Wednesday, November 19, 2014

PMQs SKETCH: Ed the Unready
Uncounselled, Ill-Advised, a Leader Surrounded by Fools

Up he stood with one prepared earlier by nitwits unknown.

Faced with prolonged Tory cheers, the ones he gets every week, he said, “Let’s see if they’re still cheering on Friday!” (Laughter)

The Rochester by-election is set to give the Tories a rollicking. That much we have known for a fortnight, all through Ed’s leadership crisis.

But it’s usually a mistake to chaff the prime minister. “I make one prediction,” he said in his easy, Eton house-room way, “the people behind me will still be cheering HIM on Friday.”

True.

The news on Friday morning may be shocking enough to revive Labour panic. What happens if they poll 15 per cent? Tory failure has been priced in – has Labour melt-away? How will the 100-odd Labour MPs feel when their vulnerability is dramatised for them? When they look ahead to the loss of their precious seat?

Because it’s all about Ed. Presidential Ed. The teeth of the campaign. The big brain behind it. The single greatest weakness of the party is given the greatest prominence. Who thought that was a good idea?

Ed!

It isn’t a confection of the right wing press: voters look at Ed and shudder.

(more…)

Another Happy Reader…

The PM clearly got his daily dose yesterday, referencing the pay-off line from the Scottish poll story Guido ran:

“More people believe in the Loch Ness monster than believe in his leadership.”

Not the first time Dave has done one of Guido’s lines…

PMQs LIVE: Who is Asking the Questions Today

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Graham Jones (Hyndburn)

Q2 Mr Stephen Hepburn (Jarrow)

Q3 John Glen (Salisbury) 

Q4 Anas Sarwar (Glasgow Central) 

Q5 Mr Gareth Thomas (Harrow West)

Q6 Mr John Baron (Basildon and Billericay)

Q7 Stephen Mosley (City of Chester) 

Q8 Mr David Winnick (Walsall North) 

Q9 Mr Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury) 

Q10 Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion) 

Q11 David Mowat (Warrington South) 

Q12 Dr William McCrea (South Antrim)

Q13 Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford)

Q14 Michael Ellis (Northampton North) 

Q15 Mr Henry Bellingham (North West Norfolk) 

Comments in the comments please…

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

PMQs SKETCH: How Have Labour Got Themselves Here?

The weekly pleasure of Ed Miliband in action.

He’s like an eight year old boy unused to fighting running into a fight. Wild face, arms windmilling, making strange noises, not punching but slapping like a girl.

He ran at Cameron six times. Six times Cameron put a hand on the lad’s forehead and watched the arms flail, the hands flap, the teeth dance in his mouth.

It was Europe. Would Cameron repeat what he said two years ago and say he’d campaign to stay in the EU?

A week is a long time in politics. Two years is time for an ice age and its inter-glacial period. Nonetheless, Ed insisted Cameron repeat his ancient undertakings.

Cameron had a perfectly serviceable  – if swervy – answer.

He wanted to stay in a reformed EU. That was the plan.

There really was nothing to see there. Did Miliband move on to the Treasury shambles following the EU’s £1.7 billion demand? Or to a forensic dissection of Cameron’s impossible task?

No, Miliband kept coming back to Cameron’s personal position on the forthcoming campaign, and kept getting the serviceable answer. His rhetorical climax was: “He’s the Don’t Know prime minister.”

At that point, twenty or thirty female Labour MPs could have posed for Munch. A mass Scream.

scream

(more…)

PMQs LIVE: Who is Asking the Questions Today

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Tom Greatrex (Rutherglen and Hamilton West)

Q2 Debbie Abrahams (Oldham East and Saddleworth)

Q3 Eric Ollerenshaw (Lancaster and Fleetwood) 

Q4 Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds) 

Q5 Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) 

Q6 Margaret Beckett (Derby South)

Q7 Helen Jones (Warrington North) 

Q8 Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden)

Q9 Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South) 

Q10 Guy Opperman (Hexham)

Q11 Teresa Pearce (Erith and Thamesmead)

Q12 Mr Michael Meacher (Oldham West and Royton) 

Q13 Keith Vaz (Leicester East) 

Q14 Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford) 

Q15 Mr Gary Streeter (South West Devon) 

Comments in the comments please…

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

PMQs SKETCH: “An Absolute Shar”

“An absolute shower,” (pron. “shar “) Cameron called them, the Labour leadership.

Perhaps he thought any more detailed attention would be to kick Miliband when he was down.

You shouldn’t kick your opponent when he is down. When your opponent is down you should gently bind him, place a careful foot on his croaking throat and  dismember him. Harvest his organs. Mummify him and keep him in your cellar. Your friendly smile should never lose its freshness while you work.

“An absolute shar” hasn’t had the effect Cameron was counting on since 1956.

There has never been a more ridiculous duo leading a major party than Ed Balls and Miliband. Their polling is pitiful. Their strategy woeful. They couldn’t be more insulated from their voters than if they were wearing gimp suits, boxing gloves and a This Is What A Feminist Looks Like T-shirt.

They are following in the tradition of Michael Foot’s Labour, “there will be no compromise with the electorate.”

That is no reason for assuming they won’t win the election.

(more…)

PMQs LIVE: Who Is Asking the Questions Today

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Ian Lucas (Wrexham)

Q2 Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North) 

Q3 Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) 

Q4 Ian Austin (Dudley North) 

Q5 Tessa Munt (Wells) (905717)

Q6 Glyn Davies (Montgomeryshire)

Q7 Mr David Amess (Southend West) 

Q8 Sir Bob Russell (Colchester)

Q9 Kate Hoey (Vauxhall) 

Q10 Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin) 

Q11 Jim Shannon (Strangford) 

Q12 Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central) 

Q13 Margaret Beckett (Derby South) 

Q14 Henry Smith (Crawley) 

Q15 Joan Walley (Stoke-on-Trent North)

Comments in the comments please…

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

PMQs SKETCH: Cameron Rubs Salt Into Bercow’s Wounds

The only really enjoyable part of PMQs came right at the end in a question on immigration, and time running out. The PM broke off his answer with an abrupt change of subject to congratulate ex-Chief Clerk Sir Robert Rogers on his peerage.

It had been an indirect attack on the Speaker to make the hated Rogers a peer, now a slightly less indirect way of rubbing salt into the open wound that sits in the Speaker’s chair.

The House loved it. And not just Tories. Witnesses inside the Chamber said the cheering came from both sides of the House and went on for a parliamentary eternity (about 15 seconds).

The Speaker busied himself in conversation with his secretary. He wasn’t taking on that mob.

Feelings about the Speaker are like a tsunami wave travelling a long distance. Out at sea the wave looks like any other. Only when the seabed rises approaching land does the wave rise and reveal itself.

That was one moment of the wave passing an island. Up it reared.

In every second of every cheer the House was saying, “We know what you’re like. You bullied, browbeat, berated, swore at a decent man until he couldn’t take it any more and quit the job that meant the world to him. You have revealed yourself. And we won’t forget it.”

The occasion passes, the wave resumes its normal height, but it’s still traveling with undiminished power .

(more…)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

PMQs SKETCH: Maybe Miliband Has a Chance

The Nolan principles of sketch writing – fairness, objectivity, kindness and so forth, I forget them exactly. Does he offer refresher courses?

Miliband today was, I thought, as bad as he’d ever been.

The face a mash-up of several untamed animals. The angry eight-year-old delivery. The whole package that of a bedroom boy locked away with his best friend, making economic models out of Lego. Not even worth breaking up for parts. And the drivel!

“Too harsh. He was quite good today,” one of his Labour enemies said.  “The big story is whether Freud will survive the day.”

What! No! Really? As a result of Miliband’s questions? But that must mean he did quite well!

Seriously?

(more…)

WATCH: UKIP’s First Prime Minister’s Question

UKIP’s first elected MP used his PMQ to call on David Cameron to keep his promise on a “real” Recall Bill. The Tories had been encouraged to not barrack Douglas Carswell out of respect for the people of Clacton. “I look forward to having them in the House of Commons,” said Dave. Talking about debates on Recall rather than UKIP MPs…


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