Bercow Braced for Post-PMQs Showdown

All eyes on the Speaker at today’s back to school PMQs. Yesterday Bercow scarpered before Michael Fabricant could give him a grilling and this morning he is spinning hard in the FT about how Clerk stitch up of the Clerk job isn’t a “power grab”, honest. Fabbers is hoping to be called for more Points of Order after PMQs today, and he also has a few for Hague tomorrow at Questions to the Leader of the House. There’s no getting out of it for the Speaker this time, he has submitted written questions as well:

Popcorn…

PMQs SKETCH: The Best Reshuffle in Modern Times

Animal noises greeted Cameron’s arrival in the Commons. Countrymen will have recognised the noise that hogs make when the swill bucket arrives. Oh, it’s such a time to be a Tory. The best reshuffle in modern times has put the party onto an election-winning footing. They express their pleasure in the most elemental way.

Emma Lewell-Buck couldn’t make a dent in their cheerfulness:

“There are more bald men with £5m property portfolios and sons at public school going out with girls called Tallulah than there are women in the cabinet,” she declared, nearly.

Cameron said the gynemetrics of the cabinet were pretty good and absent those hoary reactionaries of the Liberal Democrats they’d be even better: a third of Conservative cabinet is now female.

Every week Cameron looks easier, calmer, more in control of his party, his policy and his election plan – and every week his opponent dances at the despatch box like a spastic marionette. What a rout it’s turning into.

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WATCH: Miliband and Harman Divided on Tax

Look closely at the contrasting reactions of Miliband and Harman to Cameron’s PMQs ambush. Dave reads Harman’s words back to her: “I think people on middle incomes should contribute more through their taxes”. Miliband looks at Harman, then turns back towards the PM, shaking his head and waving his hand dismissively. Harman, meanwhile, nods and says, “they should… it’s true”. Cameron doesn’t realise, but the Tories behind him do.

The Labour leader and his deputy are completely at odds…

UPDATE: The contrast is even more evident in GIF form:

PMQs LIVE: #BringBackOurBoys Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields)

Q2 Jonathan Reynolds (Stalybridge and Hyde) 

Q3 Mr Gareth Thomas (Harrow West) 

Q4 Caroline Nokes (Romsey and Southampton North)

Q5 Huw Irranca-Davies (Ogmore)

Q6 Andrew Jones (Harrogate and Knaresborough) 

Q7 Julian Smith (Skipton and Ripon)

Q8 Mr Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East) 

Q9 Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central) 

Q10 Mr Stephen O’Brien (Eddisbury) 

Q11 Anne Marie Morris (Newton Abbot) 

Q12 Julie Elliott (Sunderland Central)

Q13 Julian Sturdy (York Outer)

Q14 Ian Lucas (Wrexham) 

Comments in the comments please…

SKETCH: Only Talking About Kids Makes Ed Look Grown Up

Consensual Ed. What’s that about? Again, he was picking a cross-party subject to consensualise on. It might from week to week be – Our Glorious Dead, They Died For Us. The Queen, God Bless Her. Those Evil Islamicists Are So Un-British.

This week it was Child Abuse Can’t Go On.

Good choice. It let Ed make his Who Will Speak For the Children? face. It stopped Cameron backing him into a corner and bashing his face in. And talking about children made him look more grown-up. Triple win.

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PMQs LIVE: Nonce Finder Generals Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Mr Gregory Campbell (East Londonderry)

Q2 Jonathan Edwards (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr) 

Q3 Ann Clwyd (Cynon Valley) 

Q4 Mr Nicholas Brown (Newcastle upon Tyne East) 

Q5 Mr Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley)

Q6 Andrew Bingham (High Peak) 

Q7 Sir Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

Q8 Keith Vaz (Leicester East) 

Q9 Mr Christopher Chope (Christchurch) 

Q10 Stephen Phillips (Sleaford and North Hykeham) 

Q11 Kevin Barron (Rother Valley) 

Q12 Andy Sawford (Corby)

Q13 Albert Owen (Ynys Môn) 

Q14 Michael Fabricant (Lichfield)

Q15 Mr Dominic Raab (Esher and Walton)

Comments in the comments please…

PMQs SKETCH: When Teenage Ed Campaigned to Leave the EU

Cruel, cruel Tony Baldry. He told the House about the 1983 election and Labour’s anti-Europe commitments of the time. And how a 13-year-old boy had delivered a leaflet through his letterbox on behalf of Michael Foot. “That boy, now leader of the Labour party,” he said in his large, deep, fat-uncle manner.

“That boy, now leader of the Labour party.”

Little Ed’s pain was visible. And for those who have an appetite for that sort of thing, palpable.

There he was on the front bench, shoulders down, smiling wanly, slightly angling his smooth, young face towards the big bruiser next to him. He had grown up by four or five years since 1983 but was clearly the junior partner as Big Ed joined in the joshing and rollicking that Cameron was dishing out.

“Not my idea of fun,” Cameron laughed about delivering leaflets at the age of 14. “What was your idea of fun?” Big Ed kept jabbing. “Not hanging out with the shadow chancellor,” Cameron said. “I feel sorry for the Leader of the Opposition who has to hang out with him all the time!”

Tories were entering a stage of pre-climactic pleasure, Big Ed was pointing, pouting, heckling, laughing back.

Little Ed sat shyly, too young to join in the game.

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Ed’s PMQs Figures Out By 134%

Yesterday Ed botched his figures, today he’s botched his sums. During his comfort zone PMQs on the NHS, Miliband bleated:

“Let me give him the figures for his target: before his reorganisation, the number of people waiting more than four hours was 353,000. After his reorganisation, that has risen to 939,000, an increase of 300%. Is that better or worse?”

A Guido co-conspirator points out that 939,000 is, to be precise, 266% of 353,000.

That is not a 266% increase though, it’s an increase of 166%, which is 134% points away from 300%.

Even when they’re ignoring the economy, Labour still can’t get their sums right…

‘Red Princes’ Gets Box Office Treatment

It has been two years since Guido applied the ‘Red Princes‘ neologism to Labour’s nepotistic sons, who are  seeking to inherit power from their political parents. Sorry Bercow, but someone has been reading…

“We’ve got son of

[…]

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PMQs LIVE: The Public Like It Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West)

Q2 Ms Diane Abbott (Hackney North and Stoke Newington) 

Q3 Mr John Baron (Basildon and Billericay) 

Q4 Robert Halfon (Harlow) 

Q5 Jack Dromey (Birmingham, Erdington)

Q6 Ian Austin

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Mumsnet Idea Lacks Fun

The yummy-mummy lobby are throwing their prams at the toys this morning, with Mumsnet campaigning to turn our democracy into an online coffee morning. 40,000 keyboard warriors have signed a petition demanding a ban on PMQs, aka the only bit […]

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PMQs SKETCH: Labour’s Criminals in Downing Street

Ed Miliband achieved the impossible today. He finished his J’Accuse an even more diminished leader than when he began.

Weak, weak, weak! The Tories chanted. “I’ll tell you what’s weak,” Ed said weakly, “it’s failing to stand up for the […]

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Quote of the Day

Labour candidate Clive Lewis tells the Staggers:

“I mean, in the multiverse there’s still three universes in a hundred where there’s a Green MP in Norwich, so anything could happen. I could be caught with my pants down behind a goat with Ed Miliband at the other end – well, hopefully that won’t happen.”

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