PMQs Verdict: A bit of a turkey

9th January, 2013 1:41 pm

The first week back at work after Christmas is always a little sluggish. It takes you time to find your rhythm again. It’s hard to
get back into the habit again.

That’s what PMQs felt like today. Sluggish and disjointed.

For Ed Miliband the tactics were clear – talk about anything but welfare. And to that end, he must have been doing somersaults in
Norman Shaw South this morning when he saw the front page of the Telegraph. The secret(ish) “annex” to the coalition’s mid-term review was an absolute gift for the Labour leader.

Unfortunately it was one he didn’t really take, as if he’d only come up with the questions just before PMQs and hadn’t really thought them through. The idea – broken promises – was a good one. The execution – much less so. That the report has even written at all is embarrassing, and that it’s being buried after PMQs to avoid questions on it is damning. Yet with an opportunity to hammer the Tories for broken promises, incompetence and hiding the truth, Miliband floundered. As Roberto Mancini might have said, maybe he’d had too much turkey.

Subsequent questions about ministerial resignations didn’t really hit the mark either in an exchange that was thoroughly unmemorable. It was like the heated up remains of the last PMQs – as unsatisfying as a turkey curry after a week of turkey sandwiches.

(To complete a hat-trick of turkey references, you could say this week’s PMQs was…a bit of a turkey…)

After the weekly half hour of water-torture political exchange had ended, Andrew Neil reminded BBC viewers that there’s over two years of these exchanges still to go. That’s not something that will fill any politically minded person with any amount of pleasure. Foreboding more like.

Limp stuff all around. But better next week? Surely? We live in hope…

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