Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Cameron Impresses at First PMQs

It was a very assured performance by David Cameron at PMQs. He even answered the questions put to him, which was a welcome innovation. It was interesting to see that he didn't have a sheaf of notes in front of him like Gordon Brown used to read from.

Facing Harriet Harman, he resembled a lion playing with a mouse. He appeared determined to kill the mouse with kindness, but in the end he resorted to instinct and crushed her beneath his foot in his final answer on the married tax allowance. Conservative MPs were delighted, and so they should have been.

We saw a Prime Minister in command of his office, thinking on his feet and doing his best to give an honest answer to a question - even when he didn't know the answer. I wonder how long he will be able to keep that up!


killemallletgodsortemout said...

What a change from PMQs with Brown!

Measured, confident responses to questions, and stunned silence from the reds on one occasion.

Pick the snot out of that, Labourites!

Pam Nash said...

Was Gordon in the House, or is he still on the missing list?

Lawless Anarchist: said...

I thought Cameron did very well, but I think you've been a little unfair to Harriet.

Cameron never satisfactorily answered the nuances of her answer on rape, and failed to make the case for anonymity. Perhaps this was deliberate, I suppose he didn't want to be lured into a daily mail headline: 'Cameron loves rapists'.

As for defence of marriage tax break, his answer was masterful.

I thought PMQ's was enlightening for a change, I only hope the Cameroonian administration does away with planted questions for the moment. They look poorly staged and no-one can feel satisfied with a set-piece answer.

Cameron 8

Harperson 6

Michael Heaver said...

I wonder which potential Labour Leader would be best at PMQ's vs. Cameron? Certainly not Ed Balls...

Alan Douglas said...

What a boring PMQs, and I say that with huge delight.

We had questions, AND answers. Also one time when he said he did not know, and had a barrage of boos from Labour. They have a nerve !

The Strident Feminist Opposition Party seemed to be demanding things from a 1 month old government that she never got from her own side in 13 years. I wonder if she realises that ?

Alan Douglas

Roger Thornhill said...

I am surprised Brown was not there. If I recall, he was always very keen to ask Cameron questions at PMQs.

Jim Baxter said...

Are there notes of cynicism in this post and the last?

Desperate Dan said...

It was really interesting from beginning to end - not just the PM/Opposition Leader exchanges.
It was informative. MPs on both sides of the House seemed like normal likeable human beings.
There was a civilised atmosphere and the MP who tried to introduce class hatred looked boorish by comparison with everyone else.
I thought I might have missed the shouts and insults but I didn't. This was much better.

Jimmy said...

So would I be right in assuming that one PMQ session a week rather than two is suddenly no longer considered the constitutional outrage we were once told it was?

Unsworth said...

@ Jimmy

Assume what you like. Who cares, anyway?

Chris said...

Good question @Jimmy. Do you think we should go back to having two?

Nonny Mouse said...

Agreed. I thought Cameron nailed it.

Was the anonymity just for suspects not for trials new? I got the feeling it kind of took the wind out of Harriet's sails a bit.

By showing that supporting marriage helps reduce long term social problems and saves money it looked like the government has answers and Labour has none. Also, by not coming back when Cameron said the tax break was for same sex parters too Labour seemed a bit homophobic.

If this is 'new politics' then I like it much better than the old kind.

Nonny Mouse said...

Will the term 'happy coalition' help change the narrative from 'find the split'? They should use it again.

50 Calibre said...

PMQs was actually worth watching for the first time in years. Very refreshing.

Brown was apparently busy buying world cup stickers at his local Morrison's. Since he's chosen to remain an MP, presumably because he's realised that nobody's is going to give him a job, are his constituents getting value for taxpayer's money?

robonly said...

Giving Hattie 6 is being a but generous, no? She was average, not really impressing and wasting her questions when there looks to be greater issues to enquire about.

But 8 for DC seemed about right.

cherami said...

Apart from getting a lot of people into Oxford, Slough Comprehensive School (aka Eton) makes rather a point of teaching good manners. So Cameron will always be polite (until he's on night feeding duty) even if he does not feel it.

Hattie was rather good too. Breeding will tell.

cherami said...

Maybe we should stop scoring it, too. It is an exchange of information (or should be) not a boxing match.

trevorsden said...

No, two 15 minutes is what we should have - but labour brought in this trojan horse.

We have 5 years 'til the next election and no labour leader. So PMQs as a piece of politics is meaningless for quite some time.

Blair started of with no notes, but as events took over they came out. Same with Thatcher.

What we do need to do is find an honourable way for parliament to recognise the dead in Afghanistan. There was another today. We can be sure when Blair started this he did not expect it to go on as long or be generating the numbners.

George Laird said...

Dear Iain

For goodness, let up on the cheerleading.

He has only just started, when we see results then and only then can this type of behaviour be deemed appropriate.

Next thing you know you will be saying Cameron is winning the fashion war too!!!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

John said...

" It was interesting to see that he didn't have a sheaf of notes in front of him like Gordon Brown used to read from."

Neither did Tony Blair when he started and look where that ended up!!!

trevorsden said...

Off topic, though it was mentioned in PMQs

Despite all labours politicking and draconian law passing and despite the lefts sneering at similar incidents in the USA - we see 12 people murdered by a crazed gunman, with many more seriously injured.
(the reality is that in the USA someone would have probably killed this guy before he 'got' to 12)

Despite the claims that these events happened because of lax gun laws they seem to happen once every 10 years or so no matter what the law says.

The important matter is not the law but the intelligence with how the law is interpreted.

alastair said...

How wonderful to have a PM you can be proud of.

Does GB get paid for scivving? Sarah blogged he was buying stickers for his kids in a local shop in Fife.

Little Black Sambo said...

So would I be right in assuming that one PMQ session a week rather than two is suddenly no longer considered the constitutional outrage we were once told it was?

Why "so"?
Your question is a total non sequitur.

Martin said...

Hattie Madperson was hopeless, is she really going to bang on about pointless 'wimmins issues' every week whilst the world burns?

M said...

Cameron and the Speaker need to ensure that the Labour opposition at Westminster PMQ does not degenerate into bawling and shouting at the Prime Minister as they have been doing each week at the First Minister Questions in the Scots Parliament at Holyrood.

FX Man said...

Where's the Opposition...?

Anas Hassan said...

Today was such a refreshing and well needed change from the cynical, deceptive and selfish attitude of Gordon Brown. Harriet Harman was her usual prejudiced self again. She should be utterly ashamed of herself.

Nicholas said...

Just watched a recording of PMQs.I thought that Cameron was made to struggle on the rape issue and that Harman also landed a very effective punch - "Nick agrees with me" - on the married couple's tax allowance.
Also interesting is how frustrating the PMQs experience seems to be for Clegg and the rest of the Libdem front benchers who must just sit there nodding when they agree and grimacing when they don't. Strange business.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Interesting to read that many thought Harman inneffectual.

The BBC called it "another sure-footed commons performance"

Nails, mast, etc.

Sunder Katwala said...

Wasn't the most important aspect that Cameron immediately ditched the Coalition agreement policy = ""We will extend anonymity in rape cases to defendants" - to instead suggest there was some case for a "limited extension" of anonymity prior to charge (ie not for defendants), by effectively accepting Harman's argument that publicity could bring forward previous victims as further witnesses.

Plenty said...

PMQs review...

javelin said...

He can tackle Harman, but can he tackle the debt.

I'm begining to doubt whether he can.

The £6 billion cut has had a huge effect on budget.

The markets will be looking for £60bn cuts.

I don't think efficiency savings can achieve this. I also think the Unions, law, contracts etc will stifle changes.

I think tax rises are the easy option. VAT will go up.

Politically he will have to tackle benefits, unemployment, free NHS and state pensions if he has to make the cuts.

But over all of this I think house prices will cause a collapse in this Government.