Jezza’s False Flag PMQs

The new and universal virtue signal in British politics is mental health. Our parliamentarians, ever creative only in their unparalleled cynicism and opportunism, have come to a ‘consensus’ on the issue, falling over each other daily to lay offerings at this now sacred altar. Mental health is the go-to, right-on, reverse gaslight: our politicians are increasingly using it to confuse us into crediting them with moral superiority, and most of all, to flaunt the limitless compassion for which they are renowned. It must be a coincidence that the policy area of mental health also boasts extraordinary and elastic utility as the political equivalent of Monopoly’s get-out-of-jail-free-card. Jeremy Corbyn deployed the issue today, allowing him to operate unfettered in full deflection mode – unchallenged on Russia, unchallenged on the anti-Semitism scandal, all despite the Prime Minister’s best fortnight in living memory – while simultaneously being protected from any accusation of cynicism. A quite Kremlin-esque false flag from Agent COB…

Passing over the amusing realisation that Jezza is only even remotely competent when on emergency bunker settings, his ‘forensic’ analysis was half baked, consisting as it did in reading out a script of figures and statistics from which his own words were entirely absent. Most commentators will conclude the PM should have done better, but as recent events have demonstrated, her suite of options are radically more limited than JC’s. She couldn’t, for example, argue that a sample of mental health should be sent away for testing before confirming that it is indeed a problem for her government to address. She could hardly say she didn’t realise mental health was a problem because she just hadn’t looked quite closely enough at it, only glancing before making comment. “Mental health is a problem – but only in certain pockets” – no, that wouldn’t fly either. Nor could she pull off big Jezza’s most favoured and maddest defence of them all: just don’t turn up.

Left without shield as Corbyn opened up the diversionary front, the emboldened PM continued to surprise by going on the attack. After trading stats she fought off Corbyn on mental health by alluding to Labour social media bullying – a clunking Segway that just about worked, but only because Corbyn suddenly and inexplicably scaled down his attack from Novichok to NERF gun. Jezza weakly asked whether the government would back Labour’s digital bill. If that was the big climax to Jez’s new-found style, TM can rest easy over Easter…

Like children on the last day of school, Tory backbenchers then held the perennial ‘spontaneous’ competition to decide who could go away for recess with top marks from Miss. Planted questions about dental services punctuated a slew of ‘Happy Easter’ greetings – the combination of the parliamentary break and the upcoming local elections was obvious. Commentators did and will complain, but it’s no good expecting PMQs under May and Corbyn to deliver even views on the news, let alone deliver news itself. It’s more than enough to expect PMQs to conclude on time, which to the great relief of all, for once, it finally did…




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