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

  • News Moving on from New Labour, not going back to old Labour – Miliband sets out programme for power at NPF

    Moving on from New Labour, not going back to old Labour – Miliband sets out programme for power at NPF

    Ed Miliband will make a speech to Labour’s National Policy Forum (NPF) in Milton Keynes today, setting out a “programme of Government” that would leave New Labour behind without going back to old Labour. He will say that his plan for power is “more radical and more ambitious”, by dealing with the specific challenges of the modern era. He will say: “We have moved on from New Labour. And we are not going back to old Labour. Instead, our programme for Government is more […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Charging migrants to use the NHS is unethical – Labour should say so

    Charging migrants to use the NHS is unethical – Labour should say so

    It’s been a busy news week in Westminster – with the furore over David Cameron’s cabinet reshuffle, the extremely worrying and invasive Data Retention and Investigative Powers Act (DRIP) passing through Parliament, today’s debate in the House of Lords over the Assisted Dying Bill debate and the tragic Malaysian Airlines crash. But, whenever there’s this much going on in UK politics, we should take a moment to think about what we’ve missed. One of the pieces of news that’s received […]

    Read more →
  • News Labour peer says assisted dying law is about “compassion and human dignity”

    Labour peer says assisted dying law is about “compassion and human dignity”

    Former Labour Lord-Chancellor, Lord Falconer, today opened the debate in the House of Lords over the Assisted Dying and urging his fellow peers to support the Bill. Lord Falconer, who is leading the campaign on the Bill, explained that it was time to “for a change in the law, but only a very limited and safeguarded change.” He said that the law would mean that those who are terminally ill – and only those with less than 6 months to live – and mentally […]

    Read more →
  • News Frank Dobson set to announce his retirement

    Frank Dobson set to announce his retirement

    Frank Dobson, the long-serving MP for Holborn & St Pancras, will next week announce his intention to stand down from Parliament, it is understood. He’ll announce his decision on Tuesday, at a meeting of his CLP. He has represented the seat in the  Commons since 1979. Dobson, who is retiring at the age of 74  began his career in politics at Camden London Borough Council, where he was elected as a councillor in 1971 before becoming leader of the council […]

    Read more →
  • News National Policy Forum – Liveblog

    National Policy Forum – Liveblog

    22.40: It’s nearly 11pm, but the behind the scenes NPF negotiations and deliberations are still ongoing. I spoke to TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes a little while ago, who was involved in the “pressure cooker negotiations” on rail. He told me “It’s hot, it’s fraught; but we are making progress on what could be the most fundamental paradigm shift in Labours direction on last 25 years”. And a London CLP delegate told me that they were “turning up the dial […]

    Read more →