Wednesday, January 21, 2009

PMQs: If Geoff Hoon Can't Pay Attention Why Should We?

I sometimes wonder why I bother to listen to PMQs. Clearly so does Geoff Hoon. He's so bored by what Gordon Brown is saying that he's typing away on his Blackberry. Jacqui Smith is also more interested in what Geoff Hoon is typing than what her beloved leader is saying. But then, again, so would I be.

Gordon Brown was at his typical worst today, failing in any way to answer a single one of David Cameron's questions. Whenever I watch PMQs I try to put myself in the position of a floating voter. Today, any non political geek watching this exchange would have learnt nothing new about the government's approach and would have been heartily sickened by the way the Prime Minister laughed when David Cameron mentioned rising unemployment. They would have been disgusted at his petty jibing about Ken Clarke's return.

Again, the Prime Minister failed to think on his feet. He came armed with quotes, which he was going to read out come what may, whatever the question was. He even managed to deviate far enough to get in a jibe about Ken Clarke's view on Europe, even though Cameron's question had nothing to do with the subject. Of course, a Speaker worth his salt would have pulled him up. Needless to say, that didn't happen. And so to the scores on the doors...

Gordon Brown 2
David Cameron 7
Nick Clegg 6


Lola said...

It'll be one of those stupid jokes that do the rounds. Better than looking at the stupid joke standing on your right, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

It's probably a Lolcat.

Unknown said...

Brown failed to answer a single question, managed to somehow refer to Europe?! and then had the cheek to a) ask Cameron a question, and b)complain when Cameron, rightly, didn't answer him! The hypocrisy of the man knows no bounds.

This man is an awful Prime Minister, and a thoroughly unlikeable man.

Bring on an election.

JuliaM said...

Perhaps he's reading LabourList...?

David Boothroyd said...

These constant accusations that so-and-so "was laughing" when some Tory idiot mentioned a serious subject are really just froth. For one thing, Cameron knows full well the cameras are on him and not the Government front bench, so he could describe anything going on confident in the knowledge that the TV audience will know no better.

For another, the idea that Cameron is genuinely concerned about unemployment is inherently risible. If he was genuinely concerned he might be proposing to do something about it, but he isn't.

Bond007 said...

Iain - what was GBs 2 points for? Turning up?

(no, seriously though - please tell us)

Nic Conner said...

I am surprised that member are allowed to have phones on in the chamber. Do you think they should turn them off?

no longer anonymous said...

David Boothroyd, perhaps you would like to justify Brown's refusal to answer his questions?

Anonymous said...

get back to Laborist, Boothroyd. Your assertions are gibberish.

Hoon was probably checking up on his daughters entrance exam results.

Personally I feel sorry for Dianne Abbot. She forks out to send her children to private school only to see labour policy skewered to ensure they never get into a decent university.

Word Verification - matille. TDs definition, 'the petite and flowery embroidered place-mats so favoured by your maiden aunt.'

oops - typed it in wrong - new word 'custio' or ' the Spanish word for custard.

David Boothroyd said...

The Prime Minister is not obliged to answer questions in the precise terms demanded by the questioner.

Indeed the Prime Minister is not actually obliged to answer questions at all. Ministers can simply decline to rise after a question is put if they do not wish to answer.

Gordon Brown answered all the questions at PMQs; it is not surprising that the answers did not satisfy the Tory MPs who were called.

Unknown said...

Boothroyd. I'm afraid that's a lie. He never, *not once* answered Cameron about the value lost to taxpayers (20 billion, amirite?). He just replied with questions.

I thought PMQ's was when the PM got asked questions, not asked them...

no longer anonymous said...

"The Prime Minister is not obliged to answer questions in the precise terms demanded by the questioner."

Just because he's not obliged to it doesn't mean he shouldn't. If it was a Tory PM you'd be accusing him of question dodging.

Are you capable of seeing anything in other than partisan terms?

John Pickworth said...

"Jacqui Smith is also more interested in what Geoff Hoon is typing..."

Actually, I think its part of her job now to spy on our emails n'stuff.

Although, I must admit I assumed she'd employ some kind of electronic surveillance rather than personally turning up the moment someone started writing their email or text message?

Unknown said...

Boothroyd said...

Gordon Brown answered all the questions at PMQs;

Are you sure you are taking your medication? GB had a script and was darn well sure he was going to stick to it no matter what questions were asked of him.

Personally I love it when he goes into stutter mode...

I, I , I , I harumphhh

When spontaneity, quick wittedness and thinking on your feet were being given out, Gordon was DEFINATELY at the back of the queue

Charlotte Corday said...

The way that Brown addresses all his remarks to the Speaker makes him look imploring and rather pathetic.

It is almost as if he is saying: "Can't you stop those nasty boys opposite picking on me?"

strapworld said...

David Boothroyd has resorted to a mischevious imp again. I had given him the benefit of the doubt, but his nonsense today is just ridiculous.

It is announced by the speaker as Questions to the Prime Minister.

I accept that this man, who sadly is our prime minister, can answer the question how he chooses. BUT he cannot ask the Leader of the Opposition Questions as he does, and is allowed to get away with it by a hopeless Speaker,

I would urge him, though, to take up the advice of our Labour Imp, Mr Boothroyd, and not stand up to answer ANY question.

What an improvement that would make.

Bill Quango MP said...

David Boothroyd.
Why did you choose a man so utterly unsuited to debate?
A hopeless media figure, an oddball look to him. Lacks empathy.Has no warmth. Can't think on his feet. Doesn't get the joke unless he has been briefed about it in advance.
No wit, no style, no charm , no charisma. Just a dull throbbing monotonous drone of reheated soundbites and selected statistics stitched together to mask the failings listed above.

What do you think he will look like standing next to the President?

It will be as if a sort of Dorian Grey mirror measuring star quality had been placed alongside Obama.

Poor poor choice. You should have had a vote.

Newmania said...

What can he say , he has been telling the most preposterous pack of lies for the last few months and he has been found out.
I think we are reaching an " In god's name go! " moment ..
Speaking of which that posh boy Boothroyd is being silly again...
If he was genuinely concerned he might be proposing to do something about it, but he isn't.

The only real way to encourage employment is to reduce the tax on employing which Conservatives are doing .Reducing the tax on working is tricky given the state of the public purse.
I wish David I could tutor you away for this odd belief you cling to have that there is a fairy grotto under the HOP wherec "Jobs" and " Goverment money" spew from a magic fountain.
More government = less jobs
You made your pact with the devil long ago and your every word contributes to some families misery.

Evil thy name is Boothroyd

Victor, NW Kent said...

David Boothroyd
Only today Cameron suggested a major way to boost employment. He invited Brown to call an election.

That would immediately start to restore confidence.

Unfortunately, until Brown resigns, there isn't anything that Cameron can do about unemployment except deplore Brown's actions. That should be perfectly evident, even to you.

Vienna Woods said...

My path once crossed with Master Boothroyd in Box Lane, Congleton many years ago. He's not changed much, only for the worse! He always had a vivid imagination and his condescending attitude transcends very well into his musings on this blog. Remember David, 9/10 for effort, 3/10 for content. See me!

Unknown said...

"Of course, a Speaker worth his salt would have pulled him up"

Can the speaker really do this? I mean, make Gordon actually answer the question? Or do you mean prevent Gordon from going on to topics that haven't been asked about?

Shaun said...

But isn't it great that tractor production is up again?

The Grim Reaper said...

I can't remember whom it was who said Gordon Brown would be "an effing awful Prime Minister". (was it John Hutton, that name keeps coming to mind?)

But whoever it was, they were bang on the money. I hate the man more every single time he opens his mouth.

James Enfield said...

"Of course, a Speaker worth his salt would have pulled him up. Needless to say, that didn't happen."

Really? The speaker and the deputies have ruled plenty of times at various question sessions that it is not their remit to tell MPs how they should answer questions.

Alfie said...

Speaker Mick sums up absolutely everything that is wrong with Parliament. He's either deaf, stupid or in the pocket of the PM - definitely all three, actually.

Brown has further corrupted the office of PM - and his commitment on the steps of number 10 to be open and honest in government has about as much cred as Blair's pledge to be whiter than white.

Biggest laugh of yesterday's PMQs though was seeing the beast of Bolsover tottering to his feet to spew out his question about supposed Tory fatcat bankers.... Sorry Dennis - you are about 35 years out of sync'... What a prat he looked - and sounded.