Wednesday, April 2, 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.

(more…)

Muppet Miliband and Balls

“You know what Mr Speaker, I will take a lecture from almost anyone in the country about the sale of Royal Mail, but not from the two muppets who advised the last Chancellor on selling the gold.”

An attack lined ruined only by the manifesto blunder by the PM – Dave claimed Labour promised to privatise the Royal Mail – actually they were going to part privatise it and keep the majority shareholding in the government’s hands.

PMQs LIVE: Leadership Rumbles Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North)
Q2 Chloe Smith (Norwich North)
Q3 Anas Sarwar (Glasgow Central)
Q4 Mr Jamie Reed (Copeland)
Q5 David Rutley (Macclesfield)
Q6 Ms Gisela Stuart (Birmingham, Edgbaston)
Q7 Kate Hoey (Vauxhall)
Q8 Jim Dobbin (Heywood and Middleton)
Q9 Chris Kelly (Dudley South)
Q10 Roger Williams (Brecon and Radnorshire)
Q11 Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden)
Q12 Mr Alan Reid (Argyll and Bute)
Q13 Ann McKechin (Glasgow North)
Q14 David T. C. Davies (Monmouth)
Q15 Guy Opperman (Hexham)

Comments in the comments please…

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.


Seen Elsewhere

Yes Scotland’s Geo-Targeting Advertising Fail | MessageSpace
#IndyRef Twitter Map | Trendsmap
Westminster Has Patronised Scots | Scottish Sun
What Happens in the Event of a Recount? | Breitbart
Yes Side Emphatically Won Campaign | Speccie
Joyce Thacker on Sick Leave | Doncaster Free Press
Claire Perry Slams ‘Goodies’ for Scots | Sun
Westminster Truce Shatters | Times
Boris: Prime Minister By Monday | James Ford
Tories Say Don’t Bribe the Scots | Times
Dave Can’t Stay if Scots Go | Laura Perrins


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The Prime Minister feels the pressure:

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