PMQs - The Verdict
With accusations of sleaze dominating the front pages and the rolling news channels, visitors to the public gallery might have been surprised to hear barely a whisper about money troubles at prime minister's questions this week. The elephant in the chamber was Conservative MP Derek Conway's generous use of the public purse to top up his sons' pocket money, but - frustratingly for Gordon Brown - the Labour fundraising scandal which last week forced his first ministerial resignation meant he could not stick a clumsy boot in.
Prime minister's questions – live
Gordon Brown has lost a cabinet minister since the last PMQs and, with Derek Conway no longer taking the Conservative whip, David Cameron has in effect lost an MP. So both of them may be reluctant to start lecturing the other on standards in public life. If the Sun is anything to go by, then Cameron has decided that today's the day for an announcement on stop and search powers (enabling him to pre-empt the government's initiative on the same issue due next week).
Gordon Cuffs Boris
While the BBC employed an expert on the Daily Politics today to interpret Gordon's hand gestures, I wondered whether the BBC thought about doing the same for Alex Ferguson at United games. I have to say while watching PMQs (before the post-event analysis available on the above link) I thought that Brown's cuff link had popped out. Therefore I wasn't too surprised when he started fiddling with it trying to put it back together.
Another week of Mr Soundbite versus Mr Won’t Answer The Question. Of course any chance of these two amateurs discussing what everyone is talking about was very unlikely. Accusations of pots and kettles would have had made this week’s drama just too much as one accused the other of having a corrupt party. Instead they both accused each other of not being very good at their job – why this didn’t fall under the kettle and pot category, I am unsure.
The problem is, neither of these two are very good at PMQs. Both are repeating the same gags and accusations while never actually landing any good punches. Cameron is like a man possessed by alliteration at the moment – it is like he has just learnt what the word means and now wants to impress everyone with it. Today’s alliteration was a particularly low point - "flannelling about the Flanagan report". So bad in fact, that everyone’s ears pricked up and it will probably make the evening news and a few of daily rags too. So maybe not so bad afterall!
Brown continues to do what he does best – the one thing that annoy me more than anything else – he just listed a load of statistics and blamed the world’s problems on the Tories. He then accused Cameron of learning his lines – again. Heard it all before Gordon. At least Cameron’s learnt lines are more listenable than the never ending repetitive stats that come out of your twitching gob.
What have we done to deserve these two? This has to be the lowest point in PMQs for a long, long time. I’m talking decades. On the government benches we have a man who wants to bore us in to submission and boy he is doing a good job; while on the other we have a man who wants to be flash, unfortunately his lines are about as good as the Fastshow’s Swiss Tony’s right now.
Please up your game gents. I have to sit through this non-event every Wednesday and its starting to feel more like Groundhog Day. In a first for The Poliblogs, today I score it a no-score draw, because quite frankly these two don’t even deserve half a point from a small time blogger let alone to get a prime time slot in Parliament.
On a plus point – Clegg looked a lot stronger today. Please keep it up, for the sake of my sanity!