Is our PM afflicted by some secret sorrow? Have the cares of office worn his high spirits away? Does he secretly want to accede to Chris Bryant’s parliamentary request this afternoon: “Will he admit he is literally the worst person possible to be leading the country?”
In a world containing Yevgeny Prigozhin, Lucy Letby, Prince Harry and Chris Bryant himself, there is stiff competition for that particular slot. The thought that Rishi Sunak might be worst of all possible premiers was so unfair it must have been calculated for the Today programme.
Rishi, as we know, is normally pert as a pixie. He likes to make people happy. Today, his head was down, his shoulders dropped, his spirit curdled which made the wrong sort of people happy in the wrong sort of way. He was quite curt with the Leader of the Opposition, and actually rude to Stephen Flynn. He called him “economically illiterate,” giving that SNP leader the opportunity to shout “Brexit! Brexit!” and a number of other ancient Caledonian curses.
Keir Starmer – this is reported without side – looked for the first time to have established an upper hand at the despatch box. Considering Keir’s natural qualities he deserves some sort of Invictus award. He asked short and unanswerable questions such as, is the PM for or against building 300,000 houses? Can he name anyone who believes he will build 300,000 houses? And then assertions which may or may not be true, but which many will be inclined to agree with – mortgage rates, and so forth, “Housebuilding at its lowest level since the Second World War!”
Rishi responded with his own assertions that may or may not be true. That we currently have the highest number of first-time buyers in 20 years. That Labour will build out the Green Belt. That the Tories have put local people in control of house building.
”There’s your problem,” as builders say. Was it really wise to put local people in charge of house building? You’ve met local people, you know what they’re like. If you’re reading this you’re probably a local person yourself – would you honestly put yourself in control of housebuilding? Any answer other than “No,” indicates complete unsuitability for that great national undertaking.
Keir got the biggest laugh of the day – he declared that the Tories were no longer the party of home ownership, “BECAUSE WE ARE!”
Labour the party of private property? Surprise is the essence of a good joke. It brought the House down. Or half of it, at least.
If he announces that natural gas is henceforth to be classified as renewable, he’ll be laughing all the way to Downing Street.
Just a couple of warning notes from the undergrowth, mere flickers of significance, like a twig snapping under the weight of some unidentifiable creature. Rishi mentioned that some parliamentary instrument was being manufactured around the phrase “fairness in pricing”. That sent a shiver up several spines.
And that chump Ian Mearnes called for a national register of school attendance. A national daily register. That’s 9 million names a day being recorded in a central database. From A-Jay to Zuzu. An eternal sketch by Rowan Atkinson that would do nothing to identify missing children.