Wednesday, March 26, 2014

PMQs SKETCH: Ed Enters Valley of Death

Reactions vary, but that looked to me like slaughter.

“A total demolition,” Ed Miliband said, and it was surely that.

His “energy price freeze” collapsed on itself like a factory chimney.

This morning, a power company announced it was holding its prices for 20 months.

That’s good news, they thought on Planet Ed. There wasn’t time to go through the consequences.

Ed led on it. Here it is, he cried, the very price freeze Labour has proposed.

His features took on a life of their own. He started to look like Tory Rory Stewart, who looks like a pre-op Miliband. It’s really not what prime ministers look like.

(more…)

PMQs LIVE: Sniff Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Rosie Cooper (West Lancashire)

Q2 Stephen Pound (Ealing North) 

Q3 Derek Twigg (Halton) 

Q4 Jenny Chapman (Darlington) 

Q5 Mr Graham Brady (Altrincham and Sale West) 

Q6 Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North) 

Q7 Andy McDonald (Middlesbrough) 

Q8 Mel Stride (Central Devon) 

Q9 Mrs Mary Glindon (North Tyneside) 

Q10 Mr John Baron (Basildon and Billericay) 

Q11 Mr David Burrowes (Enfield, Southgate)

Q12 Mr Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury) 

Q13 Clive Efford (Eltham) 

Q14 Mr Adam Holloway (Gravesham)

Q15 Karen Lumley (Redditch) 

Comments in the comments please…

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

PMQs LIVE: Warm Up Edition

Comments in the comments please…

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

PMQs SKETCH: Harriet Harman is Grooming the LibDems

Questions to the Prime Minister weren’t to the Prime Minister, nor were they questions.

Nick Clegg was denounced, castigated, mocked and accused by Harriet Harman, Toby Perkins, Kevin Brennan and many others of crimes against lapdogs, of shameless, spineless capitulation to the Tories, of kicking apprentices in the teeth, evicting widows, starving children, killing constituents, and (worst of the worst) “electoral self-interest” (gasps from a shocked Labour movement).

This wasn’t Harriet Harman “holding the executive to account” this was “grooming”.

This was making sure the Lib Dems know what’s expected of them when Ed Miliband needs a coalition partner after the general election.

They want to be sure that the Libs will spinelessly kick apprentices in the teeth for Labour.

There won’t be a problem.

Clegg counter-denounced Harriet for the mess she’d left behind. The deficit. Bankers. Poverty.

Clegg assumes he will be standing at the same despatch box next year counter-attacking Tories for the mess he and Labour are clearing up (the deficit, bankers, poverty).

But then he’s assuming it will be he who is the kingmaker and not Lord Biro of the Bus Pass Elvis Party who famously thrashed the Libs in Clifton recently.

(more…)

WATCH: Daily Politics Guide to Heckling

DPMQs LIVE: EU Love-in Edition

Q1 Naomi Long (Belfast East)

Q2 Sir Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

Q3 Andrew George (St Ives)

Q4 Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough)

Q5 Mr John Whittingdale (Maldon)

Q6 Mark Pawsey (Rugby)

Q7 Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South)

Q8 Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds)

Q9 Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire)

Q10 David T. C. Davies (Monmouth)

Q11 John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness)

Q12 Meg Hillier (Hackney South and Shoreditch)

Q13 Penny Mordaunt (Portsmouth North)

Comments in the comments please…

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

PMQs Sketch: Miliband’s Improvement

An unsketchable PMQs kicked off by Peter Bone (soon to be holding the executive to account from Wormwood Scrubs).

It never got going, limped home, and will be considered a victory for Leveson-lovers and the Vegan Internationale known as “grown-up politics”.

Ed Miliband led on and finished with the Ukraine. He consensualised. He joined the top table. He looked (and I say the things that others daren’t think) pretty good.

One barb he left, quoting Cameron on the invasion of Georgia – Russian shoppers shouldn’t be allowed in Harrods while Russian troops were violating borders.

He then called for assets to be frozen.

But Putin would be delighted if his troublesome oligarchs had their assets frozen abroad. You might have thought the Labour leader understood the mind of the Kremlin better than anyone in the Commons.

Cameron repeated the costs and consequences of Putin’s aggression.

Exports of Marmite to Moscow suspended. Block voting by democracies against Russia’s Eurovision Song entry. The Poet Laureate to satirise post-imperial Slavic aggression in a 500-canto lyric.

The only point of interest might be Miliband’s improvement. He’s better than he was six months ago and dramatically better than a year ago. He’s stopped touching his face and stroking his lips. He’s got a nice, relaxed register in his voice as he tails away at the end of his sentences. When not ululating he doesn’t look ridiculous any more.

If the Tories think he’ll look unelectable in a year’s time, they should rethink.

PMQs LIVE: Rock Bottom Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough)

Q2 Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North)

Q3 Stephen Mosley (City of Chester)

Q4 Mr Brooks Newmark (Braintree)

Q5 Mark Menzies (Fylde)

Q6 Mr Graham Stuart (Beverley and Holderness)

Q7 Mr David Heath (Somerton and Frome)

Q8 Jenny Chapman (Darlington)

Q9 Mrs Louise Ellman (Liverpool, Riverside)

Q10 Mr Michael Thornton (Eastleigh)

Q11 Ian Lavery (Wansbeck)

Q12 Dr Thérèse Coffey (Suffolk Coastal)

Q13 Mr Tobias Ellwood (Bournemouth East)

Q14 Grahame M. Morris (Easington)

Comments in the comments please…

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

PMQs LIVE: Crackerjack! Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Graeme Morrice (Livingston)

Q2 Sir Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

Q3 Sir Peter Bottomley (Worthing West)

Q4 Lorraine Fullbrook (South Ribble)

Q5 Jack Dromey (Birmingham, Erdington)

Q6 Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West)

Q7 Julian Smith (Skipton and Ripon)

Q8 Ms Margaret Ritchie (South Down)

Q9 Jim Shannon (Strangford)

Q10 Helen Jones (Warrington North)

Q11 Jessica Lee (Erewash)

Q12 Sir Bob Russell (Colchester)

Q13 Mark Pawsey (Rugby)

Q14 Bob Blackman (Harrow East)

Q15 Luciana Berger (Liverpool, Wavertree)

Comments in the comments please…

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

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.

(more…)


Seen Elsewhere

Miliband Drawing Attention to His Mistakes is Madness | Lord Bell
Another Renewable Myth Goes Up in Smoke | Matt Ridley
Ed’s Problem is His Policies | Trevor Kavanagh
Ed’s Image is All He Has Going For Him | Boris
Labour a Risk to the Economy and Jobs Growth | Leo McKinstry
UKIP Will Make Miliband PM | Tele
Tories: Ruffley Critics are ‘Minority Feminist Groups’ | Buzzfeed
Harriet Harman Offers Less Than the Living Wage | Owen Bennett
Fallon’s Red Arrow Spin Unravels | Wings Over Scotland
What is the LibDems’ Problem With “The Jews” | Speccie
Image is the Least of Ed’s Worries | Speccie


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New Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has big ambitions in his first meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu today:

“I came to bring this conflict to an end.”



Christie Malry @fcablog

Ed Miliband does photo oops, not photo ops


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