PMQs SKETCH: Who are We and What are We Doing Here?

gallery_guido (2)

It’s always exciting to discover a new low in PMQs. We’ve been bumping along the bottom since the New Year and here we had stomach-fluttering slump.

The prodigious noise in the chamber – so chamber reporters said – was mainly that of conversations between people trying to make themselves heard above other conversationalists. Half an opposition bench vacated itself before the end of play. The mood in the House was ‘Who are we and what are we doing here?’ (Answers in the comments.)

The Speaker, still smarting from his humiliation on Cockerell’s documentary, wore his fixed smile, barely tried to control the chamber. The prime minister kept reaching up to yank his tail. He mocked the Speaker’s verbosity. He caricatured his catchphrases. He pleased his Bercow-baiting back bench.

And while this is all very well, it must be said that the Speaker has won everything he needs to win. He is now unbeatable, unmoveable, invulnerable. The Tories have misread the threat, and funked the chance to bring to the floor of the House just before the half-term recess the only Motion that offers a chance of ousting him (to make the Speaker’s re-election a secret vote). He saw them funk it, and feels himself secure.

In a tight parliament, with irreconcilable parties, coalition government may not be a possibility. The powers of the Speaker will multiply. His collusion with Labour – already an established fact – will work against the Tory minority government. He will find a way – because he has a genius for these things – to by-pass the Queen and bring a Labour government to the Treasury benches.

And just about the time he should be resigning, he will preside over the Westminster exodus, to a continental-style, non-confrontational, horseshoe-shaped venue with individual desks and microphones – with his hand on the volume.

Remember, above all else, John Bercow is an artist of power, a grand master in the renaissance workshop tradition. And the Tories are just too cavalier, too amateur to deal with him. Tail-tweaking is an inadequate response.

We can only watch.

Next new depth: Ed Miliband’s achievement must not go unrecorded. A third world war is brewing, the European Union may be about to implode, religious maniacs have established a medieval tyranny just north of the Plain of Megiddo, and the Labour party itself faces an existential threat from the Scots Nats.

So, Miliband spent half his quota of questions on challenging Cameron to a television debate.

There is a rumour that Cameron was going to challenge Miliband to a television debate and has thus been outflanked. If this is the size of it, the opposition leader showed himself to be one pitiful pygmy.

Cameron asked which MPs were going to use the photo-op shots of Miliband on their leaflets. Most of the people who put their hands up were Scots Nats. There will be slaughter over the border and lose or win, Miliband will go down as the leader who destroyed his party.




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Sky’s Faisal Islam on the mood in Parliament at the moment:

“It’s a totally febrile atmosphere here. It’s kind of like Game of Thrones meets House of Cards – and if you chuck in the Labour Party – Laurel and Hardy too.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Sunday Shows Sunday Shows
Gallery Guido’s PMQs Sketch Gallery Guido’s PMQs Sketch
PMQs Sketch PMQs Sketch
Appeal on Behalf of the Friends of George Miller Appeal on Behalf of the Friends of George Miller
FLASHBACK: Labour Election Fraud FLASHBACK: Labour Election Fraud
FLASHBACK: LibDem Election Fraud FLASHBACK: LibDem Election Fraud
PMQs & Budget Sketch PMQs & Budget Sketch
Watch: May’s Weird Shoulder Laugh Watch: May’s Weird Shoulder Laugh
Experts Wrong About Polar Bears Too Experts Wrong About Polar Bears Too
Guido’s Guide to By-Election Scenarios Guido’s Guide to By-Election Scenarios
Milo 12 Things Milo 12 Things
Shami & Blunkett Campaigned for ISIS Suicide Bomber’s Release Shami & Blunkett Campaigned for ISIS Suicide Bomber’s Release
Anti-Bercow Lobbying Latest Anti-Bercow Lobbying Latest
Bring on the Robots Bring on the Robots
BBC Sources Revealed BBC Sources Revealed
Gallery Guido’s PMQs Sketch Gallery Guido’s PMQs Sketch
FOXY “SPANK ME” FOXY “SPANK ME”
Standard Editor Runners & Riders Standard Editor Runners & Riders
Article 50 Debate: Live Spreadsheet of MPs Voting Against Article 50 Debate: Live Spreadsheet of MPs Voting Against
Live Spreadsheet: Brexit Blockers Tracker Live Spreadsheet: Brexit Blockers Tracker