Q1 Ruth Cadbury (Brentford and Isleworth) (Lab)
Q2 Chi Onwurah (Newcastle upon Tyne Central) (Lab)
Q3 Kevin Brennan (Cardiff West) (Lab)
Q4 Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East) (Lab)
Q5 Bob Blackman (Harrow East) (Con)
Q6 Mhairi Black (Paisley and Renfrewshire South) (SNP)
Q7 Glyn Davies (Montgomeryshire) (Con)
Q8 John McNally (Falkirk) (SNP)
Q9 Mrs Pauline Latham (Mid Derbyshire) (Con)
Q10 Tom Brake (Carshalton and Wallington) (LD)
Q11 Vernon Coaker (Gedling) (Lab)
Q12 Mr Paul Sweeney (Glasgow North East) (Lab)
Q13 Mr Clive Betts (Sheffield South East) (Lab)
Q14 Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) (Con)
Q15 Ian Austin (Dudley North) (Ind)
The end of an era. A tedious, tedious era…
In Number 10’s begging letter to MPs for friendly questions at tomorrow’s PMQs, extraordinarily they list Theresa May’s “good Brexit deal” as her number one achievement. Yikes.
It’s not really the ‘Questions to the Prime Minister’ that are all that important, so much as the ‘Answers from the Prime Minister’. MPs on either benches can come up with any old rubbish. Only the PM’s fumbles, slips, or surprise admissions will make the bulletins. Or would have. This is Theresa May’s penultimate Wednesday session. The government she formed has a little over a week of life, and has stopped making news. It might be liberating for her instead. She could say anything she wants to her interrogators. An-y-thing. We are at the fin du regime. Power and patronage are slipping away from No. 10, even while there has been one trillion pounds of spending promises and a The Thick of It -style government department announced. But still Mrs May has her tabbed folder from which to refer.
It’s so unfair. She has to mug up all morning on current issues across Whitehall,, as well as memorise the hopefully witty and savage put-down for the final answer to the Leader of the Opposition. All Corbyn has to do is to be able to read out aloud what has been written for him. A grammar-school-educated 13-year-old could do that. Corbyn is not too interested in the actual responses. His over-long polemical questions will be chopped and shaped like a Bird’s Eye chicken burgers and fed to his supporters using the microchips of their internet devices. This multitude already believe JC walks on water. They do not witness Corbyn’s regular crucifixions at the Despatch Box.
There were mentions of England’s Cricket World Cup victory, plus also Lewis Hamilton’s record-breaking sixth successive victory at Silverstone. The reader might be forgiven for thinking that cricketing analogies might be exclusively appropriate for this session. After all, the PM is at the crease while the questions are bowled at her. Opposition MPs use ‘sledging’ tactic to disrupt her concentration.
Not so. John Gummer, or Lord Beefburger as older readers will know him, has described, in his capacity as one of the overnumerous High Priests of Global Warming, the government’s response to climate change as run ‘like a Dad’s Army’. And it was this quote that Jeremy Corbyn used as the basis for his questions. He could gone in like Hodges the Warden, or Yeatman the Verger. But no. He was Private Frazer. ???We’re doomed???, he was saying to the chamber, but not in a Scottish accent. It would be bad form to steal the SNP’s thunder in this way.
Mrs May refused to assume the role of Capt. Mainwaring. She also refused to make her answers just about the environment. In addition to batting off the question, she hit back with questions of her own. It wasn’t cricket after all. It had become tennis.
Theresa May’s last-minute attempts to create some sort of political legacy have taken another predictably tedious turn today. In between hobbling the economy with a trillion pound bill and desperately trying to get Phil Hammond to turn on the spending taps, she’s now identified another integral piece of her legacy that was missing. A new quango.
She’s even managed to come up with a classic Thick of It-style name, the “Office for Tackling Injustices” (OfTI). It won’t actually be doing any tackling or even recommending policy, its purpose is just to “collect evidence” on various demographic discrepancies. Something which is already done by a wide range of costly government bodies and shouty taxpayer-funded third sector organisations…
The ONS, with an operating budget of over £200 million a year, tweeted ethnicity pay gap data which they already collect this morning in a subtle dig at May’s announcement. Yet May’s still determined to waste more taxpayers’ money on another vanity project that’s redundant before it even starts…
The wacky Ambassador that the U.K. foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy. He should speak to his country, and Prime Minister May, about their failed Brexit negotiation, and not be upset with my criticism of how badly it was…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2019
….and they are both only getting bigger, better and stronger…..Thank you, Mr. President!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2019
Say what you really think, Donald!