Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Bore Draw at PMQs

This was a more confident, competent performance from Gordon Brown in his second outing as PMQs. I thought his joust with David Cameron was a score draw, although Brown did have a good line about Cameron focussing on PR, while he focussed on being PM. That was rather countered when he referred to Ming Campbell as the Leader of the Opposition. In his dreams!

It was interesting to note how many Tory MPs questioned the PM about the unfairness of the devolution settlement. The number of planted questions on the Labour benches was readily apparent. It was a sign that they were desperate to ensure that there would be no repeat of last week. To that extent the whips' operation was a success.

UPDATE: Dizzy congratulates the PM for being honest.


Chris Paul said...

Thought that Tory dame repeating an already answered question stole the show really.

Back to basics. Brown competence, Cameron smarm, "leader of the opposition" still not lost all his marbles or his job.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

Broows announcement.

Its like his budgets: bullshit baffles brains.

or more precisely

bullshit about targets in the distant future baffles brains both in the House and the media.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

40,000 extra houses to be built in 2016.

Targets for emissions in 2045-2050.

He missed out the bit about
tractor output in 2018

Anonymous said...

he didn't call ming the leader of the opposition. listen again. he said it was funny that the leader of the opposition (cameron) hadn't mentioned transferable tax allowances.

Iain Dale said...

I think you will find he called Ming the leader of the opposition at the beginning of his second response to him. I may of course be wrong and have misheard.

Chris Paul said...

I didn't hear the LoO (good that? is LotO better in today's circumstances) remark at all. I just relied on Dale. Oh dear oh dear oh dear.

Good on Stringer for calling the anti-Casino line suggesting Manchestre hadn't been coming up withe other regeneration ideas 'risible'.

However, it is rather hard to find socialists who are deeply enthusiastic about casinos even at 6% of gross lettable space of a regen scheme.

Roger Thornhill said...

Brown is pushing this consensus thing hard, but I fear it is smoke. The decisions will be his and his alone.

He did have Dave's pants down on housebuilding, though.

The point that annoyed me was this collecting information from the regions. Brown is steadily building in his 9 regions for England. The foundations are already in and a new brick has been laid.

Man in a Shed said...

I haven't had a chance to watch PMQs in its entirety yet but one thing occurs to me Gordon Brown's three priorities are all devolved to the Scottish Parliament. Housing, Health and Education.

If he cares so much for his own constituents and these are his priorities then he's in the wrong parliament !

His legislative agenda is the West Lothian Question in spades - no wonder he's off to try a bury England in the "British Regions".

Anonymous said...

Today's PMQs had me trying to remember to concentrate on it and then failing to do so. (In mitigation, I could see from the window that there was some grass growing.)

Anonymous said...

Couldn't someone (e.g. Cameron) challenge him on his fondness for the term "The Nations and Regions of Britain"? Like ask him what in his view are the "nations" of Britain. Just to see if he is capable of enunciating the word "England" without his face cracking.

Cry God for Harry, the British regions, and St George!

Anonymous said...

Brown really is an electoral liability. Just another bout reannouncements, spurious claims and general vacuity. Fag end jim or what.

Anonymous said...

40,000 extra houses to be built in 2016.


Targets for emissions in 2045-2050.
[loud applause]

The prime minister said 80,000 more nurses had been taken on under Labour. he said Mr Cameron could "go on with his PR. I'll go on with being PM".

[a stormy prolonged ovation]

Time McStalin Broon was moved back out of the real world back into a the secure psychiatric wing.

Desperate Dan said...

Brown and every other Labourachik were screamingly, mind-bogglingly boring, boring boring. And to top PMQs with an even more boring reading from the thoughts of Chairman Brown must have provoked a catatonic trance in half the people who saw/heard it.
He said he was going to set up an Interface Council. What's that? Another name for Quango?
Immediately afterwards Nick Robinson from the Ministry of Truth pronounced that Brown had won the exchange between him and Cameron. Rubbish' rubbish, rubbish, rubbish.

Anonymous said...

Boring Brown is tory code for Useless Cameron.

Anonymous said...

Brown did not refer to Ming as the Leader of the Opposition. In answering Ming's second question he does start off by saying "I'll tell the Leader of the Opposition ...." (which is a bit confusing) but it then becomes clear that he is actually referring to Cameron.

Anonymous said...

Funny really.

When cameron wins one you tory line tow-ers are first to declare his wonderful debating abilities etc etc etc.

When he loses its a boring draw and blah blah.

He lost this one, face it and move on.

Desperate Dan said...

Brown had clearly learnt by heart a reply to an expected question about marriage from Cameron. Disappointed not to have had an opportunity to use it he regurgitated his tedious prepared answer in reply to a question from Ming regardless of the fact that his answer was not entirely appropriate to Ming's question.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 2.00 doesn't know the difference between "tow" and "toe". Obviously s/he was "educated" during a Labour government term.

Our nose picking PM is just as ignorant. He posits that because 2 or 3 Conservatives have said that there is no need for a referendum on the proposed EU constitution then David Cameron cannot be right to ask for a referendum.

It follows from this that if we find 2 or 3 Labour dissenters from any NuLab policy then each such policy will have to be abandoned.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or was Gordon Brown looking really rough at PMQ's with those huge bags under his eyes?

Is he finding it more of a strain than he would like to let on?

Anonymous said...

Paddy Ashdown had the rights of it when he commented on Gordon's performance during the Daily Politics Show. He contrasted the Blair Downing Street as a place blazing in light;visiting heads of government and pop stars with the incumbent PM always ready and able to raise his game at a moments notice and the dour Brown Downing Street - everywhere deserted, silent and in darkness apart from the light of a guttering candle from a top room wherein the PM. Gordon, is busily scribbling away on ink stained pieces of paper, scratching out and re-writing words desperate to keep up with the game but hopelessly at the limits of his abilities. I don't know if he's correct but it's an intriguing image nonetheless

Anonymous said...

Gordon bennett.

It could be that the w and e keys are next to each other on the keyboard.

Educated under the tories in fact, which is rare, as under them schools were crap and underfunded and fewer children got good GCSE. Typical pompus and ignorant Tory to assume someones opinion should not count because of a spelling mistake.

Anyway, keep banging on about Europe please. Cameron moaning like an old Tory wind bag is great news for Labour. Honestly no-one but Tories and the Daily Mail care about the treaty!

Hope the spelling was ok for you there.

Anonymous said...


No it was another Brown gaff.

I believe the exchange was:

MC: the PM said this morning on the radio there is still a long way to go...

GB: (Looking across at MC) I'll, I'll tell the leader of the opposition he knows what it means by a long way to go. I'll tell him this...

Anonymous said...

man in a shed

You are correct about the main issues being devolved matters, but you miss the point (which we don't in Scotland) that although he's obviously referring to Housing etc IN ENGLAND, he uses the phrase "our country".
You hate him because he's Scottish--we hate him because he's pretending to be English, something no self-respecting Scotsman would ever do. (nor would we expect the converse).

Man in a Shed said...

Anon July 11, 2007 4:59 PM

I don't hate Brown because he's Scottish - I like the Scots, even married one.

I hate the injustice of having a Scottish Socialist as PM of England when he helped to split the Union with devolution and then spends his time meddling in the affairs of England which are none of his business as a Scottish MP.

Scotland's an fantastic country - lived there myself for a number of years. The English actually like the Scots; we know it not always reciprocated - but we don't let that bother us.

Hypocrisy and crass self interest we hate - which is why Gordon Brown's going to be so unpopular South of the Tweed also.

Anonymous said...

When I hear the dreaded word 'consultation' then I know exactly what Gordo has decided to do. When has a 'consultation' ever altered a single thing with this Government?

Desperate Dan said...

Anonymous 4.49pm
Its not just the spelling. Its the grammar and punctuation as well.

Anonymous said...

c-c-clunking f-f-fist said...

No it was another Brown gaff.

Listen again. As Desperate Dan 2.09 PM suggests, it was obviously an answer which he had prepared earlier in readiness for a question he expected Cameron to ask.

Cameron didn't ask the question, so Brown, reluctant to waste his prepared answer, used it as a response to Ming's question but directed it at Cameron.

Anonymous said...

There's something rather sychophantic about Chris Paul's constant drivel on Iain's blog.

Anonymous said...

Yep Cyclops is heading for an Ice Pick if he does not sort out the WEST Lothian QUEATION, And if he thinks EUssr Regions is the answer, he is so far of the mark He should have a good look at what kicked the Balkans off in the nineties.

Anonymous said...

c-c-clunking f-f-fist is right - brown did address the old minger as "Leader of the Opposition".

The Nulab supporters should be content with the way the bbc helped brown out by not having the Perception Panel and by wheeling in 2 spineless yes-men (ashdown and wright) as commenters.

Just imagine how brown would have been cut to pieces if forensic critics such as Michael Howard or John Redwood had been invited to comment. Mind you, andrew neil would probably have tried to help Nulab out by continually interrupting them.

Anonymous said...

dyawIt is at least possible to listen to Brown at PMQs - Blair made me cringe, he was so false.
The apparent decision to abandon super-casinos is very sensible as hardly anybody wanted them and I could never figure out how Blair got that bee in his bonnet.

I have done a rough calculation - if we pull the troops back out of Iraq and Afghanistan we can afford to build about 100,000 houses a year with the savings.

If we stop PFIs for schools and hospitals we will save enough to make that about 130,000 houses so the money is there to achieve much.


Ned said...

Why doesn't the PM answer the questions...instead of his waffle , flannel, spin & soundbites... worse than Blair... on all counts & not as pretty-ish
For these and other reasons Cameron was the best man.

Anonymous said...

man in a shed

As soon as I posted earlier, I realised that I should not have generalised as I did, so I accept what you say.
In turn I hope you will accept that it's only a few Scots who actually dislike the English but they confuse this with a dislike of London/Westminster domination which is much more widespread--hence the success of the SNP.

2br02b said...

Anonymous 5:59 PM

Perhaps you should actually consider seriously what happened in the Balkans in the '90s.

Comparisons are odious and should not be taken too far, but far from the Balkan wars being due to the division of Yugoslavia into regions (in fact it had already been for decades) it was the determination of the communist/reactionary government of the largest single region (Serbia) not to allow these regions true autonomy and resentment of that which they did have already which brought about the disaster.

The devolution of powers to Scotland, Wales, etc., is the start of a so far incomplete federalisation of British internal government.

This is nothing whatever to do with Europe, and should be considerd entirely on its own merits.

The real virtue of these local assemblies is that it allows matters which should always have been settled locally to be so. The same regional assemblies are available in England if the regions want them, but so far have not. An English parliament as such would be pointless as it would utterly fail to devolve power on local issues to local people--and that's the cheil that winna dint, as they say north of the Border.

If the Tory Party persists in this vaguely anti-Scottish campaign about an English parliament, it will backfire on them for two reasons:

(1) Only a tiny number of English feel strongly enough about this to change who they would vote for, and of course it will do nothing to revive Tory fortunes in Scotland. It will also have the effect of tarring the Tories as a party obsessed with unimportant minutia (as they already are so-tarred on Europe) making them even less likely to win office.

(2) They leave themselves wide open to a counter-attack from Labour on the much more potent "Eton Question", which really could cost many votes: at least the Scots in power got their by their own efforts, by and large, and not because their parents could afford to buy them into a posh school.
Tories used to be accused of being the stupid party. Here they appear to be making a valiant attempt to revive the title--but are too stupid to notice?

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

Most of the afternoon on Virgin Radio News (their news is supplied by Sky) the headline was:

"Gordon Brown to build 3m new
homes by 2020"

This was so wrong on so many different levels that I phoned the Australian embassy for an emigration information pack.

Virgin Radio has a 1m reach - many of whom will have no other source of news.

Sky Radio news also supply Galaxy and Heart radio (I think). Talksport also receive their news from Sky but with a decidedly different editorial slant.

Anonymous said...

man in a shed makes a perfectly reasonable case for an english parliament. hopwever one need only read the telegraph blogs or to a lesser extent ConHome blogs to relaise that english nationalism and dislike of the scots per se are very much interwoven for a lot of people.

I for one am a life long (scottish) conservative voter who appreciates the english greivance vis-a-vis the wlq. however i am certain that this whole issue and the increasing prominenece laid on it represnts a genuine anti-scottishness in the english tory party and consequrntly i think ill vote for someone else at the next General Election probably SNP but possibly lABOUR. this daily dose of anti-scottish bile from the english tories is in sharp contrats with the unionism always displayed by the scottish party through thick and thin.