PMQs Sketch: Choices Edition

If politics was a sport with the aim of getting the lowest score possible, Jeremy Corbyn would be Usain Bolt, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohammad Ali all rolled into one. Much as Ronaldo’s goal tally continues to increase irresistibly year after year, so Corbyn’s ability to unfailingly miss the target at PMQs relentlessly improves week after week. Meanwhile May has achieved a Messi-like mastery of repeating the same tricks so often that her opponents can’t even remember how to stop them and simply glaze over instead. Between the two of them, they have managed to achieve a feat surpassing even the level of Messi and Ronaldo. They have managed to make PMQs the least relevant event of the political week…

Arguably the most life in the almost hour-long session was at the very beginning when Philip Dunne (Con, Ludlow) asked a question about life sciences. The main May-Corbyn exchange was an aggressively forgettable affair. In Corbyn’s defence there were precious few events from the last few days for him to latch onto – the Government suffering the worst series of defeats in forty years, being found in contempt of Parliament, heading for a defeat of historic ramifications in less than a week. Although it’s starting to look like a normal week for Theresa May…

Psychologists sometimes talk about the ‘Choice Paradox’ – the more choices you have available, the worse a decision you make. Theresa May will need to divert more than just Philip Dunne’s life science funding to cutting-edge psychological research instead if modern science is to have any chance of explaining Jeremy Corbyn’s decision to focus on the UN’s Special Rapporteur’s report on “extreme poverty” in the UK instead. Perhaps Corbyn confused the acronyms for EU and UN. Perhaps it was all just a ruse for him to get the phrase “Universal Discredit” onto the record. Which is the only thing that can be said for either leader’s performance today…

Ian Blackford may only be a blend to Angus Robertson’s single malt at PMQs but was positively Laphroigian in comparison to May and Corbyn’s JD today, “inadvertently” creating the only real moment of drama as he clashed with Bercow over whether he was suggesting that May had misled the House “inadvertently or otherwise”, “perhaps inadvertently”, or finally just “inadvertently”, sadly backing down just in time to avoid another entirely spontaneous SNP mass exodus. Not wanting to be outdone as most troublesome regional party leader, Nigel Dodds attempted to initiate a game of charades with May, vigorously miming digging a hole and shouting “read the advice” across the Chamber at her. On the basis of today’s session the only advice anyone needs is not to bother tuning into PMQs if you’re interested in the main issues of the day…

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Quote of the Day

In response to Dominic Grieve’s rumoured plans to request the Government hand over private communication about prorogation to Parliament, Cummings said:

“For a supposedly adequate lawyer who loves the ECHR, Grieve doesn’t seem to realise that his request for private messages is blatantly illegal and will be rejected by the Cabinet Office. We love the rule of law in No10.”


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