Wednesday, March 04, 2009

PMQs: Harman Becomes Blunder Woman

Oh dear. Wonder Woman looks a little tarnished this lunchtime after a disastrous performance by Harriet Harman at PMQs today. She came to resemble Blunder Woman rather than Wonder Woman. William Hague was like a lion playing a mouse, pushing it around the floor with his paw.

And this time he eventually went in for the kill. He made her look a complete fool, and the look on David Miliband's face said everything. He was enjoying her discomfort.

Hague's second question was about the loan guarantee scheme, which was announced in January but it still not up and running despite the Prime Minister's promise that it would start by 1 March. She blustered in her own inimitable way, before Hague then listed four or five other schemes which the government had announced but failed to activate. Again, she had no answer.

Hague then teased her about her leadership ambitions, but she didn't see the funny side of it. Labour backbenchers barracked Hague who responded...

I'm only a deputy now, but at least I am a loyal one.
But instead of ignoring Hague's jibes, Harman repeatedly referred to them and accused him of indulging in political gossip. She should never have risen to the bait.

In past PMQs Harriet Harman has done quite well. She did not do so today.

Hague 8
Harman 2
Cable 5

UPDATE: Nick Watt, a journalist who is normally very perceptive, has clearly got an interview lined up with Harriet Harman. That can be the only explanation for THIS ludicrous analysis of PMQs, in which he says Harriet "hung Hague out to dry" and "won" the exchanges. Either that or I'd like a dose of whatever he's on.

26 comments:

Jonathan Cook said...

I was glad Hague went in for the kill against Harriet for a change - he definitely came out on top.

It is shocking that the government have implemented so little!

Harriet, in her final dig about after dinner speaking fees, did land a blow on Vince Cable and his £30K fees to RBS.

Cato said...

Stop Press.
Ted Kennedy getting a knighthood for services to life saving!

Really!!

Oliver Drew said...

Yes. Harman was useless today. The smirk and grin on the face of David Miliband was a picture - he clearly was enjoying himself. Obviously he is happy that one of his leadership "challengers" is suffering so.

William Hague did today what David Cameron should do a bit more often - go in for the kill. The thing about Hague was that he did it politely. Explaining points succinctly whilst digging the knife in further with each question. Harman looked like and sounded like a rabbit in the headlights.

Trouble for Labour is that Brown is no better.

Gareth said...

I watched PMQ's and I thought that Harman had just ended her political career with her dire performance.

Then, in the analysis on Daily Politics they all said that she did quite well and held her own.

Not only are politicians out of touch: even the political journalists are out of touch as well.

Oldrightie said...

The after dinner fees was said by the oh so impartial BBC to refer to William Hague.
That not withstanding the shaking hand today was other than Brown's!

Conand said...

I don't know what medication Brillo Neil was on after PMQs. They read out some of the VoxPop Emails (overwhelmingly saying Harman wasn't good) and then Brillo suggested that actually that isn't what the general public would think. Weird.
What's his evidence for that? The evidence was the opposite. Classic BBC comment. Once again my flabber is somewhat gasted. You would have thought Brillo would strive to keep balance in the studio as two of the three guests were Labour. Even 18DS' popular presenter Iain Dale would have realised the need for a bit of balancing there.

curly15 said...

Harman was quite awful, but I'm surprised that Hague left the Goodwin issue to Cable.

Patrick said...

Her PMQ performance is generally improving and she did hold her own against Hague.

She fielded the leadership bid question well and you can hardly blame her for the absence of Browns schemes. Again the question on 'saying sorry' was answered competently.

Patrick said...

And she doesnt have a juvenile sense of humour (like Hague). I think that is a good thing!

ghanimah said...

...look on David Miliband's face said everything. He was enjoying her discomfort.

Not just Miliband but Darling's face too. This seemed to be overlooked by the DP show, who for some reason thought Harman did well.

North Briton Hunter said...

Hague is always good value, a much better performer than Cameron in fact.

But Harriet, god she was terrible.

moorlandhunter said...

Harmen kept shaking her head, a clear indication she was hoofing the info she was spouting.
Hague made her look so weak and made her look like a mug with his final barb.
Great fun, but any hit on Labour brings me great joy.

stingray said...

Sir Freds knighthood was NOT given for Charity work!! Can Iain check into this and comment. I thing it may be to services for banking ( bbc news website - live pmq's page), but could be wrong.
oh dear, Harriet is wrong again.

Hague can be like a cheeky little schoolboy, yet he plays at it brilliantly. He could have gone in even harder I thought, felt he held back.

BBC's Daily politics and the Guardian all say Mrs Harperson was superior to Hague. What utter drivel.
When will the BBC stop spinning for labour.

Did Jonah go to the states as HH would make a complete fool of hereself at pmq's???

And she think electronic tagging of sheep is OK?? cue jokes people.

Yet another set of two fingers at rural england from labour.

Sixxstring90 said...

It was torture. Harman was absolutely tortured, and it was delicious to watch. Hague was absolutely brilliantly, fantastically, gorgeously, phenomenally, beautifully on form today.

Man in a Shed said...

Harman was useless and not a little unpleasant.

But the big news was Vince Cable who appears to have set the Lib Dem's sights on public sector pensions.

Now that's real news.

JuliaM said...

"I was glad Hague went in for the kill against Harriet for a change - he definitely came out on top."

Not a situation you'd think any man would like to find himself, when it concerns dear Harriet.. ;)

IUnknown said...

Iain - I have a snapshot of the Harman getting slamdunked in today's PMQs

Beware of Geeks Bearing GIFs

Zeddy said...

***And she doesnt have a juvenile sense of humour (like Hague). I think that is a good thing!***

No, her grown-up sense of humour consists of slashing benefits for single mothers while posing as a feminist.

Plenty said...

William Hague is good at both making labour politicians squirm, and also at citing the facts. In this session he clearly knew what he was talking about when it came to the FACTS. That is the beauty of Hague. He can do the knockabout, but also cite the facts.

Harman was like a shrivelling prune. She has just cost herself the leadership. I noticed Alistair was smirking as well...

That Kevin Maguire on the Daily Politics is pathetic and useless...

Rohan said...

Held her own against Hague? Bollocks. She walked right into his elephant rap and was reduced to frantically shuffling her notes to find something to say. You can tell when these muppets are up the creek without a paddle. They start squawking about 'skools n'hozpetals' with Harman throwing in children centres in desperation. Watching her 'corpse' was a pleasure.

Mirtha Tidville said...

The only thinh Hattie can hang out to dry is the washing........

strapworld said...

Iain, I agree with your analysis.

Incidentally Kevin Maguire, that well know middle of the road, fair minded political correspondent, from the top selling DailY Mirror, told the masses watching The Politics Show that Harmon really hit Hague with the after dinner speaking fee's...I tell you. Maguire is DESPERATE for a job within the Labour Party.

Mind you, if he waits a few months he may be able to buy it for a couple of bob!

Hague was brilliant. I hope Cameron was watching as he needs to do this to Brown. Especially after his unbelievable speech to congress....he should be asked who does he speak for? The United Kingdom or Europe?

He signed this country away without the referendum he and his rotten party promised the people and he will get his due reward at the next general election.

For such a religious man= why cannot he stop lying to us all?

Rory said...

Kevin Maguire gave an equally deluded view on The Daily Politics.

Dick the Prick said...

Curly15 - because that's just spin.

I reckon Fred is gonna make a whopping great donation to charity.

Thatsnews said...

She was useless. But useless in a spectacular way.

She was like the head prefect unexpectedly standing in for the headmaster of a school. Pretending to be grown up but failing. But the more she realised she was failing, the more angry and bitter she sounded.

Milliband was almost gurning with glee at several points. Darling stared at her as if he could not believe what she was saying. Milliband kept glancing across at him as if checking his reaction, bt Darling resolutely ignored him.

Her point against Vince Cable sounded waspish.

Her performance sounded like a Whine Festival. "And this vintage is made from a combination of sour grapes and bitter aloes."

titus-aduxas said...

Hague was having a party. He went in with a handful of irrefutable facts and stuffed them down Harpie Harman's neck.

She was on a hiding to nothing and you could hear the relief in her voice, when she got a planted question, for which she'd been given an answer.

As for the RBS speaking fees, she's only jealous because no-one is willing to pay to hear her speak. In fact, most people would probably pay to NOT hear her speak.