Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Student Politician Flounders at PMQs

I thought this was David Cameron's strongest performance for a very long time. A slam dunk victory. Brown was at his repetitive, floundering worst - totally unable to think on his feet. The only time he managed to light a fuse was in his last answer to Cameron where he had a right old go about Ken Clarke's views. Brown accused Cameron of indulging in student politics, but Cameron hit back with a devastating retort...

Only one of us was a student politician, and he's never grown out of it.
I'm afraid Nick Clegg was totally wrong footed by Brown's very short reply of "yes we do" to his first question about whether the PM supported the view that it is wrong for Members of the House of Lords to abuse their position. He had no time to think about his supplementary and consequently garbled a response about the super rich and tax havens, which bore virtually no relation to his initial question. Not good.

Cameron 8
Brown 5
Clegg 1

UPDATE: Michael White has been twittering a commentary of PMQs. Very entertaining as you might expect, but he just twittered the following

Tory question. Too long. Classic error.

Only one problem. The questioner was Martin Horwood, LibDem MP for Cheltenham. Doh.

Michael White scored it as a "pretty sterile 33 draw with Clegg making little impact on 2".

UPDATE: Tim Montgomerie has twittered that I clearly didn't embarrass Geoff Hoon enough last week; he was tapping away AGAIN on his Blackberry while Gordon Brown was PMQing. How rude.


Tory Boy said...

I disagree I'm afraid Iain. Cameron was good but not that good. His answers need to be shorter and stronger. At the moment, he has a tendency to launch into a short speech after every Brown reply. This allows Brown to disemble even more.

Bill Kristol-Balls said...

Shame the PM didn't say this -

'if the Tory leader wants to compare what I got up to as a student to what he got up to as a student then I'm more then happy to have that conversation'

Iain Dale said...

Tory Boy, I agree that Cameron's questions are far too long.

Jess The Dog said...

Brown seriously lost it towards the end of Cameron's questions and I thought he was going to physically explode. It's clear that Brown is in complete denial and can't even admit the danger this country faces.

Cameron's questioning was excellent, he had an inconvenient answer for every ducked or unanswered question.

Gorbals Mick is being a complete government lickspittle today, even more so than normal.

Brown's student politics days are worth looking at in more detail. He's fond of harking back to Cameron's days as a Tory advisor, so let's dig a little deeper ourselves...

Jess The Dog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jess The Dog said...

Brown says he will "never forget" the "innocent victims" of Northern Ireland terrorism. Does this mean the ridiculous compensation scheme - £12K per victim which also pays out to the families of IRA and Loyalist gunmen - will be scrapped?

Shamik Das said...

Embarrassing. The whole world can see that Brown didn't abolish boom and bust. Quite why the muppet doesn't just admit it and move on I do not know.

The sooner he's got rid of the better.

Cameron must be laughing all the way to Downing Street!

Conand said...

I'm amused at Tory Boy@12:26 on Cameron:

'His answers need to be shorter'

He's not really there to answer questions. If only he was...

Conand said...

With whom does Goon converse on his Crackberry on these occasions? Is it the Darklord Rumba of Rio?

From: Geoff
To: Peter

Gordon is really really really rubbish. How the hell do we get rid of him?

TheBoilingFrog said...

Cameron was good but not great. It still seems he can't quite pin the economic woes onto Brown.

Brown, by contrast, was terrible today, even by his own low standards, some of it was embarrassing, and the subdued nature of the heckling by Labour Mps seemed to be an indication, not only of the economic gloom, but an acceptance that Brown has had it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Ian, don't agree at all. Admittedly Brown simply trots out his mantras, but Cameron never pins him down.
Cameron's questions were too long and he must stop banging on about 'boom and bust.' Brown never admits error so it's a waste of time.
He should have read Simon Jenkins this morning - now that was an attack!

Mr Mr said...

Cameron was excellent, Brown came very close to losing his composure in fact he did at one stage. Cameron left Gordon on the ropes, unfortunately clegg failed to land both his punches and Gordon was able to stutter on to the end and lose on points.

Unknown said...

How come Gorbals Mick's shambolic and clearly partisan performance has not been picked up by anyone?

1) His rebuke of David Cameron's question was absurd
2) His rebuke of the Tories for their shouting was ironic given that Labour are routinely allowed to make as much noise as they want with impunity, demonstrated just 5 minutes after his rebuke as Labour's prolonged and prompted cries of "more" were allowed to echo without comment.
3) He cut off the question of a Lib Dem when he was clearly just a second away from completing it.

The guy is as inept as they come and clearly the worst speaker in living memory. He brings shame on both himself and his office every time he takes his seat.

Unknown said...

First PMQs I've watched in yonks. I was surprised when Sir Peter Tapsell stood up & there was sustained barracking along the lines of 'Speak for Bwitain' taking the piss out of his speech impediment. It's the kind of barracking based on an (admittedly minor) disability that I assume would get you referred to the Local Democracy Standards Board if it was used in a council chamber.

I don't agree with Sir Peter on, well on almost anything really but I do think that whichever MPs heckle somebody on the basis of a disability should be barred from the Commons for a period of time.

Chris Gilmour said...

Can someone in the gallery no focus their camera on Hoon's Blackberry?

Theo Blackwell's blog said...

Ok - but what was David Cameron up to when Brown was a student polician? More please...

yellowbelly said...

I disagree as well Iain. Cameron never really hit the mark, and after all this time, Brown is never going to 'fess up.

Cameron would have been better focusing on the IFS report statement that there is a £20 billion black hole in Labour's PBR calculations, as pointed out by Nick Rrobinson on daily Politics.

When you have "toenails" offering a more withering question to ask Brown than Cameron managed, then you know you are in trouble!

@molesworth_1 said...

IMF report just out projecting a 2.8% contraction in the UK economy through 2009. Ouch! Shame it wasn't out about 2 hrs ago.

Breaker said...

Is there a link where I can watch the PMQ's from today?

Jenkins @ No10 said...

Here you go Mr:

Conand said...

Theo Blackwell's blog @1:58 said

'but what was David Cameron up to when Brown was a student polician?'

He was going around in a pram and then toddling etc.

Breaker said...

Many thanks, Jenkins.

Looks like it'll take some time for today's to get put up.

Unknown said...

Did Brown admit, however, towards the end that he had bet against the pound by using the proceeds of the gold sell off to buy euros?

strapworld said...

I do wish Cameron would take a lesson from William Hague and also recall when he really did make Brown look a clown.....Baby P! remember.

He has five questions. Why not five questions on five different subjects. Each time noting that Brown did not answer and the public will note that! etc.

Brown cannot think on his feet. He has scribbled notes on what Cameron may ask, and most are on the subject Brown feels most comfortable about, the economy!

Show him to be a one subject prime minister and a useless one at that.

Brown has planted questions. Why cannot the Conservatives, through their whips, arrange their own planted questions?

Cameron did well but he did not land a killer punch.He will never get Brown to agree that he did not end Boom and Bust!

Man in a Shed said...

Right -time to get a cup of coffee and fire up the BBC iPlayer to enjoy this ....

Man in a Shed said...

10 mins in now - road crash TV.

I especially enjoyed Cameron's pointing out what everyone else thinks of Brown and just confronting him with it.

Ah - just heard the Student politician counter jibe from Cameron.


Jess The Dog said...

Want to read more on Brown's student days???

Including such gems as:

"If you're British and can give an address, free money is available from social security, basic £5.80 per week"

"Social and medical benefits are your right, not charity hand-outs, so never be reticent about claiming them"

Free money.....sums up his grasp of economic theory.

Anonymous said...

Cameron's questions may be too long, but no matter how short his questions are, Brown will refuse to answer them and use the time available to launch into a long propaganda.

So Cameron might as well respond in kind. Lets face it - what is the point of just saying a few words which will be ignored by the media?

I guess this will sound pompous I guess it will sound arrogant I guess it will sound supercilious - BUT - quite frankly I do wonder what planet some commentators are living on, especially those who only have one tune - "why don't the Tories do this that or the other."
There is an amazingly short time to get a message across on TV and if Cameron gave away the time he has available on his feet then Brown would only take advantage.

If I have a point it to say that Cameron should ask questions which embarrass labour backbenchers.
And for Strapworlds benefit - Cameron has 6 questions but the opposition often do not use them since the PM can effectively say what he likes without fear of contradiction.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Here's one we made earlier (as reported on the BBC politics blog):

1231 Equally, "Only one has us has been a PR man for a failed TV company; and he's never grown out of it."

Nice, too, to have it implied that a PPE at Oxford has nothing to do with politics.

The Grim Reaper said...

The best thing for Call Me Dave to do would be to shorten his questions. As we know, Gordon Brown's weakness is thinking on his feet. At some point in his life, someone removed his brain and replaced it with a little robot that just repeats simple messages over and over again. Make the question as short as possible in order to exploit that weakness.

The one simple fact is, if the Tories cannot make someone as psychologically flawed and socially awkward as Gordon Brown look bad, they don't deserve to be in politics.

Dual Citizen said...

Just watched PMQ's. Pretty dogged stuff. But I agree with Iain.

Cameron has Broon in a corner and he kept him there today. The questions can be as long as they like, as long as Dave gets the words "Boom and Bust" in. Gordon is forced to evade the question and out come the tired old "started in America .... global ..... Obama ..... do nothing Tories". Gordon must be hating it, and as long as Dave keeps it up, one day Gordon'll crack.