PMQs SKETCH: Self-Confident Ed Lacking Intellectual Capacity

The self-confidence of Ed Miliband is other-worldly. So other-worldly that broadcasting it, he feels, makes him more electable.

Between him and Cameron, he told the Standard, “I am the one with much more intellectual self-confidence, actually.” (‘Actually’!)

How then to explain his second-class degree, when everybody else was getting firsts (Ed Balls, David Miliband, David Cameron, Stewart Wood perhaps)? Even a second-class Corpus degree is enough to recognize the difference between intellectual self-confidence and intellectual capacity.

He began PMQs with an easy, teasing line about his rent control proposals: when would the PM “make the inevitable journey from saying that they represent dangerous Venezuelan-style thinking to saying that they are actually quite a good idea?”

The PM came back saying it was a Tory proposal all along, and that several senior Labour spokespeople had denounced the idea as unworkable, undesirable, impracticable, unsustainable.

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PMQs LIVE: National Interest Test Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Mel Stride (Central Devon)

Q2 Mr Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith) 

Q3 Joan Walley (Stoke-on-Trent North) 

Q4 Margot James (Stourbridge) 

Q5 Paul Burstow (Sutton and Cheam) 

Q6 Andrew Griffiths (Burton)

Q7 David Rutley (Macclesfield) 

Q8 Iain Stewart (Milton Keynes South) 

Q9 Neil Carmichael (Stroud) 

Q10 Chris White (Warwick and Leamington) 

Q11 Mr Simon Burns (Chelmsford)

Q12 Nic Dakin (Scunthorpe) 

Q13 Zac Goldsmith (Richmond Park)

Q14 Dr Julian Huppert (Cambridge) 

Q15 Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields) 

Comments in the comments please…

PMQs SKETCH: What Did Axelrod Make of That?

“Guys, we’re going to need money. And a message. Attractive people would be good. Not you. Or you, you or you. And a leader, who’s the leader? You got a leader? The one down there now with the teeth and the finger jive? The eight-year-old? Okay, we’re going to need the army as well, does that work over here? Can we get the army? We’re going need the army.”

There are some out there hoping the American will make Ed Miliband into Obama. He made a start today. In the tributes to fallen troops he pronounced lieutenant as lootenant.

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single stumble.

Oh, it’s a long way to go. Obama has a gift for elevated sentiments, if nothing else. That’s what got him into the White House. The audacity of soap. Big language. Soaring thoughts. Ed Miliband lacks the audacity of soap.

The Royal Mail sale, for instance. “Everything about this privatisation stinks,” he said. Stinks. Everything stinks. It’s the language of a disappointed child.

He had some debating points, including a joke – the man who ran the lucky hedge fund which got 20 times the shares of anyone else – he’d been George Osborne’s best man. How was it decided who got what?

It’s a good question, and would have gained purchase with a cool manner and forensic pauses. But Miliband prefers to go through his question-cycle in a fixed crescendo heading for his great climax: “Everything stinks.”

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PMQs LIVE: Back to School Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Mr Gareth Thomas (Harrow West)

Q2 Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North) 

Q3 Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden) 

Q4 Alex Cunningham (Stockton North) 

Q5 Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh North and Leith) 

Q6 Mrs Sharon Hodgson (Washington and Sunderland West)

Q7 Mark Hendrick (Preston) 

Q8 Mr Stewart Jackson (Peterborough)

Q9 Katy Clark (North Ayrshire and Arran) 

Q10 Sheila Gilmore (Edinburgh East)

Q11 Mr George Howarth (Knowsley) 

Q12 Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West)

Q13 Jason McCartney (Colne Valley) 

Q14 Nadhim Zahawi (Stratford-on-Avon) 

Comments in the comments please…

PMQs SKETCH: Ed, the Final Victim of Miller’s Resignation

Six questions on Maria Miller’s resignation, or five questions and a peroration.

Is that what’s meant by “holding the Executive to account”? It’s just as well Recall isn’t in place, Ed’s feet wouldn’t touch the ground.

He fired five blanks, got two potshots off and finished with a summary of his discontent in four disjointed sentences. Viz:

1) “He just doesn’t get it.” (Did someone shout Bingo?)

2) “He needs to learn profound lessons about how he runs his Government.” (Does he? From this, the passing zephyr of an insignificant minister?)

3) “The Culture Secretary went not because of her bad conduct but because of her bad press.” (This must have been a line left over from the pre-PMQs planning session.)

4) “He promised in Opposition to be an apostle for better standards and he’s spent the last week being an apologist for unacceptable behaviour.” (It was the big line. Apostle/apologist. Ed put the ass in assonance.)

It wasn’t an easy topic, and while friends and foes will have different reactions, objective observers will agree the Leader of HM’s Opposition made a complete **** of himself. Too strong? A complete @£$% of himself.

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PMQs LIVE: So Long, Farewell Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Nia Griffith (Llanelli)

Q2 Dr Alasdair McDonnell (Belfast South) 

Q3 Sir Peter Luff (Mid Worcestershire) 

Q4 Mr Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith) 

Q5 John Glen (Salisbury)

Q6 Simon Danczuk (Rochdale) 

Q7 Mr William Bain (Glasgow North East) 

Q8 James Morris (Halesowen and Rowley Regis) 

Q9 Naomi Long (Belfast East) 

Q10 Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck (South Shields) 

Q11 Paul Flynn (Newport West) 

Q12 Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin) 

Q13 Jenny Chapman (Darlington) 

Q14 Mr Mike Weir (Angus) 

Q15 Mr David Lammy (Tottenham)

Comments in the comments please…

PMQs SKETCH: Titanic Fights in the Commons

Cosy capitalism against Socialism, sir. Public versus private ownership. Primrose Hill versus the Playing Fields of Eton. Tax cuts versus the Collective. Labour bellowing versus Tory barrage.

My niche interest is the fight between Better Bercow and Bad Bercow.

The new iteration – I-Don’t-Hate-Tories – is a success. We should pay tribute to it, celebrate it rather than carp.

But Better Bercow can’t keep Bad Bercow in its kennel.

What must be going in that inner court of his, where he remonstrates with himself: “Your constant interruptions are just prolonging the proceedings. Your attention-seeking behaviour is childish, you need to grow up and the sooner the better. And the way you call Andrew Selous – the public detest it! Your electorate hate it! If you go on like this they’ll have you out after the next election!”

Good Bercow has been prevailing, but when provoked, Bad Bercow slips the leash.

We can thank Simon Burns for that. Or that corner where he sits with Alec Shelbrooke in a supporting role behind him. Anna Soubry, Tim Loughton and Keith Simpson, are all there or thereabouts, each of whom have had complex relations with the Speaker.

So, when Czaibhaggan MacDonagh fluffed her line about the “Bobby Tax”, it prompted heckling from the Burns Corner.

Out Bad Bercow slavered, fangs bared, to savage them as he only savages Tories: “Braying, and sneering and making rude remarks is the sort of thing the public despise!” he barked at them.

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Muppet Miliband and Balls

“You know what Mr Speaker, I will take a lecture from almost anyone in the country about the sale of Royal Mail, but not from the two muppets who advised the last Chancellor on selling the gold.”

An attack lined ruined only by the manifesto blunder by the PM – Dave claimed Labour promised to privatise the Royal Mail – actually they were going to part privatise it and keep the majority shareholding in the government’s hands.

PMQs LIVE: Leadership Rumbles Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North)
Q2 Chloe Smith (Norwich North)
Q3 Anas Sarwar (Glasgow Central)
Q4 Mr Jamie Reed (Copeland)
Q5 David Rutley (Macclesfield)
Q6 Ms Gisela Stuart (Birmingham, Edgbaston)
Q7 Kate Hoey (Vauxhall)
Q8 Jim Dobbin (Heywood and Middleton)
Q9 Chris Kelly (Dudley South)
Q10 Roger Williams (Brecon and Radnorshire)
Q11 Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden)
Q12 Mr Alan Reid (Argyll and Bute)
Q13 Ann McKechin (Glasgow North)
Q14 David T.

[…] Read the rest

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PMQs SKETCH: Ed Enters Valley of Death

Reactions vary, but that looked to me like slaughter.

“A total demolition,” Ed Miliband said, and it was surely that.

His “energy price freeze” collapsed on itself like a factory chimney.

This morning, a power company announced it was holding its prices for 20 months.[…] Read the rest

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PMQs LIVE: Sniff Edition

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Rosie Cooper (West Lancashire)

Q2 Stephen Pound (Ealing North) 

Q3 Derek Twigg (Halton) 

Q4 Jenny Chapman (Darlington) 

Q5 Mr Graham Brady (Altrincham and Sale West) 

Q6 Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North) 

Q7 Andy McDonald (Middlesbrough) 

Q8 Mel Stride (Central Devon) 

Q9 Mrs Mary Glindon (North Tyneside) 

Q10 Mr John Baron (Basildon and Billericay) 

Q11 Mr David Burrowes (Enfield, Southgate)

Q12 Mr Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury) 

Q13 Clive Efford (Eltham) 

Q14 Mr Adam Holloway (Gravesham)

Q15 Karen Lumley (Redditch) 

Comments in the comments please…[…] Read the rest

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PMQs LIVE: Warm Up Edition

Comments in the comments please…[…] Read the rest

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PMQs SKETCH: Harriet Harman is Grooming the LibDems

Questions to the Prime Minister weren’t to the Prime Minister, nor were they questions.

Nick Clegg was denounced, castigated, mocked and accused by Harriet Harman, Toby Perkins, Kevin Brennan and many others of crimes against lapdogs, of shameless, spineless capitulation to the Tories, of kicking apprentices in the teeth, evicting widows, starving children, killing constituents, and (worst of the worst) “electoral self-interest” (gasps from a shocked Labour movement).[…] Read the rest

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WATCH: Daily Politics Guide to Heckling

[…] Read the rest

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DPMQs LIVE: EU Love-in Edition

Q1 Naomi Long (Belfast East)

Q2 Sir Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

Q3 Andrew George (St Ives)

Q4 Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough)

Q5 Mr John Whittingdale (Maldon)

Q6 Mark Pawsey (Rugby)

Q7 Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South)

Q8 Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds)

Q9 Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire)

Q10 David T.

[…] Read the rest

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PMQs Sketch: Miliband's Improvement

An unsketchable PMQs kicked off by Peter Bone (soon to be holding the executive to account from Wormwood Scrubs).

It never got going, limped home, and will be considered a victory for Leveson-lovers and the Vegan Internationale known as “grown-up politics”.[…] Read the rest

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