Wednesday, January 22, 2014

SKETCH: Labour Bravely Faces the Good News Disaster

Ed Balls’ face said it all. Serious, sombre, stoical. What substance he has, what fortitude. He really has the gravel to face the worst.

Yes, the employment figures were in and they were catastrophic. So wholly and voluptuously positive that If you had instructed your statistician to come up with a Balls-crushing statistic and he’d produced this you would have said: “Steady, we want to be a little bit credible.”

The very morning of PMQs heralded the biggest quarterly rise in employment since the Norman Conquest.

Ed Miliband began a line of questions with the words “today’s welcome fall in unemployment” and prompted the longest, uninterrupted barrage of Tory artillery we’ve had for many years.

A welcome fall, he said. Welcome.

(more…)

PMQs Live Chat: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs Edition

At 12.00pm: Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Stephen Timms (East Ham) If he will list his official engagements for Wednesday 22 January.

Q2 Nick de Bois (Enfield North)

Q3 Duncan Hames (Chippenham)

Q4 Mr Steve Reed (Croydon North)

Q5 Neil Parish (Tiverton and Honiton)

Q6 Simon Kirby (Brighton, Kemptown)

Q7 Phil Wilson (Sedgefield)

Q8 Christopher Pincher (Tamworth)

Q9 David T. C. Davies (Monmouth)

Q10 Ann McKechin (Glasgow North)

Q11 Mark Pawsey (Rugby)

Q12 Mr Michael McCann (East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)

Q13 Emma Reynolds (Wolverhampton North East)

Q14 Jonathan Lord (Woking)

Q15 Damian Hinds (East Hampshire)

Comments in the comments please…

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

SKETCH: PM’s Answers More Than Enough for These PMQs
Bercow Compare and Contrast: Bullying Works

The surge in good economic news and the collapse of the Socialist experiment in France has added two new characters to the opposition front bench.

A surly, sullen but above all silent Ed Balls – and a wounded fawn of a Labour leader.

They still do the look they’ve always done – cocked heads looking at the PM as if to say, “What a curious person saying such peculiar things. I wonder if he knows what he thinks he’s saying sounds like?” At school it was called “dumb insolence”. It amused us but works no better now than it did then.

Cameron was back as the Master of the House thanking three or four Labour Members for their suggestions, commending opponents, smiling, taking things seriously, not rising to the bait.

(more…)

PMQs LIVE: Da Bankers Da Bonuses Edition

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Attack Dog Holiday

John Rentoul has been analysing the Miliband mantra to make PMQs all nice and fluffy:

“But something had changed. If I had been more observant, I would have noticed that Michael Dugher, the Labour noise machine, was not sitting in his usual place on the steps of the gangway next to the opposition front bench.”

If he had been more observant, Rentoul would have noticed that Michael Dugher has been Tweeting about being in Israel all week.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sketch: Quiet Commons Helps Cameron


For once, our television screens broadcast a quiet, respectful, intelligent PMQs.

How the public detest it! My mailbag was full of disgusted members of the public complaining about the lack of passion, energy, class war, amusing abuse, animal noises, flying fruit, incarnadine faces and generalised, unspecific roaring.

“If aliens had landed in the middle of this and were told ‘This is how we hold our Government to account’ they’d say, ‘Bollocks you do! That’s just a bunch of kids pretending to be grown-ups!”

Some say the tenor was set by the death of popular Paul Goggins, announced this morning. There was mourning, condolence, fond memories, kind wishes. And this is how it should be, the decencies were observed. Though in my experience, the political reaction is “X has cancer. He’s dying.” “Oh no! That’s awful!” Beat. “What’s the majority?”

(more…)

Tories Deny PMQs Deal

A senior Tory pours cold water on the suggestion by Nick Robinson that today’s PMQs could have been the result of Ed and Dave agreeing to take PMQs down a notch or two after the rowdiness of the last year: “You brief people you want calmer, more dignified when you are losing.” That’s that then.

UPDATE: Ta da:

PMQs Live Chat: Boring Snoring Edition

https://twitter.com/OHwinsAgain/status/420890450275221504

Comments in the comments please…

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

GALLERY GUIDO PMQs SKETCH: Bercow’s Descendancy

“The booing and jeering from the Government benches at Bercow was as bad as I have ever known it,” a back bencher said. “And when Therese Coffey wished him and his family a happy Christmas, that got booed as well.”

It was quite a scene. When John McDonnell called the Prime Minister a liar – or was it “Lies! Lies! All lies!” as another witness had it – the Tories started to chant the only really offensive word in his Speaker’s lexicon. The word is “Order.”

“Order! Order!” they shouted. “ORDER!”

The English translation is: “You dirty, rotten, cheating, twisted little berk – you’ve ratted on all your colleagues, you’ve connived and conspired against one side of the House and sucked up to the other, you bend, bribe and bully decent people with your gifts and positions and quid pro quos, you’ve used the highest position in Parliament to puff your pompous little personality out of its skin, your language is ridiculous, your snobbery is disgusting, your megalomania is obvious, your taut, fake smile is completely unconvincing, and you do not deserve our respectful goodwill a moment longer!”

(more…)

PMQs Live Chat: Christmas Jeer Edition

Comments in the comments please…


Seen Elsewhere

Why are Tories so Upbeat? | Alex Wickham
Clear Public Interest in Newmark Sting | Mirror
Boris Invites Farage to Join Tories | Guardian
RAF Too Run Down to Fight Islamic State | Con Coughlin
Osborne’s Personal Cuts Regime | Quentin Letts
Whoever Wins is Cursed | Janan Ganesh
Dave Will Never Be Forgiven if Ed Becomes PM | Trevor Kavanagh
What is Dave’s Big Message? | Tim Montgomerie
Voting UKIP Only Helps Ed | Boris
Only Tory-UKIP Deal Can Stop Labour Win | Dan Hannan
Tories Need to Be Party of Ideas | Laura Perrins


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cynic says:

Can anyone help me? I went on holiday a week ago and returned to find someone has pulled out the stake and Gordon Brown is back and acting as Prime Minister. What did I miss? Has there been a snap election?


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