PMQs SKETCH: Apologise!

pmqs-ed

Why is Labour reminding us how stupid, intolerant, non-inclusive, undiverse and homophobic the miners were?

Do they think we haven’t seen Billy Elliott?

What a scorching indictment of working class brutalism that was.

Readers may be too young to remember but there was a progressive Government program in the 1980s to decarbonise the economy, to combat climate change, and to save working people from spending their naked working lives in filth and squalor by closing down the mile-deep, dark-as-sin, dust-filled death traps they toiled in.

Labour now want an apology for this.

Lisa Nandy, Michael Dugher, with the support, I suppose, of their leader and his illegal immigrant adviser, are wanting to re-run the 1980s in the expectation that this time they’ll win.

At PMQs just now, Ed Miliband (again ascending) repeatedly declared he was going to increase the top rate of tax to 50p in the pound – and he repeatedly asked David Cameron whether he had plans to reduce it to 40p.

He was dancing around in front of the Government pushing his chin out and saying, “See how hard you can hit me!”

Cameron is biding his time but was visibly lining up his punch. He said he was determined to reduce taxes for “the lowest-paid and middle income earners”. Essentially, it’s a Yes.

But these middle income earners aren’t as Miliband says, “the richest”, they aren’t “the few”. People on £40,000-odd can easily be defined as “middle-income earners”, especially with the aid of the special lexicographers hired in for the election to make these terms mean anything they want.

“The largest party” will need to be defined as “the party with the largest share of the popular vote” for instance. I can’t see a any impediment or barrier to a tax-cutting Tory/Lib Dem coalition.

 

PS: Bernard Jenkin asked the PM about fiddled crime figures, and said how targets had corrupted the reporting process. The PM pointed out they’d scrapped all targets except one: to reduce crime. And it’s true that crime has, magically, reduced. The target has been met. Except in Kent, the only county where the figure-fiddling has been stopped.

PPS: The wild-man amendments to the Immigration Bill tomorrow. As Labour says they are illegal under EU law. The Government is squeezing the timetable so there may not be time for the more revolutionary amendments. What will the Speaker do? Will he call or not call them?

Calling them will cause difficulties for the Government. There are rumours of No 10 backing some sort of operation to unseat the Speaker before the election. Almost certainly that will come to nothing, especially with the new iteration of Backseat Bercow, the Man of Modesty.

But not calling them will enrage the Tory Right, the very people whom Bercow is trying to propitiate, to coax out of their residual loathing of him.

Then again, the amendments might put Labour in a tricky position, forcing them to vote with the Government. What instructions will he be taking from the Labour leadership?

No doubt the Speaker will pick his way through the complex politics of it with his predatory, feline tread.




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Quote of the Day

No prizes for guessing who Andrea Leadsom is talking about:

“As you said last week, Mr Speaker, we have a responsibility to safeguard the rights of this House and as Leader of the House I seek to do exactly that, treating all members of parliament with courtesy and respect. I hope and expect all Honourable and Right Honourable members to do likewise.”

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