Thornberry In Labour’s Side

Theresa May sat out PMQs today as she’s far away in Bahrain bowing to our Gulf overlords (peace be upon them). It turns out that fawning deference comes easy when in the presence of the assorted head-choppers, slave-drivers and anti-Semites that comprise the Gulf Cooperation Council. If only she could muster the same diplomatic humility when Time’s Person of the Year kindly requests a new ambassador…

Of course the far greater crime is that the PM’s absence means we have to sit through half an hour of Emily Thornberry. Lady Nugee knows she effortlessly radiates sneering contempt for the lower orders and thus does her damned best to hide it. It was all going well today too, with her starting by commemorating the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbour: where thousands of American service personnel and civilians died”. Or as Corbyn would frame it: “Where brave Japanese fighter pilots made the ultimate sacrifice in the struggle against American imperialism in the Pacific”.

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DPMQs: Who’s Asking the Questions

Theresa May is in Bahrain so Leader of the House David Lidington is deputising. Emily Thornberry up for Labour.

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Dr Philippa Whitford (Central Ayrshire)

Q2 Sir Peter Bottomley (Worthing West)

Q3 Bob Blackman (Harrow East)

Q4 Amanda Milling (Cannock Chase)

Q5 Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough)

Q6 Deidre Brock (Edinburgh North and Leith)

Q7 Patrick Grady (Glasgow North)

Q8 Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire)

Q9 Kit Malthouse (North West Hampshire)

Q10 Rehman Chishti (Gillingham and Rainham)

Q11 Craig Williams (Cardiff North)

Q12 Steve Double (St Austell and Newquay)

Q13 Steve Baker (Wycombe)

Q14 Richard Graham (Gloucester)

“I Want My Cake”

pmqs

It’s a testament to the wit and originality of Boris Johnson that his quip that he is both pro having and pro eating cake is still being referenced sullenly seven years after he first coined it. Why? Well that’s because there are essentially two types of people in this world: those terribly fond of saying “you can’t have your cake and eat it”, and those not at all fond of hearing it. Naturally the morally superior, the intellectually pompous and amassed ranks of the miserly fall into the first category. As do most MPs.

Of this group there is no finer an exhibit than Caroline Lucas, who in full-outrage mode begun today’s PMQs soberly informing the PM that “having your cake and eating it isn’t a serious strategy for Brexit”. Unfortunately for Caroline the second, and far larger, group of people upon hearing such a miserabilist, anti-cake dictum, think to themselves: “Sod that! I want my cake! I want to eat my cake! In fact I might even have another cake to wind up this snotty nosed anti-cake harridan”. And thus Mrs. Lucas,  Mrs. Antoinette and Mrs. Thompson will always be – in a phrase the left are so fond of – on the wrong side of history. We are no longer in the era of technocratic fudges and bureaucratic pick ‘n’ mix, this is a time of big cake and big eating of cake. Continue reading

Corbyn Confuses IMF and IFS

Corbyn had an open goal on the economy, and spectacularly missed…

Who is Asking the Questions Today?

pmqs live chat may corbynOral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Caroline Lucas (Brighton, Pavilion)

Q2 Mark Menzies (Fylde) 

Q3 Chris Bryant (Rhondda) 

Q4 Seema Kennedy (South Ribble) 

Q5 Fiona Bruce (Congleton) 

Q6 Kelly Tolhurst (Rochester and Strood) 

Q7 Margaret Greenwood (Wirral West) 

Q8 Claire Perry (Devizes) 

Q9 Mr Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden) 

Q10 Stephen Timms (East Ham) 

Q11 Chris White (Warwick and Leamington) 

Q12 Mr Stephen Hepburn (Jarrow) 

Q13 Suella Fernandes (Fareham)

Q14 Kirsten Oswald (East Renfrewshire) 

Q15 Stuart Andrew (Pudsey) 

 

 

PMQs / Autumn Statement Sketch Double Bill

pmq-autumn-statement

Before we get to the disaster that was the Autumn Statement, first PMQs. Not one to break with tradition, Jeremy Corbyn continued to question the Prime Minister in the manner of a tramp freshly whisked out of the gutter, chucked into a suit and given a hastily cobbled together sheet to read from. Barely glancing up from his notes while rattling off a list of uninspiring figures, the Labour leader happily wasted all his questions on the NHS, briefly pausing to cast stern looks of reproach across the house. Although in retrospect he may have just been stopping to wonder where his next hot dinner was coming from.

Of course for Corbyn the health service is best understood not as a public service but a deity: divine, unimpeachable, the ultimate source of good and entirely above criticism. Such religious fervour naturally does not lend itself to irony, and so a particular highlight today was his concern about “bed blocking”. This is when an ill person should be discharged but due to poor administrative oversight they end up languishing in an entirely inappropriate position. Sound familiar?

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Who is Asking the Questions Today?

pmqs live chat may corbynOral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Peter Grant (Glenrothes)

Q2 Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn)

Q3 Daniel Kawczynski (Shrewsbury and Atcham)

Q4 Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne and Sheppey)

Q5 Angela Smith (Penistone and Stocksbridge)

Q6 Sir Simon Burns (Chelmsford)

Q7 John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness)

Q8 Holly Lynch (Halifax)

Q9 Mr Peter Lilley (Hitchin and Harpenden)

Q10 Tom Elliott (Fermanagh and South Tyrone)

Q11 Kirsty Blackman (Aberdeen North)

Q12 Mrs Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham)

Q13 Mr John Whittingdale (Maldon)

Q14 Wayne David (Caerphilly)

 

SKETCH: Czech Who You’re Talking to…

pmqsThose expecting a post-Trump meltdown during this afternoon’s PMQs were to be sorely disappointed, with the scant mention of the incoming President a clear indicator that MPs are still in denial, the first and most riot-prone stage of grief. Instead Jeremy Corbyn decided to press Theresa May on the Foreign Secretary’s Prague jaunt, where Boris decided – as one does when boozing in the former Eastern bloc – to draw up Government policy on the hoof. Bedecked in the full nun’s habit customary of British tourists in the region, and while momentarily pausing to chug from his overflowing half-litre of 1 Budvar, Johnson revealed that Britain “probably will have to come out of the customs union”. He then let out a satisfying belch and left to ride one of those multi-person beer-cycles where you cruise around town mowing down unsuspecting pedestrians and necking Premium Czech beer (that’s foul eurofizz” in Farage).

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Arise, Lord Farage? May Doesn’t Deny Nige Getting Peerage


Ridiculous that this hasn’t happened already.

Theresa May: Come up and See Me Sometime

She’s Theresa Mae West…

Classic Corbyn: Leads PMQs on Chagos Islands


Oops, Corbyn accidentally read two questions in one go.  Strong message here…

Who is Asking the Questions Today?

pmqs live chat may corbynOral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Wendy Morton (Aldridge-Brownhills)

Q2 Tommy Sheppard (Edinburgh East)

Q3 Mr Douglas Carswell (Clacton)

Q4 Neil Gray (Airdrie and Shotts) If she will postpone proposed reductions to employment and support allowance and universal credit; and what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on those reductions.

Q5 Lucy Powell (Manchester Central)

Q6 Mr John Baron (Basildon and Billericay)

Q7 Stephen Gethins (North East Fife)

Q8 Martin Docherty-Hughes (West Dunbartonshire) When she next plans to meet the First Minister of Scotland.

Q9 Judith Cummins (Bradford South)

Q10 Lisa Nandy (Wigan)

Q11 Stewart Malcolm McDonald (Glasgow South)

Q12 Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds)

Q13 George Kerevan (East Lothian)

Q14 Albert Owen (Ynys Môn)

Q15 James Duddridge (Rochford and Southend East)

Corbyn and Bercow’s Football Chat Caught on Mic

The Speaker probably sniffing around for another freebie.

H/T @estwebber

PMQs Special Guest Sketch

sketch

First thoughts. I’m sorry, but Jeremy Corbyn. Gotta say it: He’s shabby! The guy looks a mess. No style – no elegance that’s for sure. Definitely needs a new suit, and you know what? I could help him with that. We do a great line in tailoring for party leaders at Trump Suits. Check it out, Jeremy. Seriously. Because do you know what makes it worse? Just look at the place: very elegant. Nice leather seats, chandeliers, wooden ornaments and finery (who carves this stuff? It’s exquisite, real high quality) – Almost as high quality as Trump Tower! Paint some of the benches gold and this could be a really tremendous piece of waterfront real estate. Got serious potential there.

Apart from that  – and I know he gets a lot of stick – I don’t think Corbyn did badly. He certainly made Theresa look real bad on that whole baby thing. It was a smart move to congratulate Conor McGinn on delivering his own child. Can you believe that by the way folks? Delivered it himself! Amazing. Anyway, Theresa, she had no idea about Conor McGinn and his baby, so she responded by talking about Jeremy’s granddaughter! I know, crazy – does he even have a granddaughter? But seriously, how could she not know about Conor McGinn’s baby? Even I knew about it. And congratulations by the way Conor, you’re now in that great period just after they’re born and just before they start becoming super hot. What!? I’m joking! Calm down folks! Ivanka knows I’m joking.

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May Shames McLoughlin For Bad Baby Briefing

Plenty of bewilderment among the general public at the beginning of PMQs – let Guido explain.

  1. At the weekend, Labour MP and Corbyn-loathing former whip Conor McGinn delivered his own baby Neasa Constance.
  2. Jeremy Corbyn congratulated Conor and Neasa Constance on their happy news.
  3. Theresa May mistakenly thought Corbyn was talking about the birth of his own granddaughter.
  4. She publicly shamed Patrick McLoughlin for giving her the dud intel.

And they say PMQs is becoming ever more pointless.

Who is Asking The Questions Today?

pmqs live chat may corbyn

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 Stephen Doughty (Cardiff South and Penarth)

Q2 Rehman Chishti (Gillingham and Rainham)

Q3 David Mackintosh (Northampton South) 

Q4 David Simpson (Upper Bann) 

Q5 Mark Pawsey (Rugby) 

Q6 Callum McCaig (Aberdeen South) 

Q7 Angela Smith (Penistone and Stocksbridge)

Q8 Ben Howlett (Bath) 

Q9 Jeff Smith (Manchester, Withington) 

Q10 Gavin Newlands (Paisley and Renfrewshire North) 

Q11 Kelly Tolhurst (Rochester and Strood) 

Q12 David Warburton (Somerton and Frome) 

Q13 Chris Stephens (Glasgow South West)

Q14 Steve McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak) 

Q15 Gordon Marsden (Blackpool South) 

You Know What? It’s rigged. The Whole Thing Folks, Bigly.

pmqs

If you’re wondering why this week’s PMQs felt a bit odd it’s because this is the first time in a year that the Tories have been in a pickle and the attention hasn’t been on Jeremy Corbyn managing to create an even worse crisis in the Labour Party. And yet where is the praise for Jez for not cocking everything up for one solitary week? Nowhere. You know why? That’s because it’s rigged. The whole thing folks. The crooked pollsters, the lying media: the BBC, ITV, The Guardian – all in on it, and bigly too. It’s a tremendous shame. Sad folks! So sad!

Instead this week everyone’s been talking about just how Theresa May manages to successfully sidestep so many direct questions about Brexit. The good people at the University of York have decided she does it by opting to give a “non-specific response to a specific question”: in other words her interlocutor asks her about staying in the single market and she brilliantly counters that we need “to make sure the UK gets the best possible trade deal”. Of course the eggheads are wrong, and this is nonsense. Continue reading

Who is Asking The Questions Today?

pmqs live chat may corbyn

Oral Questions to the Prime Minister

Q1 James Morris (Halesowen and Rowley Regis)

Q2 Mr Christopher Chope (Christchurch)

Q3 Helen Hayes (Dulwich and West Norwood) 

Q4 Wendy Morton (Aldridge-Brownhills) 

Q5 Karl Turner (Kingston upon Hull East) 

Q6 Dr Alasdair McDonnell (Belfast South) 

Q7 Jim Dowd (Lewisham West and Penge) 

Q8 Alison McGovern (Wirral South) 

Q9 Mrs Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Berwick-upon-Tweed) 

Q10 Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East) 

Q11 Owen Thompson (Midlothian)

Q12 Sir David Amess (Southend West) 

Q13 Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford) 

Q14 Maggie Throup (Erewash) 

Q15 Stephen Hammond (Wimbledon)

Who Will Challenge the PM?

pmqs

The Foreign Secretary quickly cottoned on to the fact that this was not going to be the most riveting of PMQs bust-ups. That of course meant there was only one thing for it: time to get in a bit of light chin-wagging (read: serious ministerial business). Attempting to avoid detection or accusations of rudeness while his leader held court, Boris decided the best strategy would be The Cagney. Popularised by the black and white film star, this technique involves leaning in to one’s co-conspirator with head bowed and quickly yapping out the opposite side of the mouth: a useful tactic when stuck in the can. Unfortunately for Boris while the Cagney works a charm for Noo-Yawk lags on lockdown, it is rather less effective when attempted by a booming old Etonian with a penchant for peppering his sentences with Latin. He never was any good at “oratio sub rosa” (that’s “Boris” for “talking in secret”).

Proceedings had begun with all paying unreserved tribute to those lost in Aberfan Disaster, including the Labour leader. Naturally there will be those concerned that this indicates a breach of Corbyn’s Law, they need not worry – had Jeremy known of any other mass landslide casualties they would undoubtedly have been duly referenced. The leader of the opposition then decided to question his opposite number on mental health and the NHS. It’s a subject quite literally close to his heart as he has spent every Wednesday afternoon for the past year sitting a foot away from a man slowly losing his mind. Although fortunately Tom Watson did opt for the first time in PMQs to unclasp his hands, meaning that the small mouse he would usually crush over the course of your average session happily managed to survive this Wednesday.

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Theresa May’s Mrs Bone Innuendo

Theresa May has just said she hopes Peter Bone’s wife is going to treat his birthday “in the appropriate manner.” The Speaker can’t contain his excitement.[…] Read the rest

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