Wednesday, 12 December 2007

PMQs 12 December 2007

Brown's artful dodger act

This time, Brown came ready for Cameron. If asked about one of the many embarrassing issues dogging him, he’d say “he has missed the opportunity to talk about substance” then indulge in his list of fake economic greatest hits. Cameron thought on his feet, pointing out that the substance is going wrong for the PM too. But Brown responded by again saying that Cameron can’t talk about substance, and produced another boast. So, much for the great exchange.

Coffee House

PMQs - The Verdict

It was the last prime minister's questions before Christmas but there was precious little generosity of spirit on offer in the chamber. Acting Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable at least sounded a seasonal note as he laid into his old friend Gordon Brown for the last time. "When the prime minister tucks into his brussels sprouts on his one day off at Christmas, which of the various disasters of the last six months will he regret the most?" he asked. The prime minister, memorably dubbed "Mr Bean" by Cable, could not resist trying to have a dig back.


Live blog of PMQs

Editor's verdict: "A win for Brown but more because of Cameron's choice of questions rather than because the PM performed well. DC's second set of questions were too trivial although he started with Kosovo, of course. David Cameron should have asked about substantial issues. Labour's record on education would have been a good topic. Cable's first question was funny. His question on Iraq was over the top." Nick Robinson, however, says that Cameron's aim of painting Brown as indecisive could be of great long-term benefit for the Conservatives.

Conservative Home

Vince Cable gets full marks for PMQs again

Vince Cable seems to have got most commentators' thumbs-up for most amusing and effective of what was his and this year's last Prime Minister's Questions.

Liberal Burblings

Slow Start To Final PMQs Of The Year

The last session of Prime Minister's Questions before Christmas began as a strangely subdued affair. After a Tory question on the involvement of Lord Drayson in defence exports, there followed a moving tribute to Lee Johnson from his constituency MP, which took place in complete silence.

Niall Paterson

A mixed bag of emotion at PMQs

There were tears and laughter at the last Prime Minister’s Question Time before MPs scatter up for their Christmas break next week. A sombre start to the session saw a respectful hush fall over the Chamber as Labour’s Dari Taylor paid tribute to her constituent Sergeant Lee Johnson, killed in Afghanistan at the weekend. Her voice choking with emotion, the Stockton South MP came close to weeping as she pleaded with Gordon Brown to ensure Sgt Johnson’s finance be treated with care.

Three Line Whip

Downhill all the way for Cameron

Another poor showing from the Tory leader at PMQs today and yet more proof that under Cameron the Tories have gone as far as they can. After today's woeful performance it comes as no surprise to hear the likes of Peter Riddell pointing out that "the public is dissatisfied with Gordon Brown, but not yet enthusiastic about David Cameron."

The UK Daily Pundit

The Verdict

By no means a classic. There is a real mixed opinion about who came out on top today around the blogosphere. Cameron really has not been hitting the money these past few weeks, while Brown become a bit of a ducker and diver on just about every questions. It does beat him losing his temper or giving a plain stupid answer that lands him it like he prone to doing a month or so ago.

Once again the real star, the only star, was Vince Cable. Boy the Lib Dems are going to miss him.

I score it:

Brown 0.5

Cameron 0.5

So that is it for 2007 and PMQs. Taking today result in to account, Cameron has come out on top 8.5 to 4.5. To be fair, he has had all the aces, but there have also been times when Brown really has dug his own grave. The first few months of next year are going to be absolutely critical in defining how well this Brown government is going to fair – and much of it will be played out at PMQs, so come back in January for the weekly updates and scores!

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