewart (Penrith and The Border)

Q3 Simon Wright (Norwich South) 

Q4 Simon Danczuk (Rochdale)

Q5 Heather Wheeler (South Derbyshire) 

Q6 Richard Drax (South Dorset) 

Q7 Pauline Latham (Mid Derbyshire) 

Q8 Simon Kirby (Brighton, Kemptown) 

Q9 Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion) 

Q10 Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole) 

Q11 Michael Connarty (Linlithgow and East Falkirk)

Q12 Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West)

Q13 Glyn Davies (Montgomeryshire) 

Q14 Nigel Mills (Amber Valley) 

Q15 Chris Skidmore (Kingswood) 

Comments in the comments please…

PMQs LIVE: Who is Asking the Questions Today

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Ian Murray (Edinburgh South)

Q2 Teresa Pearce (Erith and Thamesmead)

Q3 James Morris (Halesowen and Rowley Regis) 

Q4 Natascha Engel (North East Derbyshire) 

Q5 Jim Sheridan (Paisley and Renfrewshire North) 

Q6 Fiona Mactaggart (Slough) 

Q7 Michael Connarty (Linlithgow and East Falkirk) 

Q8 Ian Lavery (Wansbeck)

Q9 Mr Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley) 

Q10 Paul Uppal (Wolverhampton South West) 

Q11 Liz McInnes (Heywood and Middleton) 

Q12 John Howell (Henley)

Q13 Karen Lumley (Redditch) 

Q14 Jesse Norman (Hereford and South Herefordshire)

Q15 Chris Kelly (Dudley South) 

Comments in the comments please…

PMQs SKETCH: Cameron’s Only Important Failure

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All these repeats on television. Miliband did the TV debates again. And again. All his questions. So much happening in the world and he wants to talk about a TV programme, the PM said. “He’s weak and despicable and wants to crawl to power on Alex Salmond’s coat tails.”

Despicable and weak. Ouch. Yes, that made Cameron’s supporters wince. An upstanding Tory, an Etonian, a natural leader with his easy grace and upper class charms – he can’t say those things and expect people to think Miliband is despicable as a result.

What people think is, “Why is the prime minister so exercised over someone like Ed Miliband?”

When Cameron displays the good manners of his class it reaches into parts of the electorate that politics don’t reach.

It’s a mark of Cameron’s only important failure that Miliband – a man who shouldn’t have been allowed out in public – has managed to drag him down to his level. Miliband calls him feeble and useless, Cameron calls him weak and despicable.

Miliband responds with a version of, “I know you are but what am I?”

The prime minister didn’t have to descend so far.

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PMQs Live: Who Is Asking the Questions Today

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Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Stella Creasy (Walthamstow)

Q2 Mr Douglas Carswell (Clacton)

Q3 Lisa Nandy (Wigan)

Q4 Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Q5 Maria Miller (Basingstoke) 

Q6 Naomi Long (Belfast East) 

Q7 Mark Hunter (Cheadle) 

Q8 Greg Mulholland (Leeds North West) 

Q9 Sir David Amess (Southend West) 

Q10 Rosie Cooper (West Lancashire) 

Q11 Mr David Blunkett (Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough)

Q12 Mr Gregory Campbell (East Londonderry)

Q13 Caroline Dinenage (Gosport) 

Q14 Dan Byles (North Warwickshire) 

Q15 Mr Gerry Sutcliffe (Bradford South)

Comments in the comments please…

PMQs SKETCH: Who are We and What are We Doing Here?

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It’s always exciting to discover a new low in PMQs. We’ve been bumping along the bottom since the New Year and here we had stomach-fluttering slump.

The prodigious noise in the chamber – so chamber reporters said – was mainly that of conversations between people trying to make themselves heard above other conversationalists. Half an opposition bench vacated itself before the end of play. The mood in the House was ‘Who are we and what are we doing here?’ (Answers in the comments.)

The Speaker, still smarting from his humiliation on Cockerell’s documentary, wore his fixed smile, barely tried to control the chamber. The prime minister kept reaching up to yank his tail. He mocked the Speaker’s verbosity. He caricatured his catchphrases. He pleased his Bercow-baiting back bench.

And while this is all very well, it must be said that the Speaker has won everything he needs to win. He is now unbeatable, unmoveable, invulnerable. The Tories have misread the threat, and funked the chance to bring to the floor of the House just before the half-term recess the only Motion that offers a chance of ousting him (to make the Speaker’s re-election a secret vote). He saw them funk it, and feels himself secure.

In a tight parliament, with irreconcilable parties, coalition government may not be a possibility. The powers of the Speaker will multiply. His collusion with Labour – already an established fact – will work against the Tory minority government. He will find a way – because he has a genius for these things – to by-pass the Queen and bring a Labour government to the Treasury benches.

And just about the time he should be resigning, he will preside over the Westminster exodus, to a continental-style, non-confrontational, horseshoe-shaped venue with individual desks and microphones – with his hand on the volume.

Remember, above all else, John Bercow is an artist of power, a grand master in the renaissance workshop tradition. And the Tories are just too cavalier, too amateur to deal with him. Tail-tweaking is an inadequate response.

We can only watch.

Next new depth: Ed Miliband’s achievement must not go unrecorded. A third world war is brewing, the European Union may be about to implode, religious maniacs have established a medieval tyranny just north of the Plain of Megiddo, and the Labour party itself faces an existential threat from the Scots Nats.

So, Miliband spent half his quota of questions on challenging Cameron to a television debate.

There is a rumour that Cameron was going to challenge Miliband to a television debate and has thus been outflanked. If this is the size of it, the opposition leader showed himself to be one pitiful pygmy.

Cameron asked which MPs were going to use the photo-op shots of Miliband on their leaflets. Most of the people who put their hands up were Scots Nats. There will be slaughter over the border and lose or win, Miliband will go down as the leader who destroyed his party.

Boxgate Goes Box Office at PMQs

Ed’s leaflet woes and Guido’s important boxgate scoop got the full box office treatment at PMQs today:

PM: “We’re all starting to think about leaflets, I’ve got a little question. Apparently you can go round to his office and he

[…]

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Miliband: A Caricature of Incompetent Miserablism

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After Peter Tapsell’s intervention in PMQs, there was no obvious need to proceed with the Opposition Day move to ban MPs having paid directorships or consultancies.

This is the Labour leadership’s move to get some votes out of the Rifkind/Straw […]

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PMQs LIVE: Who is Asking the Questions Today

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Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness)

Q2 Naomi Long (Belfast East) 

Q3 Andrew Stephenson (Pendle) 

Q4 Sir Richard Ottaway (Croydon South) 

Q5 David Mowat (Warrington South) 

Q6 Ben Gummer (Ipswich)

Q7 Gavin Shuker (Luton […]

+ READ MORE +

SW1 Snap Verdict: Miliband Misses Massive Open Goal

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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