Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Harman Pulverised at PMQs

I'm typing this while listening to William Hague battering Harriet Harman into submission in the House of Commons. Normally, Hague pulls his punches when facing her, but not today.

Harman started off by calling him 'the Foreign Secretary' and was then upbraided by the Speaker for trying to bring Lord Ashcroft into an answer to a question which hadn't been asked. Hague was full of gags and put downs, and for once didn't hesitate to show Harriet Harman up for the lightweight she is. She desperately tried to drive home points about Ashcroft, but Hague was always on the front foot and told her that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. He then suggested that while Brown is at the Palace attending on the Queen he should kill two birds with one stone and ask for a dissolution of parliament.

Vince Cable then asked about Michael Ashcroft's non dom status. He gives Harman an opportunity to kick the ball into the net. Instead, she kicks it into her own with a fumbling answer.

I was glad she mentioned the title of Michael Ashcroft's autobiography DIRTY POLITICS, DIRTY TIMES. It's a bloody good read, I published it and thought of the title!

Hague 9
Harman 2
Cable 6

44 comments:

Bill Quango MP said...

Harcrash TV

Stepney said...

I think 2 is a tad on the generous side there Iain.

That was an about as abject performance I have ever witnessed in the HoC or any public speaking event for that matter.

Stuttering, answering the wrong question, getting Hague's title wrong, being upbraided by the Squeaker, attempting to crowbar Ashcroft into every answer, fumbling for words and exhibiting her utter lack of economic knowledge.

Utterly shameful.

Lovely work by Hague on Dromey though. As the "loyal" Labour man who initiated the Cash for Honours enquiry at the behest of Brown to bring down Blair, this all had a nice circularity to it.

Magical_Mist said...

It was a very good PMQ's. Hague was again very statesmanlike and gave a fantastic performance.

JGS said...

Hague was splendid, Harman was hopeless, and it's never off-topic to comment on what a posturing twit Ben Bradshaw is.

Alan Douglas said...

In that case :

Dale 24
Hague 9
Harman 2
Cable 6

ALan Douglas

D. Bum said...

I'm afraid that I had to turn the telly over as she was an utter embarrassment. Her confusing of the interest level on government debt with the level of Sterling made her sound utterly stupid.

I hope she is the next leader of the Labour Party.

jontomes said...

It's is so obvious that I can't believe no-one has yet made the Mrs. Merton connection between good old Gordon and his best friend (Lord) Paul...

http://jontomes.typepad.com/blog/2010/03/an-honest-days-labour.html

Strawberry said...

Saw it. Loved it . Hague at his best!

OldSlaughter said...

Iain, like a good gaffer on a film set, you are never far from a plug.

titus-aduxas said...

I'm going to have to watch this on youtube, it sounds like a good day for the Mrs Dromedary.

Perhaps Westminster Council should take her into care to stop her doing any more harm to herself.

subrosa said...

It was a good performance from Wm Haig and rather 'light' by Ms Harman. I'm being polite here Iain.

sarah said...

Hague - 9/10 - why every opposition MP should NOT take Hague for granted - he can rip apart anyone when the mood takes him

Harpee - 0/10 as shrill, partisan, and as petty as I have ever heard her. Her attempts to answer every question with Ashcroft utterly backfired. A small minded Marxist, nothing more.

Cable - 5/10 one decent joke, jumped straight on the Ashcroft bandwagon. Is this man a serious politician or a stand-up comedian? Neither.

Overall - a rowdy session, a clear win for the Tories.

Cath said...

Hague on fire.

Remind me why he isn't shadow chancellor?

DespairingLiberal said...

It's odd, because Hague does much better these days when he is no longer leader than he did when he was - lack of such feelings of pressure, or just more experience? The latter I suspect.

Harman was all over the map and very much the "last days of the Raj".

Am I the only one who actually quite enjoys the roaring and yaboo of PMQs and gets actually quite irritated with Bercow's constant imprecations to stop because the public hates it?

Not a sheep said...

I wonder if Gordon Brown misses so many PMQs just so his party get to see how poor the best elected alternative to him is.

Cynic said...

I shot off to the BBC website to see this. And when I clicked on the link to PMQs what did I get .... a BBC hagiography of Michael Foot.

I am sure this is simply the BBC making a mistake or not being able to afford to stream 2 videos off their huge website at the same time rather than an attempt to save Harriet's blushes.

As for Foot, well I don't wish him ill, but we also need to recognise the truth about him. He was an abject disaster as a leader and a politician. Duped by the Soviet Union over nuclear disarmament just about every cause he supported or fought for was discredited time and time again. History will judge him as a blank page ....but the BBC would have us believe that we have just lost a huge statesman.

Bright witty intelligent and a great orator he may have been.....but he was wrong wrong wrong and tried to lead this country down a path to nowhere.

So may he rest in peace but let's have a little dignified honesty about his contribution so people are gulled into the same sort of mistakes again

Cynic said...

The BBC link to PMQs has now disappeared completely

Tomfiglio said...

Hague is the only British politician to show true leadership potential. Why vote Tory if it means Cameron will get in?

Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

Was fantastic car crash TV - especially the excrutiating bit when she had to ask the plant to repeat his planted question again, while saying this is why he wasn't a plant.

She made Brown look good it was that bad.

Got Guido's Live chat PMQs highlights here

Right Hon. said...

I'm sorry I missed it.
Hard-man Hague hammering hopeless Harman...

Will go some way to drive away those nausea-inducing thoughts of Hague "begging Tony Blair" to make Ashcroft a lord.

alastair said...

You were too kind to Vince Cable. Having hair grow out of your ears doesn't make you an economic guru.

With regard to poor Harriet Harman - I was embarrassed for her.

Are she and Gordon really the "best" that labour has to offer?

Nigel said...

Where are Jimmy and goldenballs ?

They should be here, telling us what a devastating performance H. Harman gave.

I liked the comment on Guido's site: "Harman would fail the Turing test".

Charlie said...

Told off my the Speaker twice for Ashcroft; talked about the 'inexperienced' Shadow Chancellor twice. These were clearly her planned attack lines. Hague asked about policy and she fluffed it. Badly.

Nick said...

She really did not understand the question about bonds at all. Amazing incompetence from Harperson, vaguely reminiscent of why Blair sacked her as secretary of state for social security all those years ago. Plus ├ža change...

cherami said...

Best PMQs since whenever.:)

Difficult, but I almost felt sorry for Harman.

Almost.

Neil James said...

I managed to grab the PMQ's today on youTube and I thought it was painful to watch really painful

Dorian Smith said...

BBC being true to form, the link on the news page is headlined:

"Harman: Ashcroft affair has undermined Hague".

Just links to PMQs.

If anyone was undermined it's that harpie Harman.

BushBaby said...

That was embarassing Harman reading by numbers came across as she was the tea-lady walking by and being co-opted in to stand for Brown who had again done a runner.
The Speaker was as sqeaky as ever no one taking any notice of him.
Cable and Harmen going on about Ashcroft as though we the voters give a sh*t about this so called scandal.
No wonder I will find it hard to gurder my loins to go and vote for this shambles called Westminster

Intentionally Blank said...

Isn't it remarkable that whenever Brown or Harman put in a dreadful performance at PMQs, that somehow the BBC doesn't manage to get the full PMQs session onto the BBC website or iPlayer until late in the afternoon - thereby missing the early evening news cycle and ensuring public exposure is limited.

When Brown does well, somehow the full session is available almost instantly along with an accompanying news story about how Brown performed well during 'lively clashes'. Uncanny.

The Purpleline said...

Simply the best TV programme I have ever seen. Young William was magnificent and Cameron would do well to unleash him and Clarke on this sorry lot.

Hague also got a great attack on the Unions and the fact they were killing British Airways. We Tories must remind the people just what to expect from the poison pills left by Brown.

His Unions will be out on the streets and we must shoot them down metaphorically of course.

Moriarty said...

@Dorian Smith

That's pretty much how they headlined World at One.

The answer is simple. Don't pay the licence fee. I don't.

Mick Turatian said...

OldSlaughter: Iain, like a good gaffer on a film set, you are never far from a plug.

That's very good. Good stuff from Wm Hague too. He has the gift of being a natural wit.

longrun2 said...

Next time someone mentions Hague recommending Ashcroft for a peerage could you mention Blair ennobling Lord David Sainsbury who has given over £15m to New Labour and whose family firm benefits from the government changes to planning rules to favour new supermarkets at the expense of small town centre retailers?
Er, can you remind me which party was investigated in the "Cash for peerages" scandal - didn't it start with an "L"?

thespecialone said...

Just read the BBC website about PMQs. All they mention is that Harman questioned Hague about Ashcroft. The video on offer was just 1min 44secs long. How utterly biased is that?

angelnstar said...

http://cyberboris.wordpress.com/2010/03/03/question-time-for-boris/

BREAKING NEWS

Boris Johnson to appear on Question Time tomorrow night, but where are the Labour big guns prepared to take him on? Lord Adonis will be there, but what about Balls, Miliband, Harman, Campbell? Too hot to handle is he guys? Scared he will run rings round you? I am probably being totally unfair, and they all had pressing engagements.

Jimmy said...

Nigel,

Haven't seen it I'm afraid but seeing as you ask I'll take a look, but a would agree that Hague is usually better at this than Lightweight.

norman said...

Jimmy,

Better than Brown the Bully, the clunker?

Moriarty said...

To some extent Harman deserves credit. She was inarticulate, obtuse, intellectually lightweight and unable to think on her feet. And yet she still stuck to her guns and managed to trot out the Labour talkining points du jour.

In a way I admire her: much as I admire our own "Jimmy".

Moriarty said...

@Norman

Can a laughing stock really be a bully? He can only be a "bully" to the extent that Gordon Brittas was a bully.

Twig said...

Harriet was terrible, she didn't answer any of Hague's questions and the Speaker let her get away with it!

The speaker should insist that each question is answered before moving to the next question even if extra time needs to be added. Just keep them all behind until the questions are answered, that would focus their minds.

I can't imagine how Bercow could attract any votes from Tories in Buckinghsm, Labour voters maybe but surely no Tory would back him.

The leftist BBC completely misrepresented the engagement as we've come to expect, but they're in full election mode now and fighting for their very survival, so it's no holds barred from here on in.

Jimmy said...

Norman,

Ok I'll give you that one. She was bloody awful. Iain's score for her was overly generous.

As I said before Hague is pretty good in the house. Put him in a studio though and this happens,,,

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/audio/2010/mar/03/ashcroft-hague-conservatives

Ciraric said...

Is it just me who fully believes that Harman did badly on purpose to make GB look good?

Honestly, I like Gordo more now.

Gerry57 said...

I sense that the Conservatives are fighting back at last. Cameron, Clarke and Hague are beginning to pull their weight. Hague bashed Harman on to the ropes, then Vince Cable let her revive by asking even more questions about Ashcroft. He should have made the killer punch - but what do you expect from a Liberal ? Seems like they've already aligned with Labour in preparation for a hung Parliament.

boggartblog said...

Ashcroft is a non story as we learned to nobody's surprise today.

People don't get as rich as he is without being clever or at least having expensive lawyers to be clever for them so he was never going to be caught breaking rules was he?

Comedian On Trial