Wednesday, March 10, 2010

PMQs: All Brown Can Shout is "Ashcroft!"

This was a PMQs where if you are a Labour supporter you will think Brown wiped the floor with Cameron and if you are a Conservative supporter you will think the reverse. I would say that both views have an element of right on their side. When Cameron went off script and attacked Labour back benches for questioning the politics of the Chiefs of the General Staff, I was cheering him on, but I recognise that others will think it was a mistake. Brown could have scuppered Cameron by immediately disassociating himself from the remarks, but Brown wouldn't have ever had the good grace to do that.

Cameron pressed Brown on the lack of provision of equipment in Afghanistan and then on defence spending, but the only answer that came from Brown was "Lord Ashcroft, na na na na na". Pathetic stuff, but of course the Labour benches loved it. Even Jacqui Smith on the Daily Politics called it "inappropriate". Again, Brown demeaned the great office he holds.

Cameron made a great debating point about how it was Thatcher and Reagan won the cold war while Labour MPs were wearing CND badges. But Brown hit back with a good jibe about Cameron being at school at the time.

And Nick Clegg was listened to in silence when he asked about prisons. Clegg has seriously gone off the boil in PMQs.

David Cameron 7
Gordon Brown 7
Nick Clegg 4


Michael Heaver said...

Oh come on Iain, Cameron totally lost his cool today and flapped. Brown with a rare win. Clegg is never going to lead the LibDems to a breakthrough, the definition of meat in the room.

moorlandhunter said...

I know that I try never to use bad language on these forums and comment boards but watching Brown today just repeating the same old tired, boring USSR/ Soviet Bloc tractor facts he now has a new word. Ashcroft, it seems he can’t do anything but add it to his list of his Soviet Bloc style list.
Brown is a prick….sorry

moorlandhunter said...

Cameron 8
Brown 4
Clegg 4

North Briton 45 said...

I'm afraid your scores just confirm it, a very good win for Brown.

Tories winning the Cold War? A rather absurd claim and undermined Cameron's entire line of attack

sarah said...

A very generous 7/10 for Brown. Wow. I thought he was truly awful - the Ashcroft stuff was seriously embarrassing, even for a man who jettisoned his dignity many, many years ago.

Brown - 0/10 - the arrogance, cynicism, dishonesty, dysfuntionality, and sheer brass neck of this man should guarantee the Tories a landslide. So why isn't it?

Cameron - 8/10 - a genuine burst of temper will do Cameron no harm with the public - in fact, they might even like it. More anger please, Mr Cameron

Clegg - 2/10 - becoming wholly anonymous - some worrying signs for the Limp Dims at 16% in the polls.

Anonymous said...

The cold war was won in 1989. 20 years ago.

Cameron was 23 and working for the Conservative Research Department.
Brown was 39.

Alan Douglas said...

Ashcroft should announce that Mr Brown's panic and noise about him has persuaded him to double his donations to the Conservatives.

Alan Douglas

Anonymous said...

Heaver- If Iain Dale got half as angry with the lying toads of the labour party as Cameron did today them he might make a half decent MP.

yes the LDs are at 26%, but it depends which poll. YG had them jump 4 overnight! can you believe that?

Moriarty said...

"Tories winning the Cold War? A rather absurd claim and undermined Cameron's entire line of attack".

Could have been worse: he could have claimed to have "saved the world".

Dorian Smith said...

North Briton 45

"I'm afraid your scores just confirm it, a very good win for Brown."

As Iain's scores were:

David Cameron 7
Gordon Brown 7

Doesn't it show a draw? Maths was never the left's strong point was it?

Tom King said...

Clegg was the only leader trying to ask a serious question. But sure, carry on, enjoy the synthetic Punch and Judy antics of Brown and Cameron.


How is it possible that a man who has trashed UK plc might have any hope of winning the election or having a say in the formation of a future government?

If Brown was in Cameron's shoes as leader of the opposition Cameron would be in pieces. Why is that not happening?

Brown trumpets that he has the character to lead us out of the economic mess. Well, if that's the same 'character' that led us into an economic abyss, no bloody thanks!

Brown is unfit to be PM. The labour hysteria about Ashcroft is once again pathetically hypocritical. Some things just never change.

Anonymous said...

North Briton - "Tories winning the Cold War? A rather absurd claim"

Thatcher and Regan won the cold war against constant opposition from labour and scare stories about WW3. they opposed the deployment of cruise missiles and were against 'star wars' and wanted to appease Russia at every turn.. Just look - they even elected CND Foot as leader. Blair was a member of CND.

Cameron was totally right and will have cheered every conservative with his remarks and about labours CND traitorous memberships.

DespairingLiberal said...

I see you repeat the tired lie that Reagan and Thatcher "won the cold war".

The cold war fundamentally ended because working people, particularly in Poland, but also elsewhere in the Soviet block, gathered together to systematically challenge the oppressive system they were living in. It had little to do with the usual (maniacal) idea that it was "cruise missiles" that "saved" us. Gorbachev was a reflection of this movement of working people and he bowed to it.

In fact, if anyone one individual is responsible for ending the cold war, the best candidate would be Pope John Paul II, who supported, inspired and aided those radical Catholic priests in Poland who were so instrumental in defending and promoting Solidarity.

I would also remind you that Margaret Thatcher regarded the unification of Germany, one of the crucial acts in the ending of the CW, as a threat.

Dorian Smith said...

DespairingLiberal said...

"I see you repeat the tired lie that Reagan and Thatcher "won the cold war"."

One thing's for sure, we would have lost it had your lot been in charge.

miko said...


7 - was that SEVEN for Brown?

I must have been watching another PMQ's.

For the first time Cameron got genuinely angry and it worked.

No,that was a disaster for Brown.

The Labour front bench had the look of doom on their faces.

They will be annihilated at the ballot box.This knowledge will be driving Brown to even greater depths of behaviour.

Mick Turatian said...

Brown could have scuppered Cameron by immediately disassociating himself from the remarks, but Brown wouldn't have ever had the good grace to do that.

I'm not sure I entirely agree with your analysis. Certainly Brown is a stranger to good grace but I think he lacks the mental dexterity to respond to an unexpected and contentious point.

Give Brown a couple of hours in which to reflect and he might decide whether to apologise or not but don't expect a mind like his to turn on a sixpence.

DespairingLiberal said...

Dorian, we nearly lost the whole world when "your lot" (let's assume that means Reagan) were "in charge". If you don't believe me, read about Operation Able Archer in 1983, when a combination of Reaganite rhetoric, mushrooming expenditure on nuclear weapons and Soviet paranoia brought us very close to nuclear war.

I for one breathed a huge sigh of relief when Reagan left office as did many people in the Pentagon and Nato by all accounts.

Damon From Birmingham said...

Gordon Brown attacked David Cameron for being at school when the cold war ended. I was at school too when the Cold War ended - a Prime Minister that devalues the opinions of everyone in their early 40s and younger simply because of their age is a Prime Minister who does not deserve to hold that high office. We should all remember this on Polling Day.

Mark Senior said...

The correct ratings for PMQ performance today
Brown 4
Cameron -2500
Clegg 10

Seriously the consensus on was that Clegg performed well today

Bill Quango MP said...


A novel interpretation of history.
Did you read that in a guardian supplement?

The USSR found it impossible to maintain its huge army, that it persisted with to bridge the technology gap with the west, while also providing for its citizens.

The arms race of Reganonmics, that so horrified the left, undeniably significantly contributed to the Soviet collapse when they could no longer make the choice between guns and butter as there was no funds or productivity for either.

You say ...The cold war fundamentally ended because working people, particularly in Poland, but also elsewhere in the Soviet block, gathered together to systematically challenge the oppressive system they were living in.

And why was that? Living in a worker's paradise shouldn't they have been ecstatic at their lot?
Bread at only the equivalent of 2p a loaf in Poland in 1983.
But there was no bread.
Why was there no bread DL?
Why were there so few cars? The largest auto and tractor factories in the world. Where were the cars?
What the hell were they making in those factories if it wasn't cars?

Enlightened Despot said...

Yes, Cameron made lots of debating points. Fine if this was a school debating society, but after a while I just wanted to throw a brick through the screen. When will Cameron and Brown realise that their pathetic point-scoring just alienates those whose trust and support they want? And when will the Speaker turn PMQs into a genuine Q&A session rather than the current half hour of personal attacks, planted questions and soundbites?

Anonymous said...

"Cameron was totally right and will have cheered every conservative with his remarks and about labours CND traitorous memberships."

That's what really hacks me off about the Right - the notion that anyone who doesn't agree with you is a traitor.

Grow up.

Martin said...

And whilst hundreds of thousands of working class men were being slaughtered in WW2 Michael Foot was ...... sitting on his cowardly arse.

Yet the socialist scum praise Foot. Me I'd spit on his grave like every other cowardly socialist deserves.

cherami said...

@ DespairingLiberal,

It wasn't really like that. More that Gorbachev had already hinting he would not interfere if any satellite tried to do things its way.

Never mind. Believe in the spontaneous uprising of an oppressed proletariat if it makes you feel any better. Never happened anywhere.

The Purpleline said...

Why does nobody have a backbone in the commons and say Foot was a KGB Stooge, probably a useful idiot, but none the less a traitor.

And while he sniped at Labour for wearing CND badges, he should have gione further and asked what connections does Brown have with the KGB after confirmation his mentor Jack Jones was a confirmed SPY. aND lORD FONDLEBUM was a fully paid up member of the communist party. So yes under the Tory government we did win the cold war, I would rather say the battle was won, but the Soviets re-treated and gave us the EU and Nu Labour. Communism is on the march it has only been disguised under a new hat.

Charles said...

Despairing Liberal, you are clueless. The cold war was won because the investment by the US in sophisticated weaponry and the clever bluff over star wars caused the Soviet Union to bankrupt itself in trying and failing to keep up. That led to harsher condtions for its subjects whoch caused them to rise up.

Anonymous said...

Do not talk rubbish Despairing Liberal. The Cold war was an economic and technical war as well as a war of wills and propaganda.

By facing up to Russia and challenging it at every turn the West (ie Thatcher and Regan) forced the economic collapse of the eastern block.

No maceuser - the likes of CND were and still are traitors, willing to sell their country down the road to soviet block hegemony.
Tough if you don't like being on the wrong side of history.

Fundamentally Cameron today gave the classic reason to Vote Tory - the lefty CND supporting socialists will always sell Britain down the river.

Lady Finchley said...

You're way too generous giving Bean, oops, I mean Brown, 7/10. His obsession with Ashcroft is cringe-making and I think some of the Cameron doubters will be well pleased with his righteous anger.

Martin said...

What the wet left don't get is that Thatcher and Reagan attacked the Commies on all fronts, yes there was a military element (Star Wars was for the most part a big bluff but it showed the Commies the intent of the USA) but also political. Reagan was a champion of those in the east trying to break free.

What do we see Barry O doing over the protests in Iran? Bugger all, what an utter disgrace and coward (typical socialist) Barry is, real unrest in Iran, real grass roots opposition to a vile regime and Barry says nothing, as does the one eyed coward.

If Mrs T and Reagan were in power right now, they'd be giving total backing to the uprising in Iran.

Oh and did I also point out Michael Foot WAS A COWARD? I thought I'd repeat it just in case I forgot to mention it before.

Will said...

I think that the Labout party made a VERY bad mistake today. Not much is moving the polls at the moment. For Labour to say that the people sent into fight for their country are led by Tory stooges is something that might well make many very angry. It may make the armed forces angry and might leave it in peoples minds that the reason the armed forces are so ill-equipped is because they are biased towards the Tories. Labour are using them as expendable cannon fodder. Just saying.

Jimmy said...

Cameron appears to have outed himself as a communist. Not only did he say he disagreed with the late Michael Foot's views on the Soviet Union but he also complained that it was an insult to describe someone as a tory, in spite of the fact that it was that very party which won the cold war. Apparently.

Dorian Smith said...

Very weak Jimmy, you can do better than that, not that much better but better.

Thanks Despairing Liberal, but I don't need to be pointed to a wiki entry, I lived through the whole thing and have drawn my own conclusions, thanks very much.

If you think the Cold War period was a Golden Age for the left, good on you. I disagree.

Anonymous said...

I heard Yesterday in Parliament this morning and it ran this as follows:

Bercow - please behave.

Cameron - CoDSs criticise Brown, Labour MP accuses them of "being Tories", Brown moans about CoDSs and refuses to criticise Labour MP's comment.

Brown - "Ashcroft!" Out of context and looked like sniping.

Bercow - please behave

Brown - Tories cut defence budget, Cameron, because we won the Cold War.

Clegg - err, can't remember.

So in terms of Toady Prog

Cammeron 3, Brown 0, Bercow -2, Clegg, dnf.

LibCync said...

"Nick Clegg was listened to in silence"

That sounds like some serious progress for Nick! I'm not sure what your point is?

DespairingLiberal said...

OK, so there's some backtracking about Mrs T having "won the cold war" - her profound opposition to the re-unification of Germany being somewhat hard to explain away if you support the theory that the Tories Won the War.

On SDI (Star Wars), the view that it was "a bit of a con game" is utterly bizarre if true. It cost more than US$100 billion. If that's the sort of money the planet needs to spend on Pentagon "con games", then you might have good reason to feel despair about the human race.

The stuff about the Soviets being outspent contains truth but it isn't decisively why the War ended. Gorbachev came in on an internal reform platform because the system was unworkable but he was eager to try to reform rather than dump it. It was the overwhelming pressure from Eastern Europe, especially Poland, that brought down the house of cards from the edges inwards and not some government decision of the Soviets to give up the struggle on cost grounds.

In fact, if the last stages of the cold war bankrupted the Soviets, they had an equally profound economic effect on the US (and us). Reagan rang up vast deficit funding it all and we are still paying the price, as that deficit was funded by exporting it to China and Japan and running down the productive parts of our economies.

javelin said...

The economy and social infra-structure is in a perilious state. A sympton of a deep malaise in a nation of flabby bellies and flabby aspirations. In the Global economy we can only borrow to satiate our hedinistic urges. No politician dares tells us to work for something when they can promise us something for nothing.

Selling the UK a runious vision for the future has never been easier, because we've forgotten how to dream.

Lauchlan McLean said...

Re the various posts regarding the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Communist Empire, surely a major factor was in the discontent of the people at the loss of thousand of Russian soldiers,the vast cost of funding the futile and non-winnable war in Afghanistan which meant that Soviet citizens were starved of food and fuel.I sincerly hope that a similiar situation cannot repeat its self again or can it ?

Jimmy said...

The Soviet Union fell when oil prices collapsed, but if you want to think Thatcher did it then go ahead, but I'd be intrigued to know what all these cold warriors felt about the the Hague/Ashcroft/Castro love-in.