Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Brown Trounces Ming at PMQs

The story of PMQs was to have been the clash of the titans, Gordon Brown and David Cameron. However, it turned out to be rather different and the headline was, yet again, a trouncing for Ming.

I certainly felt that David Cameron got the better of Gordon Brown, who looked quite nervous and spoke rather hesitantly. Cameron, by contrast, appeared confident and asked some good questions. Brown answered them competently. The whole exchange felt like initial skirmishings before the main contest.

But Ming Campbell's performance was lamentable and Gordon Brown lost no time in sticking the knife in, saying his "door is always open to the Right Honourable Gentleman". This provoked guffaws from everyone apart from the LibDem benches, who looked as though they were about to throw up. Brown gave Ming the opportunity for a funny follow-up, but the old barrister in him couldn't summon up the killer line and muttered that his door was "more like a trap door". He then asked a weak follow-up question containing three sub questions about nuclear power and council tax.

Oh dear.

John Reid's intervention was interesting in that he made Brown look a fool. Brown had promised David Cameron to look at whether an Islamic extremist group could be banned. Reid intervened to say that he had reviewed the evidence while he was Home Secretary and there wasn't enough evidence for a ban. I actually don't think Reid was trying to cause mischief, but that it the effect of what he said.

So maybe Brown's honeymoon has had a little interruption. Nick Robinson reckons Tory MPs have a spring in their step.

UPDATE: It seems most others found Ming's trap door line much funnier and more impressive than I did. Just shows, you can't win 'em all! Perhaps I shouldn't have been writing a blog post and watching PMQs at the same time. I am obviously emulating President Ford who was memorably accused of not being able to fart and chew gum at the same time. Can;t remember who by though...

UPDATE: Thanks to David Boothroyd for agreeing with me about Ming. Seems we are in a minority of two!

96 comments:

greg said...

Cameron couldn't have performed worse than last week when he ordered the opposition to applaud the Government.

He should have resigned on the spot for that.

Anonymous said...

ConHome took a different view, that Ming made the funniest joke.

I missed it so look forward to the sky replay.

Man in a shed said...

I thought Brown was very unsteady. Complaining of only being in the job for 5 days - but on other occasions referring back to his treasury days pulling the strings.

He also stopped looking at David Cameron directly and looked to the speaker for comfort. Again showing signs of not handling a real debate.

The Conservative team performance was solid and effective.

Chris Paul said...

I missed it too as I was taking some awesome deep throat stories from a secret and extremely well-informed informant.

But if you're saying Cameron was slick and showy and Brown was not - but did handle all the questions as well as slapping down Ming then I'll certainly take that.

Allan said...

What on earth are you talking about? Ming put in a solid performance, and put down Brown's jibe fairly effectively. Your view of things really is curiously jaundiced Iain.

Anonymous said...

Campbell's point was that Brown the "change candidate" will not change many unpopular policies of the old regime - nuclear power, Iraq etc

DAW said...

Iain please could you clarify...

I'm sure when a backbencher dared to say Muslim in the same sentence as talking about terrorism I'm sure I heard a number of tuts from around.

Please could you clarify, is it now the Official Party Line of the "Tories" (if you can call you lot that anymore) as well as Labour now not to mention Islam and terrorism together.

I feel we have 3 Chamberlain's as party leaders now, there is no debate, no opposition, you are all singing from the same Green Leftie Liberal Spineless hymnsheet these days.

1984 here we come....

Oh and another thing... Inter-faith dialogue, which faiths exactly will that be?!

Liberal Republican said...

I have to disagree, Brown easily made the Tories come across as negative and unwilling to work with the government.

Brown was nervous, but it was his first PMQs.

RacerDon said...

Very Churchillian performance.

Well not from our new PM but certainly from Straw and Smith, who were nodding their heads very much like the dog in those insurance adverts.

snivel said...

I've only been in the job 5 days...

Oh dear, bit wimpy wasn't it? Good of John Reid to come to poor Gordon's rescue.

simon said...

The Speaker is NOT politically neutral. His performance yet again was bordering on the sycophantic to Labour. I would suggest that he deliberately broke DC's momentum during PMQ's. But on to Ming- Bless him. Pass him the 'Worther's Originals'.

John, The Difference said...

Have to disagree with you, Iain. After Brown's great success this past week, I expected quite high things, but his performance was lamentable and was only made worse by Reid having to step in and rescue him - indeed, correct him - over Hizb-ut-Tahrir.

expriest said...

Oh dear, Iain's judgement has dipped again.

The problem you have Iain is your are unable to be objective when it come to Lib Dems ( cos you got savaged by a LAmb)

Now thats not a great problem cos all you do is write a blog so lack of judgement and subjectivity is not a curse.

What is a curse is that the more you get things so utterly wrong, the less people will take you seriously.

Howard said...

What rubbish Iain. Ming was very good and so was Cameron. What you should have pointed out was that Brown had to be rescued by Reid. The new PM was very poor.

Anonymous said...

I hope that during the General Election, Iain, we don't just get predictable attacks on the LibDems and Labour like this. We read this blog for humour and insight, not CCHQ-friendly commentary.

olly kendall said...

harsh analysis of ming, iain. for someone who has only two questions he managed to get in six which takes some doing and then came up with quite a nice quip which the House seemed to enjoy. it put a smile on everyone's faces including his. one criticism of ming at PMqs is that's he's seemed tense and nervy, but i thought he looked remarkaly at ease today. good questions from DC though in fairness.

Chuck Unsworth said...

Iain

You can't trust Nick Robinson's judgement. He's not so much a reporter as a professional showman. But I do hope the Tories have got a spring in their step, it's about time they started being a solid opposition.

Anonymous said...

Brown was very hesitant - only 5 days in the job is not a good enough excuse. He is or should be highly experienced at the dispatch box by now.

My feeling is that Brown is only comfortable with well thought out detailed presentations (i.e the Budget) but uncomfortable with free flowing debate and ideas. Its not a criticism of him - its just the way things are for some people.

Many years ago I was thrust into leading a very large organisation with only a few days notice and no training. I became ill and very stressed as a result. With years of experience since, I have been happy to play a close supporting role to other people who want to be leaders. It is not for everyone and for once I feel a certain amount of sympathy for Brown. I do not think that he is cut out for the job of PM because he has not got the right basic psyche for it.

It may well turn out that as number 2 to Blair he was indeed at the peak of his power and influence and that perhaps is what he wil be best remembered for. On a personal level I do not want to see a man struggle until a personal calamity forces him to resign.

I know there are many unkind things said about Brown here and I dislike many things he has done but I think a little humanity from us all might not go amiss.

Chuck Unsworth said...

Chris Paul: "I missed it too as I was taking some awesome deep throat stories from a secret and extremely well-informed informant"

You been talking to that Linda again? She's a game girl, eh?

penlan said...

I think that quote on President Ford was by Lyndon Johnson

mrsteed said...

It was Lyndon Johnson

Tom said...

Iain, after reading the replies here and on political betting, i think you are in a minority of one.

Brown was pretty avearge. Cameron was ok- better if the Labour MP for Glasgow North East..sorry...I mean the impartial speaker.

Tom said...

(meant to add)...had not stopped him speaking. He needs to go.

Dave Hill said...

I'd say Cameron took the first round by a narrow margin. I was most struck, though, by the buttons Brown was most eager to press: references to steadfastness and so on to emphasise his gravitas compared with Cameron's "fluffiness"; calls to national unity/common purpose designed to imply that if you, young Dave, are against me then you are against us all. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

You have to be joking.

That was Ming's best yet.

Brown gave Cameron an open Goal with the 5 days thing and Cameron couldn't think fast enough to even try a shot.

wrinkled weasel said...

Brown may have only been in the job five days, but he has had ten years to brood over it and several months to get briefed about it. He appeared weak and out of touch.

He has hit the ground stumbling.

He ended up stuttering. I started to wonder if the medication was wearing off.

DC produced some clear and laudable proposals on terrorism which were virtually impossible to ignore. He did well, and I am certainly not a DC fan.

Anonymous said...

One for / one against.

You were right about Reid - I think he was genuine in trying to show tribal loyalty, but the effect was to show that Brown needed help, and couldn't stand on his own two feet.

Agree with the others - Ming got his own back a little bit,and made Brown look a little bit snide with this 'door always open' comment..

Anonymous said...

if he's only been in the job for 5 days, I take it he doesn't work weekends?!

David Boothroyd said...

I thought Ming Campbell's 'trap door' line was an exceptionally weak joke, and the prolonged laughter that followed it was a desperate attempt by the Lib Dems to try to make it sound more intelligent than it was. Reminded me of nothing so much as the deliberate claque at Iain Duncan Smith's conference speech in 2003, which was meant to show his support but actually demonstrated his weakness.

ten more years plus said...

There were at the last count three people who watched PMQs'.Only one of them watched it more than once.The folk who vote at a general election were unaware of PMQs'.The folk who vote Labour liked Gordon,look at the polls.I agree with "greg" to applaud Blair was unbelievable.Cameroon should have resigned and taken this token of opposition with him.

Anonymous said...

The Politics Show did not seem to agree with you on the Ming Brown clahs - in fact it seemed Ming did fairly well. Iain, sometimes you let your spin even delude yourself.

mitch said...

The BBC is referring to the home secretary as 'Jacqui Reid':

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6268760.stm

Ross F said...

Michael Martin was very poor once again, the way he allowed Gordon Brown to drone on endlessly without answering the question was unimpressive, particularly on the first question about the Defence Secretary being reduced to a part time job.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Blairite (and proud of it!).

I thought it was a pretty poor performance by Brown. He looked and sounded unsure and his "I've only been in the job 5 days" excuse was pathetic.

I want to see Labour re-elected next time but, on this showing, we may have just ditched our greatest asset.

GS said...

Glum silence on the Labour benches tells the truth about the Cameron v Brown encounter.

Adrian Yalland said...

It was a case of Gordon stuttered, and Ming Spluttered, and Cameron won the day!

Thought John Reid's "F*** You Gordon" was a nice touch. Good to see some traditional comradeship amongst the Scottish Labour cabal that now dominate the country.

Tamburlaine said...

Agree with many people above. I'm not a Lib Dem voter but I have to say that Ming comes across as a decent and erudite man whose inability to thrive in the rabid PMQs atmosphere doesn't count against him. His trapdoor joke was the best line of the afternoon.

Brown was nervous but not bad - Reid didn't really 'rescue' him as the point about the evidence to ban H-ut-T had already been made in Brown's answer to Cameron.

The most refreshing thing was having a Prime Minister who actually tries to answer questions point by point! Long may that continue. I was so sick of Tony Blair's evasions and distortions.

Ralph said...

Brown saying 'I've only been in this job 5 days' (if reported by the media) will do him real harm.

why does cameron have no wrinkles? said...

Yes, Cameron was brilliant. DC was ace. Young. Fresh. New. He's reinvented politics. Dynamic. Blah, blah, blah.

Come on, Iain, none of us is objective, but we can at least try not to be so obviously partisan. You've got a diverse readership on here. We don't want Webcameron newspeak.

Liberal Republican said...

'I've only been in this job 5 days' was a tongue in cheek remark

Paul Linford said...

I actually don't think Reid was trying to cause mischief

Gordon will, though.

Anonymous said...

Ming put up easily his best performance ever [although that is not saying much].
Brown was a refreshing change from the sneering and posturing Blair. He may improve with experience. I doubt if he wanted Reid to reappear.
Cameron also looked comfortable for the first time in a long while and actually asked some good questions.

Victor
For once PMs Questions was worth watching and even the quantity of Labour sycophants was smaller though as lamentable as ever - parish pump affairs like the doings of the year 5 boys at a primary school. Local free newspapers are the place for those matters. But - I suppose that is why they are backbenchers.

gus demmy said...

Heres some shrink's view of Brown from politicalbetting's blog, seems quite sound for a headworker...

"Brown doesn’t usually stammer. The fact that he did so today (and yesterday in the HoC) confirms that he is seriously struggling to cope with the weight of his new office.

After that nervous performance today I expect him to be angry, depressed, and fearful of worse awaiting him next Wednesday.

His tetchiness, fear, and the stammering are only likely to increase, particularly if he learns that he has been nicknamed “Arkwright” after the stuttering Barker character.

I think things are going to become much worse for Brown, who will probably attempt to cope by his usual tactic of avoidance (ie Macavity)though I don’t see how he can avoid PMQs.

The other interesting aspect was the behaviour of most Labour MPs. Their faces betrayed what we call “frozen awareness”, probably due to fear of Brown and fear of being seen to let him down in any way.

In many ways Brown shows all the classic characteristics of a bully so it was ironic to hear him supporting Childline and anti-bullying initiatives."

Marquee Mark said...

'I've only been in this job 5 days' was a tongue in cheek remark

With that weird facial tic thing he does, all of Brown's comments end up being tongue in cheek....

horrified bystander said...

I give Arkwright Brown 6 months before he's carried out of Downing St. by the men in white coats frothing at the mouth and tied to a stretcher.

Anonymous said...

OT Iain since the Coronation of Brown ,your little chipmonk doesn,t seem to have that horrible smile anymore ,can it be the dour one has spoken to her about it.

machiavelli said...

Ming's joke was good, but was still unintentionally a joke on himself - painted Brown as mendacious, sure, but made him look the fool for stumbling into the trap. Tory front bench enjoyed it - they were all laughing and pointing at the ground.

It's really not fair though, poking fun at the poor doddery old senile chap...

der untergang said...

You're all being very cruel , Gordon's only been in the job for FIVE days! I liked Osborne's reaction to that, reminiscent of the Springtime for Hitler audience in The Producers.
It was also very worrying to see Des Browne and Dawn Primarolo sitting together on the front bench: working together , who knows what evil those two could be responsible for? *shudder* Keeping in mind Geoff Hoon this must be what he meant when he spoke , we now realise ironically., of a cabinet of all the talents.

Anonymous said...

The only person worse than brown today was the utterly ludicrous gorbals mick. a more shameful speaker i cannot imagine.

Brown was horrific, if you get turned over by a ming joke then you truly are in trouble!!

bring on an early election!!

Newmania said...

Anon 12.55 - I interpret your remarks as deliciously cruel . I hope that was the intention.

Lib Dems - Iain bends over backwards to be fair minded about your manifest failings (amongst other reasons). I think you might show a bit more appreciation.

I am looking forward to Brown having to speak without a month to prepare. If one person laughed at him then everyone would forever. I just have a feeling that he is vulnerable .Is it the way he says the same thing endlessly or his defensive posture on English votes. Perhaps its the lie he told about inclusiveness within about five minutes and his fraudulent misrepresentation of the EU Constitution.
Did he really have to take these risks? This is someone who cannot believe anyone likes him and once the Blair is gone euphoria dies down , he may well be right .
Why the hell would anyone like this deluded night creature.

I scent fear.Cameron will make him look the fool he is

Slim Jim said...

Clearly Brown is not an 'off-the-cuff' man, but I suppose that he will improve once he's used to it. Does the PM get advance notice of the questions, or just general outlines?

I think the young Cameron was right to ask the questions he did, and he really needs to exploit these opportunities and get some clear (blue) water between the 2 main parties. As I see it, there are 2 very important topics where he can exploit this: a) On ID cards - Brown seems determined to press ahead, even though it will be a vote loser! b) EU referendum - again Brown looks like he won't budge, so now is the time to press on this issue and heaven forfend - widen it to include 'in or out' for the referendum! Both of these issues have enough sub-menus to get our teeth into.

oh my gord said...

I urge everyone to look at the complete shock and disbelief on Osborne's face following Gordon's bizarre plea for mercy (the 5 day 'mitigating circumstances' defence) Priceless.

2br02b said...

A modicum of objectivity in your comments might be a good idea.

I do believe that far from being trounced, this was Ming's best question time performance yet.

As for 'five days'.... Well, actually it's not just an 'excuse', it's a fact. If GB had expanded that remark to say, " Come on! I've been in the job five days, a new cabinet has been formed, we've had a major terrorist crisis: the fate of the organisation you ask about is on our agenda, but it was not the first item on the list. We will get to this soon."

Overall, I think the GB/DC battle was a draw. This was just the opening round; both were really just probing each other. I think DC may soon start to feel GB's full power soon...

Oscar Miller said...

Gordon "only been in the job five days" Brown was rubbish. Cameron hit exactly the right note and looked relaxed and confident. His call to ban Hizb ut Tahrir is extremely welcome. And Ming was quite funny and trumped Brown - something he's never done against TB. Were we watching the same PMQs Iain?

Slim JIm said...

I forgot a 3rd issue that DC can get Brown on the ropes with, and that's the West Lothian Question.

Oscar Miller said...

As for 'five days'.... Well, actually it's not just an 'excuse', it's a fact.

Actually it's not a fact 2br02b - he's been in the job seven days.

vervet said...

Ming's trap door comment was moderately amusing, but poorly delivered (see Paul Merton's comedic advice to Boris Johnson on HIGNFY).

I very much doubt Brown's 'stand-up' routines will improve ... he just doesn't have the personality.

The behavior of Gorbals Mick is simply outrageous - so blatantly the least impartial speaker to have held office for many years. It's an afront to parliamentary democracy. He should be locked in the Tower.

Arkright! said...

As s s s s s s someone with a s s s stammer, I object to being liked t t t t to Gordon brown!

Anonymous said...

A pretty even affair overall. Brown was nervous, stuttered a bit.

Cameron, reasonable, but should have broadened his questions out. Any fool can keep querying a detail.

Ming, the quip was good but ultimately at his own expense, otherwise poor.

The 5 days remark I thought, was more of an attempt at irony at Cameron's Badger-like persistence on the question.

Also, refreshingly, none of the Blair reading out prepared notes or ignoring questions not in the answers

Ned said...

Really, really surprised how inept Gordon Brown was at PMQs... in contrast how well Dave Cameron asked the questions and performed in a statesman-like manner of a seasoned parliamentarian.
A well deserved applaud & a bounce for moral in the Tory ranks

bounce trounced said...

Let's get real, the 5 day remark was dire , it shows how Brown is susceptible to pressure in a way that Blair never was.

stammering start said...

This was disastrous and humiliating for Brown. You could see the first realisation of what they'd done begin to horrify the Labour MP's.

Anonymous said...

you are over inflated. 'you can't win them all?' win what?

eric the fish said...

"Trounces" - that's a bit old punch and judy politics don't you think? I hope you're not living in the past old thing...

DJM said...

Even Prescott was never as bad as Brown at PMQ's. I can't recall a more inept performance during Parliament's televised era.

I don't see Brown lasting very long judging by his first week. Bet Blair's wishing he'd kept his seat now, he could have been back in No. 10 by Christmas!

Anonymous said...

I think it is a little bit strong to dismiss Brown's performance as the 'worst ever'. There was certainly a touch of the 'half-empty glass' about it, but he's only in real trouble if his performances deteriorate from here on in. If he improves with the practice, it may be difficult for Cameron to have the easy ride he did today.

Although when even Kinnock marks it as a 'score-draw' he will need to up his game fairly quickly..

Votedave said...

I think DC has embraced the substance politics of the new Brown era, and made very good points on the extention of phone tap evidence, why the Hizb ut-Tahrir had not been banned as the government had promised two years ago, and that there should be a border police force without ID cards.
No clunking fist on a very substantial-looking DC there -he had a lot of valid points to make and debates with flair.
Very interesting times ahead!

penlan said...

"Only been in the job five days..."is an odd response for a man who has been Chancellor for the last decade.PMQs may not be to everyone's taste,but Brown ought to have been better prepared to face them than any incoming PM for years.It does not bode well.

the orator said...

OH BOY! What a godsend to the Tories. Cameron was sweet nice and kind, not at all like the bloggers on your site. But Brown STUTTERED. Not only did he stutter but he left mega gaps in between stutters. This man can be destroyed in the Chamber itself. There has always been one problem with British Democracy: no matter how clever you are, if you cannot articulate your thoughts you will get trounced. Best of luck to Cameron. I would advise reading all of Churchill's speeches to learn how to destroy an opponent with speech alone. Brown is a disaster. Rip it to him, folks.

Oscar Miller said...

Cameron was good at PMQs from day one. The "you were the future once" line was a classic delivered with aplomb under monumental pressure when he really was an absolute beginner. If with ten years experience and oodles of time to prepare Gordon Brown blows it like he did today, the prognosis is he simply can't cut it. He can't think on his feet. That's a talent, not something you learn from experience.

don't underestimate nick said...

Nick Unsworth. You underestimate Nick Robinson at your peril. He is as dyed-in-the-wool conservative as they come. He is also extremely clever and soaked in politics. Frankly, I'd rather he was Tory Leader than a BBC journo. He's also fair - and gives the lefties a lot of leeway, whether within the Tory Party or the NuBrown Party.

me again said...

Apologies -- it's CHUCK UNSWORTH.

roman arena said...

anon 12.55 is spot on. Do I recognise a psychiatrist? Brown is close to mental destruction. He, very cleverly, hid behind Blair. Now he's out in the open he's stuffed. I do hope the conservative parliamentarians are going to hit him hard and often.

Anonymous said...

If the party wants to win an election it should go for it now. Brown is a liability. It's called going for the jugular, something these blogger commentators well understand. The man's not up to the job, full stop.

Des Twa Jobs Broone said...

Lydon Johnson on Gerald Ford was on the lines of 'He is the only man, who can't chew gum and piss straight at the same time.'

anglo celt said...

Labour can try to spin it whichever way they like but the fact is Brown was pathetic and HE knows it.

That inept performance will eat away at him inside, destroying his confidence and lead to mistakes, tantrums, and an even worse display next week.

This isn't someone who will improve with experience. He is a monstrous but fragile ego who will implode in time under the pressure of criticism and scrutiny.

Brown is New Labour's achilles heel and will bring them down.

Anonymous said...

So... it seems that Blair was the greatest politician of his era after all!

dog lover said...

Who the hell is this Ming character? Is he a cartoon character? Does he lead a party likely to win an election? Your headline ought to be something along the lines of: 'Eloquent Dave thrashes Burbling Brown". The Liberals have been non electable for many years prior to
Thorpe - a great potential leader - killing his boyfriend's dog.

Ian Thorpe said...

I think John Reid made Cameron look a bigger fool than his own party have recently.

You can no more ban Islamic extremeist groups than you can ban prostitution or binge drinking...

bebopper said...

Oh dear. Brown had the makeover - the new teeth, the expensive hair-do, the nice suit and tie. He's had voice coaching and advice on losing that wierd gulping tic between sentences.
None of this helped him when Cameron got up. I'm sure the man literally shit himself. Like a boxer pushed from the corner to face a scowling, tattooed opponent, he was thinking: I'm on my own. They're all expecting me to do something.
Suddenly, he was stuttering (and probably farting or worse). The Labour back benches were silent, but the Tories were taunting him. As I watched on TV, his face looked haggard, anguished, like Munch's subject in "The Scream".
I imagine Gordon is hiding in a spare bedroom in No 10 at the moment. He's in the foetal position and he's desperately sucking his thumb. Sarah and Ed are at their wits end; they're thinking of putting him on suicide watch.
On PM, Eddie Mair suggested that with experience he may get better. Mathew Parris disagreed. "No," he said. "He's going to be like this for ever."

london taxi driver said...

Brown's fragile confidence will be shredded after that dismal performance. After a few tantrums, sulks and probably quite a bit of sedation Macavity will be desperately looking at ways of avoiding similiar humiliation and trauma in the future.

Is the end of PMQS in sight?

john boy said...

It was 'walk and chew gum at the same time..' though LBJ had such a foul mouth he might have meant the rather more colourful offerings

Anonymous said...

How can you say that John Reid made the PM look a fool? He was supporting what the PM said! Don't overplay the negativity Iain.

Anonymous said...

The comments here are getting real sad. I wonder how many staff at various party HQs are trying to meet their targets?

canvas said...

Gordon Brown sounded like a crying schoolboy - boohoo boohoo :)

tapestry said...

Listened to only part of a play in the car today on Radio 4, which featured David Cameron in moderately unflattering light, a media tycoon, someone called Toynbee and it was all about Conservatives.

Cameron seems to be getting lots of attention, all of a sudden after the media blanket of the last 10 days.

It was an enjoyable play. maybe you can find it on bbc website. No idea what it was called. about 6 pm ish.

2br02b said...

I see you all managed to miss the most impressive point of all in Browns PMQ performance:

Not once did he refer to the 'telephone book' that TB-- and Maggie--utterly depended upon to get through.

This is in fact makes his by far the most impressive first PMQs for a new PM in years.

I give you fair warning: as they say in his home town (which is in fact Glasgow, not Kirkcaldy) GB is going to marmalise DC at the dispatch box in the coming weeks and months.

tapestry said...

Just watched PMQ's. Ming actually looks good now. Against Blair, no chance, but against Brown, he does well. I thought the 'trap door' comment flummoxed Brown and he looked upset by it. Ming seemed relaxed and capable.

Cameron on the other hand is so far ahead of Brown as a debater that it almost like he was Brown's boss giving him instructions. It's not that Brown's nervous that matters. It's that he's not good at the job. He really doesn't know how to work PMQ's in a most fundamental way.

If he is asked a particular question of detail, he tries to answer it with a generalisation, a reference to how he is going about the subject maybe, or to 'our country' or the 'British people' - and it's only once he's got the talk back into woolly generalisations he seems to relax.

He's continually trying to coax his questioners away from tackling him publicly and repeats over and over that he'll meet them to discuss this all later on (in private) as if that's somehow better than exposing the debate in the House, which he clearly hates.

When he knows a bit about something - the Childline part - he pours out masses of detail as if that's meant to impress everyone with how much he knows. He gives far too much detail in his answers.

It's as if he's not quite sure which bit of detail is the one that counts so he tries giving you the lot, and then goes for his crescendo of 'magnificent job' 'British people' 'strong steadfast' blah blah blah.

The poor guy really has no idea, and hates being seen out of control when he's built up so much expectation. He knows he's not good enough, and it shows, but he thinks he can somehow make Parliament go away and he can shine in other fora - like the media maybe or in private negotiations where he feels powerful again and in control.

Blair warned that he is a clunking fist - no jusdgement, no finesse. We know he's cack-handed after seeing him operate as Chancellor making British tax the most complicated system anywhere in the world. How the hell did he end up as PM?

His own side look miserable apart from Quentin Davies who manages to maintain a supercilious smile as his new hero crumbles a few rows in front. Quentin seems to like failure. It's what he's used to!

oh no! said...

Even though I hate Gordon Brown I did want to hide behind my sofa (Dr. Who style) when he began to disintegrate today. It was just painful to watch!

5 day probation's up! said...

Fishy Eric: "that's a bit old punch and judy politics don't you think?"

Ahhhh Brown blew it and you're not happy are you? Poor futureless Labour lickspittle.
Why can't people be nicer to Gordon eh?

bebopper said...

Good post Tapestry
I also enjoyed the sight of Quentin Davies on the Labour benches,
Some lunatic on Brown's team thought it a good idea to place the fat fool two rows back, in line with the new PM and therefore shown on tele.
He smiled continuously, a smile so inane he brought to mind Alfred E Neumann of Mad Magazine.
Long may he be paraded to show us the evil of our ways.

DJM said...

2br02b said...

"I see you all managed to miss the most impressive point of all in Browns PMQ performance:

Not once did he refer to the 'telephone book' that TB-- and Maggie--utterly depended upon to get through.

This is in fact makes his by far the most impressive first PMQs for a new PM in years."

Really? Can I assume, then, that if you were to go to see a Nigel Kennedy performance, and he sounded like a screeching weasel with hemorrhoids, that it would still be a virtuoso performance because he never once looked at the sheet music on the stand in front of him?

He was shocking, just admit it. All you've done is bring attention to the fact that as well as fluffing all his lines and inspiring as much confidence as Baldrick leading the charge at the Somme, he also totally neglected to do his prep.

Anonymous said...

Last August “Mr Camera On” wrote to Hizb ut Tahir in reply to a letter from the group and thanked it for its comments over the war in Lebanon. Addressed to Jamal Harwood of Hizb ut Tahir. It states "David is most grateful to you for your comments on relationships between Western governments and the Muslim world. "He fully takes on board the points put across to him in correspondence from members of the public and it's very helpful of you to have taken the trouble to write. "Your comments are noted and appreciated."

Oh dear !!!!!

Graeme said...

Ming may have impressed the Guardian comment writers, but even they were forced to retract their view about Cameron this morning. Cameron was *perfect* yesterday: no silly jokes, completely magisterial, sensible suggestions about how to increase security which our havering fool of a Prime Minister couldn't respond to ....

... I am more and more convinced by the Matthew Parris hypothesis about Brown. THere's no great secret to fathom about Brown. He's just (to borrow Newmania's perfect phrase) a squalid liar. We can now add that he's a Clunky Fister: no parliamentarian. No wonder he appointed that nobody creature as Home Secretary: he is increasing the political pygmie ratio in his cabinet to hide his own lack of stature.

Anonymous said...

But Gordon said - "I've only been in the job for 5 days ! It's not fair Mr Speaker !

Anonymous said...

So Iain Dale says Brown Triumphs, while Quentin Letts says Ming wiped the floor with him.

How many vote for Iain's judgement?