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.

Miliband began – he’d always undertaken to support the Government when they did the right thing (audience cringing), so he whole-heartedly supported the sacking of the Education secretary (audience turned, much laughter, some from Tories).

The answer was cute, in Cameron’s ave atque vale, major public school, Inner Temple way: Sir George Young had been so distinguished a parliamentarian for so long that only someone of Gove’s stature would be a suitable replacement. Admiring laughter at the deftness of the insincerity.

Why, Ed kept asking, his convulsive string master taking another swig of the meths, why did he sack Gove if everything had been going so well? Was it because of the failure of the Free Schools program that was a disaster for learning standards with unqualified teachers because it was actually a total failure, Vyvyan?

Goaded into the economy Ed declared that people were working “longer and harder for less” (if this were true, productivity would be rising), and that Cameron had “the worst record on living standards of any prime minister in history.”

Yes, any prime minister, any prime minister in history Vyvyan!

The cost of living crisis will hardly be eased by tax rises, Cameron casually pointed out. He said Harriet Harman had announced that the middle classes should pay more tax. And there she was sitting next to her leader mouthing surely: “They do! They do!”

Surely, she’d been asked whether the middle income should pay more taxes and she’d replied, “They already do pay more tax!”

She couldn’t be saying, “It’s true! It’s true!”

Ah, but she was.

Ed’s bacon sandwich, Harriet’s tax policy, Ed Balls – election winners.

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Quote of the Day

Expelled Tory MP, Richard Benyon, on the short three-day Programme Motion for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill:

“Whether you had three days, three weeks or three months debating this, you would not hear one original argument that we hadn’t otherwise heard in this process…”


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