PMQs Verdict: Dear John

March 6, 2013 1:05 pm

When Ed Miliband stood up to ask his first question at PMQs today, citing a John from East London who was worrying about his living standards, Cameron must have been expecting a standard question on the Bedroom Tax – I know I was – but with a neat little pivot, he put Cameron under pressure on a different issue – banker’s bonuses. It was a nice piece on Parliamentary theatre, and set the tone for this week’s PMQs. Whilst Miliband’s touch was light, the Prime Minister was heavy handed, angry and raging.

And taking a moment to curse anoint Theresa May as the next leader of the Tory party didn’t lighten Cameron’s foul mood – especially when he saw who she was sat next to.

Certainly, Cameron managed to produce consummate delivery of a couple of attack lines developed in the Downing Street bunker. There was one about a croupier that worked in principle (sounded a bit posh mind Dave, I like a gamble but I’ve never seen a proper croupier in my life) but of course it’s ahistorical in the extreme. Because whilst I agree that Labour (and all Western governments to a greater or lesser extent) were gambling on the success of questionable banking practices, there were no greater cheerleaders for financial deregulation and letting the untrammeled free market rip than the current Prime Minister and Chancellor, with Osborne once saying of Labour’s regulatory regime in the City:

“much of this regulation has been burdensome”

But since when have facts and honest got in the way of a good bit of knockabout at PMQs eh?

Of course it wasn’t long before Miliband made it on to the Bedroom Tax, and anyone who saw the distressing Newsnight report on Monday would be able to tell you what a huge and troubling issue this is. But the Tory benches brayed and booed even at the very mention of it, unwilling or unable to grasp the enormity of the situation, seeing instead every person affected merely in terms of their cash value. They are the epitome of those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

The disabled will be hit hard by this measure – the weasely worded “spare room subsidy” – so it bears remembering what Cameron said just a week ago in the same chamber at the same time:

“This government always puts disabled people first”

So tell me - how exactly do you sleep at night, Prime Minister?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001116515833 Michael Carey

    Has the ‘Is Labour tackling immigration or just pandering’ piece been deleted?

    • postageincluded

      Seems to have disappeared. Probably cockup rather than foul play.

  • Monkey_Bach

    I wish when Cameron does his “answer a question with a question routine” that Ed Miliband would give the Prime Minister a few pointers and ideas because as things stand Cameron is clearly and patently clueless about the effects of his own policies as much as everything else. Eeek.

    • JC

      He learned his techniques from his predecessors. Boring and partisan, but it appeals to your own side.

  • http://twitter.com/alanper1961 alan perez

    So what did Miliband ask or say? What good is an article like this if you leave out the main details of the piece???

  • markfergusonuk

    I’m sorry, you appear to mistaken this for a verbatim transcript of PMQs…

    • http://twitter.com/alanper1961 alan perez

      Actually I wasn’t expecting a verbatim transcript but something more indepth than ” he put Cameron under pressure on a different issue – banker’s bonuses”. What good is telling us that something was good theater and not giving us anything to go on. Yes after looking for it on youtube and finding it I agree but you could have given the punch line which was basically “I have a constituent who is worried about being able to survive on just a million pounds bonus a year…”

  • Pingback: PMQs Verdict: Dear John #PMQs - Trends | Trends

Latest

  • Comment We stand up for human value – we proudly defend the Human Rights Act

    We stand up for human value – we proudly defend the Human Rights Act

    If you’re part of the Labour Party, or hold any similar values, you will certainly share the absolute belief in respect and dignity for everyone. I don’t think anyone in our movement, with our principles, would disagree. And so, with those common values, we are entirely right to stand up, loud and proud, for the Human Rights Act. The publication this week of Human Rights: Reflections on the 1998 Act by Jonathan Cooper in Stephen Hockman’s Law Reform 2015 (with […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Scotland Friendship and solidarity must prevail, as the fog clears

    Friendship and solidarity must prevail, as the fog clears

    The air hangs thick this morning with the referendum. Last night a deep fog rolled down across Edinburgh, but in reality it is the campaign which has blotted the vision and stopped even the keenest of observers from seeing what lies just a few footsteps ahead. The final days has provided one crucial clarification though – the No campaign is capable of great passion and powerful rhetoric. Mocked, endlessly criticised, a reputation dragged through the muck. Despite it all – […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Scottish Referendum – The Liveblog

    Scottish Referendum – The Liveblog

    Are you campaigning in Scotland today? Send us your stories (named or anonymous) to elections@labourlist.org – and we’ll run the pick of them on the liveblog. 15.41: In Newarthill, Labour NEC member Johanna Baxter tells us that one man refused a poster today because the guy who was putting up No codex boards in his area last night got attacked. 15.04: More graffiti on same polling station as earlier (see 12.51 update). All of it has now been painted over. […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Scotland Please don’t go

    Please don’t go

    I’m pretty well known for writing from a personal perspective. So I thought a column comparing the pain I feel about the referendum to the pain of my divorce would be easy to write. maybe a little trite even. How can this compare to that kind of personal pain? Well, it does. Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does. I feel like a lover treading on eggshells desperate to please. I really, really don’t want Scotland to leave me. So yes, […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Scotland Solidarity – a view from South of the border

    Solidarity – a view from South of the border

    “Solidarity” has always been a special word for me. But it has never been an easy one to define. Loyalty, unity, mutual support; all of those come into it but none of them quite sums the word up properly. Somehow solidarity is the “whole” that is more than the sum of its parts. But however difficult solidarity may be to define, you know when you see it and you know it when you experience it. As a trade unionist and […]

    Read more →