PMQs SKETCH: Maybe Miliband Has a Chance mdi-fullscreen

The Nolan principles of sketch writing – fairness, objectivity, kindness and so forth, I forget them exactly. Does he offer refresher courses?

Miliband today was, I thought, as bad as he’d ever been.

The face a mash-up of several untamed animals. The angry eight-year-old delivery. The whole package that of a bedroom boy locked away with his best friend, making economic models out of Lego. Not even worth breaking up for parts. And the drivel!

“Too harsh. He was quite good today,” one of his Labour enemies said.  “The big story is whether Freud will survive the day.”

What! No! Really? As a result of Miliband’s questions? But that must mean he did quite well!


Those Nasty Party questions about Lord Freud’s interesting ideas? He was wondering how to get disabled people into the workforce by paying them less?

Yes, Miliband said with a sickened groan, “he’s talking about disabled people being paid two pounds an hour.” Labour did a bit of clothes rending at that. Some wailing. Was there a place in government for a man who says these things out loud?

Assuming disabled people have a lower output than able-bodied workers, it’s a question worthy of debate. Unless you want to sever the link between wages and productivity. Or see the productivity gap increase. Or create resentment among people doing more work for the same money. It is something that deserves consideration, isn’t it?

“No. And he got under Cameron’s skin so much that Cameron used his disabled son in his defence. That was about as low as you can go.”

And I’d ignored that too. Just put that part of PMQs in a little box and slipped it into a drawer I won’t be opening again.

So there it is. Gross unfairness to the leader of the opposition. A dictionary definition of confirmation bias in everything this sketch says about him. When he’s good he’s bad and when he’s bad he is diabolical.

So, maybe Miliband has more of a chance than we allow. Especially if the British electorate acts in accordance with the Nolan Principles of Voters’ Responsibilities (policies not personalities, niceness, living in a nice part of London – and the rest ).

Then again, maybe not.

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