Take Away This Pudding of a PMQs, It Has No Theme mdi-fullscreen

Are we customers too demanding? Have we been spoilt by previous parliamentary dramas, insurrections, invasions? The furious message discipline, the barracking, the terrace-end aggression. Today was a half-hour of this and that – 72p for nurses, Cornish enterprise zones, hospital roofs falling in, some nonsense about fracking, a Trans charity trustee posting porno pictures online.  It was a Business Questions medley. A confident, in-control, self-respecting PM with an 80-seat majority would have walked out.

The backbenches were united on one central idea: Don’t mention The Fiscal Event. That must have succoured their leader, but equally no Conservative voices lifted to sing the PM’s Growth Song with its one note and three-word lyrics. If you wanted to generate a drama out of the crisis – you might be helped by that sullen absence.

“I am genuinely unclear,” the PM began an answer, and that caused so much laughter from Labour she did it again to even louder applause: “I am genuinely unclear.” She spoke for us all.

Keir Starmer seemed to trick her into an admission. He quoted her saying she was “very clear I am not planning public spending reductions,” and asked whether she was sticking to that.

Absolutely,” she said.

Her Chancellor had been careful to make no such undertakings, yesterday. This sounded like a pre-emption of the end-of-the-month announcement. No benefit cuts. No public sector sackings. That’s quite a piece of news. But then, she was genuinely clear she wasn’t “planning reductions” and they weren’t “planning” on invading Iraq 25 minutes before the troops landed. She must be relying on 20% inflation, that would help. Wouldn’t it? Or are we genuinely unclear, as well?

Keir Starmer humanised the imminent collapse of the global financial architecture by painting for us the heartbreak of Zac and Rebecca – their mortgage offer was withdrawn more or less when the Chancellor sat down after his announcement.

Liz Truss blamed Putin. Earlier in the day,  Sanjay Raja of Deutsche Bank had told the Treasury committee most of our ills had been in train for months, if not years. Thank heaven for Russian imperialism!

Politicians have always been skilled at giving the public what they want. What we want is battle to be joined, epic courage and suicidal energy. If we can have a bit sex, a bit of treachery so much the better. But first and foremost, we must have the drama.

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mdi-timer October 12 2022 @ 15:11 mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer
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