Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Brown Wimps Out of PMQ Confrontation

It is outrageous that Gordon Brown has ducked out of PMQs today because of the South African state visit. No disrespect to the South African President, but he's not exactly in the top ten world leaders is he? And the fact is that Brown has other meetings scheduled with him during the visit, I believe.

I don't know if anyone has done any analysis of this, but I reckon the number of Brown PMQ duckouts is proportionately far higher than it ever was under Blair, Major or Thatcher. It was rare indeed for Mrs T to miss a PMQs and she had double the number to do. Brown seems to use every excuse to do so. I wonder why that would be.

UPDATE: I am told Brown has missed 8 PMQs in two and a half years, giving him an attendance record of 88%. I'm trying to get the figures for his predecessors.

UPDATE: 5 Live have just reported that Brown has missed twice as many PMQs as Blair did over the same period.

19 comments:

Events dear boy, events said...

I have given an explanation as to why Brown has pulled out of PMQs on my blog. Any views?

CommonSense said...

I didn't compare against previous PMs but last year I did look at Brown's attendance rate at PMQs:

http://righttocommonsense.blogspot.com/2009/04/gordon-browns-cowardice-for-pmqs.html

I think however since then this is the second PMQs that he has missed.

It is interesting however that Brown had a 100% attendance record at PMQs until he dropped behind in the polls!

Sean Haffey said...

He's a Very Busy Man, Iain, and has Priorities.

I don't think we should be criticising him like this. We should show Respect.

Irene said...

No doubt Harpoison will make up for it today.

spencer said...

The less the voters see of Gordon, the better for Labour's position in the opinion polls.

HM said...

Sean, I don't know what you're on, but can I have some?

Bill Quango MP said...

Its the right thing to flee.

Hunter-Gatherer said...

Go back to twice weekly.

Sean Haffey said...

>HM

Vintage port. Even something as recent as 2000 is starting to be quite reasonable, although it will improve markedly if kept properly.

You may prefer a peaty whisky, in which case may I suggest Ardbeg?

Enlightened Despot said...

In 2009, Harman stood in for Brown on four occasions. I don't know how that compares with other PMs, but that doesn't appear excessive. And let's remember that Cameron is refusing to answer questions about Lord Ashcroft. What excuse does he have compared to attending a G20 meeting?

Moriarty said...

He'll answer the same number of questions, whether he's there or not.

p smith said...

Quite the opposite. Given the Ashcroft headlines it was a perfect opportunity to keep the story warm and assail Cameron with it. Given Brown's improved showings recently (or should that be Dave's poor performances), I don't think he is that bothered about squaring up at PMQs.

If he had ducked them last week when Bully Brown was the story du jour, you might have had a point.

George said...

So Brown wimps out.
Big deal.
We won't miss anything.
He doesn't answer questions from across the way and relies on placed easy Q's from backbenchers.
PMQ's has become boring because Brown is useless.
It's all so boring and tiresome, 'cos Bercow, the prat, won't regulate Brown and chide him to respond properly.
It's all a travesty and needs some proper fixing.

Bill Quango MP said...

R5 say that Brown has avoided twice the number of PMQs as Bl;air had over the same period of time.

A real man of courage

Right Hon. said...

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE!

Politician refuses to answer question.

Yawn...

forgelindin said...

Possibly the people of South Africa might disagree. Its not unreasonable to miss PMQs for a state visit. There is more ceremonial importance to exchanges in PMQs than anything that is actually of any interest to mostly anyone.

Alan Douglas said...

Brillo says Brown has missed 12 %, that Blair missed 5 %.

Nearer 2.5 times than 2 times.

Alan Douglas

Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

I did an analysis of this yesterday here Iain.

Brown is behind Major but taking into account of the number of times PMQs occurred decades ago compared with now, he appears to be the #1 Macavity, twice as absent as Blair.

Jimmy said...

Given Cameron's recent performances, Brown would only be accused of bullying again.