LibDem Peer: Brexit Like Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin

LibDem peer Lord Taverne with the maddest contribution to the Brexit bill debate last night:

“It is a very dangerous step towards the doctrine that the people’s will must always prevail. My Lords, this is the doctrine which has always been Hitler, by Mussolini, by Stalin, by Erdogan at this present time. It is denial of the essence of democracy which we have supported to great effect in this country, and now we are abandoning it. My Lords we are the guardians of parliamentary democracy, we are right in this, we are the democrats and we are right to support the democratic cause.”

An insight worth £300 a day…

Vid via @wallaceme

Brexit Bill Passes

The Brexit bill passes through the Lords, its final hurdle in parliament before gaining Royal Assent. And then at last Theresa May can trigger Article 50. Another historic moment…

Lords Amendments Defeated

Both Lords amendments have been overturned in the Commons tonight.

The amendment on EU nationals’ rights was defeated by 335 to 287, a majority of 48.

The amendment on a “meaningful vote” was defeated by 331-286, a majority of 45.

Bill passes unamended. Back to the Lords now…

PMQs & Budget Double Bill


Jeremy Corbyn kicked PMQs off today by bragging about his party’s impeccable record on gender equality, boasting more women MPs than all other parties in this House combined”. One of which he’d even bonked himself and then promoted to the front bench! Now if that’s not equality then I don’t  know what is.

Of course this being International Women’s Day Mr. Corbyn would not be the only person to pipe up with some cheap gender-points scoring. For the Tories it fell to Victoria Atkins who asked the PM if she would “confirm that, when it comes to female Prime Ministers, it is 2-0 to the Conservatives?”. The surprise here was that this honour wasn’t bestowed upon professional brown-nose Chris Philp, best known for asking the Government probing questions along the lines of  “whether or not the Prime Minister would agree with me that the sun does really shine out of her magnificent backside?”. Continue reading

May’s Weird Shoulder Laugh


Jeremy Corbyn somehow manages to blaze the Surrey council open goal over the bar at PMQs. And Theresa May is loving it…

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Mrs Sheryll Murray (South East Cornwall) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 8 March.

Q2 Maggie Throup (Erewash)

Q3 Chris Green (Bolton West)

Q4 Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) What recent assessment she has made of the (a) performance of the economy and (b) adequacy of provision of public services in the Midlands Engine region; and if she will make a statement.

Q5 Tracy Brabin (Batley and Spen)

Q6 Mark Menzies (Fylde)

Q7 Gordon Marsden (Blackpool South)

Q8 Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central)

Q9 Julie Cooper (Burnley)

Q10 Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East)

Q11 Johnny Mercer (Plymouth, Moor View)

Q12 Amanda Milling (Cannock Chase)

Q13 Geraint Davies (Swansea West)

Q14 Deidre Brock (Edinburgh North and Leith)

Q15 Alec Shelbrooke (Elmet and Rothwell)

Comments in the comments…

The Bumble in the Jungle

It’s a boxing cliché that bouts between fighters of different styles make for the most exciting spectacle: think slugger Joe Frazier facing off against a dancing Muhammad Ali, or Iron Mike bobbing and weaving his way through a succession of opponents throwing out straight jabs. Like all bloodsports, politics is subject to the same rule.

Jeremy Corbyn is an out-fighter. Cautious, he throws out a succession of punches to keep his opponent at bay, hoping that eventually enough of them stick for him to be awarded a points-decision. Such a style naturally gelled with David Cameron. Corbyn furiously jabbed; Cameron parried, then dished out a ruthless finishing blow back across the Chamber à la Floyd Mayweather. PMQs finest counter-puncher.

Continue reading

Tories Troll Corbyn With Copeland Swearing In

The Tories rub salt into Corbyn’s wounds by swearing in Trudy Harrison immediately after PMQs. Jez is forced to watch Copeland’s new Tory MP take her seat…

May’s Weird “Incredible” Joke

What was that?

PMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions?

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 1 March

Q2 Mr Steve Reed (Croydon North)

Q3 Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Q4 Mary Glindon (North Tyneside)

Q5 Roger Mullin (Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath)

Q6 Sarah Olney (Richmond Park)

Q7 Judith Cummins (Bradford South)

Q8 Nigel Adams (Selby and Ainsty)

Q9 Jo Churchill (Bury St Edmunds)

Q10 Alex Cunningham (Stockton North)

Q11 Bob Blackman (Harrow East)

Q12 Kevin Barron (Rother Valley)

Q13 Andrew Bingham (High Peak)

Q14 Glyn Davies (Montgomeryshire)

Q15 Victoria Prentis (Banbury)

Comments in the comments…

DAB PMQ

Readers of this sketch will remember its recurring and heartfelt concern for the sanity of poor Tom Watson. First chronicling his deepening existential despair here, in subsequent months I went on to speculate it was only a matter of time before he would finally lose it and go the “full Bill Murray and turn up to PMQs stark bollock naked”, all in a desperate attempt to break this cycle of Groundhog Day-style self-immolations by the Labour Leader. Today was that day…

He’d almost made it as well, valiantly surviving most of Jeremy Corbyn’s rambling monologues by nodding his head slowly back and forth in scenes eerily reminiscent of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. That lasted right up until Mr. Corbyn finally took the plunge into complete self-parody and used his last question to spit at Theresa May that she needed to “INVEST IN OUR. ENN. AITCH. ESS!”, dementedly hammering his fist on the despatch box like a toddler to punctuate each syllable of “NHS”. At this point something broke in Mr. Watson, and he decided to do what any normal 50 year old politician would in such a situation and throw his arms maniacally in the air, performing an urban youth dance-craze known as a “dab”. Well, at least he didn’t go full Miley Cyrus and twerk on a dwarf in the chamber. Then again, Bercow may have been game…

Continue reading

Tom Watson’s PMQs Dab

Tom Watson performed a “dab” at the end of PMQs. For readers not familar with the Atlanta hip-hop dance scene, a dab is a dance move popularised by various musicians and sports stars, and copied by naff people trying to be cool. Was it for a bet?

PMQs: Who Is Asking the Questions

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East)

Q2 Caroline Flint (Don Valley) 

Q3 Andrew Bingham (High Peak) 

Q4 Michael Tomlinson (Mid Dorset and North Poole) 

Q5 Gerald Jones (Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney)

Q6 William Wragg (Hazel Grove)

Q7 Kerry McCarthy (Bristol East)

Q8 Phil Wilson (Sedgefield)

Q9 Dr Julian Lewis (New Forest East)

Q10 Dr Tania Mathias (Twickenham) 

Q11 Chris Davies (Brecon and Radnorshire) 

Q12 Crispin Blunt (Reigate) 

Q13 Neil Parish (Tiverton and Honiton)

Q14 Nic Dakin (Scunthorpe) 

Q15 Gavin Newlands (Paisley and Renfrewshire North)

Comments in the comments…

Taxi For Baroness D’Souza

Interesting timing for the new BBC documentary on the House of Lords. The choice quote is from Baroness D’Souza:

“There is a core of peers who work incredibly hard, who do that work, and there are, sad to say, many, many, many peers who contribute absolutely nothing but who claim the full allowance. I can remember one occasion when I was leaving the House quite late and there was a peer – who shall be utterly nameless – who jumped out of a taxi just outside the peers’ entrance, left the engine running. He ran in, presumably to show that he’d attended, and then ran out again while the taxi was still running. So I mean that’s not normal, but it is something that does happen and I think that we have lost the sense of honour that used to pertain, and that is a great, great shame.”

That would be the same Baroness D’Souza who infamously billed the taxpayer £230 to keep a chauffeur-driven car waiting for four hours while she watched an opera a mile from Parliament. As well as another £270 bill to keep the meter running while she had lunch with the Japanese ambassador. And another £738 to keep a Mercedes parked while she attended an event at Windsor Castle. D’Souza also spent £4,000 of taxpayer cash on flowers for her office and £1,120 for drinks and a trip to the ballet with a delegation from Russia. “We have lost the sense of honour and that is a great shame…”

May in the Lords

Theresa May and Commons leader David Lidington are sitting on the steps of the throne in the House of Lords as they begin their Brexit debate this afternoon, to remind peers of the democratic mandate issued by the elected chamber. Sound.

UPDATE: Another angle:

Both Trump Petitions to Be Debated Monday

The Petitions Committee has decided to merge the pro and anti-Trump state visit petitions and hold a single Westminster Hall debate on Monday:

To all Members

The Petitions Committee has scheduled the following debate in Westminster Hall on two petitions relating to a state visit by President Donald Trump…

Monday 20 February
Motion: “That this House has considered e-petitions 171928 and 178844 relating to a state visit by President Donald Trump.”

Petition 171928 ‘Prevent Donald Trump from making a State Visit to the United Kingdom.’ 

Petition 178844 ‘Donald Trump should make a State Visit to the United Kingdom.’

Bit of a cop out…

Duddridge Tables No Confidence Motion in Speaker

Vote of No Confidence

This House has no confidence in The Speaker.

Tory MP James Duddridge tells Sky:

“We want a fresh speaker, a Speaker that has the confidence of the full House… I’ve been absolutely amazed at the number of people who’ve encouraged me to table this motion of no confidence… The number of MPs speaking out will increase and it will be known that the Speaker’s position is untenable.”

Another blow to Bercow’s authority, though he likely has the numbers to cling on…

“Anarchy” as Parliament Shuts Lobby Hacks’ Cafeteria

The controversy surrounding the ongoing building work in parliament has reached fever pitch after authorities closed the cafeteria used by hungry Lobby hacks. Construction work at the whips office has led to a decision to relocate some staff to Moncrieff’s cafeteria, the room where the Lobby hosts its famous ministerial lunches. The move means whips office staff, the keepers of MPs’ deepest and darkest secrets, will now work in the press gallery a stone’s throw from the nation’s political journalists. “Anarchy” says one seasoned Lobby luncher. What could go wrong?

Letwin Calls For Debate on Abolition of Lords

A “government source” in this morning’s papers threatened the Lords with abolition if they obstruct Brexit, now Oliver Letwin has asked for a debate if they do hold up the process. Instead of implausibly threatening to abolish the Lords they should promise to cut daily their expenses from £300 to £0. Focus the peers’ minds…

33 MPs Who Voted For Second Referendum

The would-be Brexit blockers who voted for a second referendum:

Alexander, Heidi
Bradshaw, rh Mr Ben
Brown, Lyn
Clegg, rh Mr Nick
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coffey, Ann
Coyle, Neil
Davies, Geraint
Durkan, Mark
Edwards, Jonathan
Farron, Tim

[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Sky’s Faisal Islam on the mood in Parliament at the moment:

“It’s a totally febrile atmosphere here. It’s kind of like Game of Thrones meets House of Cards – and if you chuck in the Labour Party – Laurel and Hardy too.”

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