Wednesday, June 24, 2009

PMQs & Open Thread

Am in meetings most of the day so over to you, I'm afraid.

What did you make of PMQs? What was The Speaker like?



McBroon sounds and looks severely rattled. Time for an election.

Thats News said...

Farewell to tights as new Speaker John Bercow presides over Commons… From Speaker to Spiv” in only a few years?

Simon Emmett said...

The speaker was pretty good, but it's still early days. Brown was awful, old rhetoric, and planted questions. Even Clegg run rings around him.

I really want him to start pulling the PM up though, on making policy statements in interviews, and not in the house. Plus I'd like him to turn say to the PM "answer the question!"

Tony said...

Brown lost it totally.Papers slammed down at the despatch box and lip quivering with uncontrolled anger.Last week the Speaker picked up Cameron for saying 'he' when questioning Brown.I lost count of 'he's' and 'him' from Brown today without a word being said.

colin said...

Cameron 8
Brown 3
Clegg 7 (big improvement)

Speaker looks like a jumped up teacher not quite in control of the classroom.

Brown looked rattled and tetchy.

Nigel Allery said...

DC 7
NC 5
GB 4
Browns visible anger was a giveaway. Session seemed a bit more business like.

Speaker, a good start I think. But it's not that hard is it?

Simon Harley said...

Bercow sounded very full of himself - quieting the Tory benches at one point he came out with the soundbite "the public don't like it and neither do I."

Nigel Allery said...


I think its good to see the use of he's and hims. Reform is on the march!!

Bill Quango MP said...

Brown suffered very badly from not having his Speaker wingman protecting him.
Even Clegg managed to shoot holes in him today.

DC - 7
GB - 3
NC - 6

Andrew said...

I actually think that Mr Speaker did a good job. He should dress like a Speaker, though; robes enhance stature - both moral and physical...

Anonymous said...

There is a vile stench of Scotch communism in the Mother of all Parliaments which needs fumigating.

Broon is an absolute disgrace, ranting and raving like a throwback from his and McLabours beloved Soviet Union.

McLabour OUT!!!!!!

Paul Burgin said...

"Last week the Speaker picked up Cameron for saying 'he' when questioning Brown.I lost count of 'he's' and 'him' from Brown today without a word being said."
To be fair its a new Speaker

Oscar Miller said...

Brown massacre - DP can't bring themselves to talk about it. Bercow irritatingly patronising - I bet the House is wondering what on earth they've let themselves in for.

Ed said...

Putting aside his squeaky voice, weird mannerisms and patronising smile, I think the speaker did very well. His statements after PMQs were much needed and his responses to the follow on points of order were spot on.

Let us hope that his known ability to change his opinions at a whim depending on who he is speaking to is now in the past.

6/10 with potential to improve.

Shamik Das said...

Speaker was good today. Brown terrible, DC average, Clegg mediocre.

Good point raised by Andrew Neill on the DP: why was there not one single question on Iran?

It's worth a question on its own merits, even more so given the anti-British rantings coming out of Tehran at present.

Sunray said...

I was not very pleased when Bercow was elected as a spiteful dig at the opposition, who will be in office at this time next year. Having said that, I thought that he made a reasonable fist of it today. I thought that DC did well and should now keep the gloves off. My scores were; DC 8, NC 6, GB 4

FireForce said...

Typical! just when windbag D.C. does good I can not watch it as the T.V. has gone digital today, and B.B.C.2 does not exist on my T.V.
and can not watch on laptop as the noise from having a new kitchen going in, (now 4 weeks without an oven!)

Anonymous said...


There was a statement by Brown yesterday wasn't there?

Why ask Brown or the govt to say even more that would be seized on by the loons to attack us all the more??

Tony said...

Bercow followed through and impressed with his handling of PMQs and his statement immediately afterwards.

Brown had a bad, bad day. Government front bench body language was terrible and clearly distant from GB.

Clegg & Cameron had a good session

Unsworth said...

Speaker Bercow looked like a small town grammar school teacher dressed in his best for Parents Evening. Very unimpressive really. No real control over what goes on - except insofar as the House allows him. It'll be interesting to see how he handles a real bust-up. I doubt he's capable. The sixth-formers will just duff him up.

Cameron pretty much blew Brown away. The Government front bench seemed almost indifferent to what was going on. Maybe it's the silence of the lambs.

Some of the convoluted, arch, planted questions were just too awful for words. Who writes them?

Clegg asked useful questions but Brown was allowed to get away with the usual bollox about 'investing' rather than being held to account for his lunatic 'spending' of my money. Time for opposition parties to call it what it is - 'SPENDING'.

Anonymous said...

"He" and "him" is what is expected. It's "you" that is out of order.

colin said...

I think Cameron was told off last week for using "you" not "he".

Cameron got away with making two statements without a question. Nice one Dave.

Rob said...

colin said...

Cameron 8
Brown 3
Clegg 7 (big improvement)

I'd agree with those figures. Brown is flogging that dead horse on investment versus cuts and Darling and Cooper had faces like thunder when it was mentioned they opposed this line.

Very strong from Cameron though I would suggest that after Cameron has asked a question 3 times without an honest answer she should immediately move onto a topic that'd be even more inclined to make Brown squirm.

Rob said...

Bercow didn't do badly either. His statement after PMQ's about Ministers making policy announcements to the house first was a none too subtle rap on the knuckles for Brown.

Constantly Furious said...

Here's Constantly Furious' views on PMQ's.

Sadly, Bercow was too busy playing to the cameras to make much difference to the proceedings.

And the scores...

Bercow - my boy, what are PMQ's for? And did that happen today? No. : 4

Brown - "I am not wrong" (oh but you are), floundering, extra points deducted for lying: 3

Cameron - not a bad attack this week: 6

Clegg - 'reverse gear' a nice one, but failed to follow through: 5

Plenty said...

What was it Gordon once admitted about himself not being very good at Maths at school? I think Cameron has just proved the point.

My review of PMQs over here

Jon Harvey said...

Well the consensus seems to be that Bercow did OK to good.

Daisy said...

Having watched our new Speaker, I could become a David Icke convert.

The way Bercow stands with his head hanging forward, the exaggerated slowness with which his mouth moves, the strange lip-licking with what is obviously a prehensile tongue - it's all true - the Lizards are taking over!!

Cardinal Richelieu's mole said...

McBride and Brown are still consorting, so it appears from Brown’s refusal to answer the comprehensively framed cover-all question put at PMQs about any contact of any sort since McBride was sacked.

Is Scottish Presbyterianism really such a squalid little creed that it embraces evasion, distortion, cheating, lying and smearing or is Brown misrepresenting that as well perhaps?

Paul Halsall said...


"Speaker Bercow looked like a small town grammar school teacher dressed in his best for Parents Evening."

Classist crap.

And perhaps Tories don't really like grammar schools in any case. They clearly prefer to send their sons to be buggered at Eton and Harrow.

Anonymous said...

Scores for today's PMQs -

Brown - 0 - an embarrassment to himself, to his party, and worst of all, the country. Had to laugh when he had a question about mental health issues - considering he himsle is 100% certifiable

Cameron - 9 - back to his devastating - and wittiest - best today. Made a complete fool look even more foolish than ususal. Well done, Cameron.

Clegg - 6 - even the sixth form prefect got the better of Brown today.

Bercow - hhmmmm difficult to score. On the face of it, came across as assured and authoritative. Underneath, is this just a monumental ego trip for the stunted one?

Adrian said...

Bercow's performance was nothing special but he can't change the rabble overnight - he's going to have to sort out his priorities.

Thomas Rossetti said...

As an Englishman who lives in America -- and therefore one who doesn't have the chance to listen to PMQs on a regular basis -- I have to thank everyone above for their helpful comments. Although I suspect many of the commenters may not be favourable to Brown anyway, it gives one a good impression of what went on.

This is what the internet and blogging is supposed to be about: everyone helping one another but with no personal gain.

Daisy said...

Paul Halsall said...

"And perhaps Tories don't really like grammar schools in any case. They clearly prefer to send their sons to be buggered at Eton and Harrow."

Beats having them stabbed, raped, dumbed down, politically indoctrinated and socially engineered at the local Comp, donchaknow, old fruit?

Alan Smart said...

Anoymous ( post no 11) writes "There is a vile stench of Scotch communism in the mother of parliaments" - if only! Dont confuse a washed up social democrat turned neo-monetarist for a commie!

And least a commie would have answered the questions.

Brown 1
Cameron 7
Clegg 7
Willie Gallagher - did not bat!

Anonymous said...

Something is happening here - Brown was on the verge of breakdown in PMQ's.

Brown had difficulty saying the right names,Party and the physical giveaways show he is now entering the first stages of a mental breakdown.

His cabinet were wax work-like silent and lifeless.They have signed a pact to let Brown hang himself so they can replace him in a coup-less coup.

There is clearly a timebomb being set re McBride,which could be the ultimate undoing of Brown - lying to Parliament etc.

I predict it will all be over by mid July.

golden_balls said...

If as you say brown was massacred it only gives the plotters within the labour party more credibilty and hopefully things will progress over the summer.

While i'm labour i'm not a brown supporter in fact i'm a anyone but brown supporter.

thankfully ian didn't see pmq so we don't have to see his openly biased views on this contest.

I'll take a look myself later.

Daisy said...

Just been watching Bercow again. He was sitting there with that moronic, self-satisfied smirk on his face when - THWAT! - out came the tongue and he took a fly off the shoulder of one of the clerks 10 feet away! I kid you not. This is getting past a joke. I can deal with a parliament packed with crooks, spivs and fraudsters, I can handle having a PM who is obviously in the advanced stages of tertiary syphilis, but a Lizard as Speaker is just a step too far.

Nearly fell asleep during the Daily Politics said...

Cameron was right to ask about the spending, however when it became clear that "Broon is not for turning" (to tell the truth), it just became boring.

I was not greatly impressed with the end of Clegg's second question. He seemed to leave an open field for Brown to rabbit on about his 'investments'.

As for Bercow - not much to say one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

lol Daisy - had to laugh at your post - very funny!

Look at this quote from Sky I saw -
"While Brown was steadfast and sure in his robust answers...."


Madeleine said...

I too thought Bercow played for the cameras - odious man. His remark to Michael Fabricant "please calm down otherwise I fear you will do yourself an illness" was straight out of a Jane Austen novel.

Agree with Daisy - he is a lizard.

Unsworth said...

Paul Halsall

Yep, certainly is. But then I always did loathe those Grammar School oiks. They've done very little to increase my enjoyment of life.

So you don't approve of anal sex? Well what do you think this 'goverment' has been doing to you for a decade?

Oh, and 'classism' is a two-way street - but maybe you already know your place.

Does Hansell have a chip on his shoulder said...

Can somebody recommend a good carpenter to Paul Halsall

Daisy said...

"Can somebody recommend a good carpenter to Paul Halsall"

I'm a dab hand with a chainsaw, if that'll help?

Mrs B said...

Daisy, loved your comment on Bercow. What a creep he is.

Anonymous said...

I think the Bercow obsessives are in danger of becoming a bit deranged. I am not a fan BTW - but if every twitch and sniff is to be analised you are getting a bit desperate.

It is the job of the speaker to keep order in the house. One way is to use ridicule for those who deserve it - and that must be quite a few.

Yak40 said...

Brown must not be PM long enough for the Irish to vote for the correct answer to Lisbon, the lizard Mandelson is here just for that purpose- keep GB propped up long enough.

Daisy said...

I hardly think a couple of comments on the subject of Bercow can be taken as evidence of obsession, Mr Trevorsden.

As for desperation, as the old saying goes, if you can keep your head when all around are losing theirs, you probably haven't fully grasped the nature and extent of the problem. Desperate? I should F***ING think so!!

The rather pathetic tactic of labelling those with whom you disagree as "deranged" does not speak well of the quality of your argument, intelligence or integrity.

In short, up yours, sunshine!

Lola said...

Daisy. That's it! I couldn't work out what Bercow reminded me of - a chameleon of course. Brilliant.

Rear gunner said...

Trevor: Daisy has your measure. You have just been, as you put it, "analised". Better watch out, Mandy's about!

The Purpleline said...

I think Brown looked and sounded terrible today. I believe the pointed question on Mental Health from the Tory was quite significant.

I would not bet against Brown leaving office before Parliament resumes in September on health grounds.

I would still like Cameron to really turn the knife in Browns back, by asking the simple question, where is the money coming from for 'Investment' in services that Brown speaks , the country credit card and expense account is above its limit.

Instead of calling him Prime Minister, Cameron should start using the name Percy Thrower, after each planted question.

Cameron 8 (For keeping the attack ongoing from last week)
Clegg 4
Brown 1
Speaker -9 for not wearing the proper traditional attire.

Desperate Dan said...

I didn't understand that question about retaining the services of MPs who've been sectioned under the Mental Health Act. The questioner seemed to be keen to ensure that men and women who are certifiable should be allowed to sit in parliament and make Laws.

Daisy said...

Dear Mr Dan,

Perfectly understandable. The Conservatives simply wish to ensure Brown remains in office until the election, whether or not his pals take the obvious step of having him certified.

Anonymous said...

Now who was the lucky lad at Eton who had Dave as his fag?

Unknown said...

Fascinatingly horrible today. Brown made one slip of the tongue after another - the best was accusing the Liberals (sic) of wanting to cut spending unlike the Labour party. He just ranted on whilst DC tormented him by asking the same question 6 times. Darling sat by Brown's side looking as though he was on Death Row, and even Johnson was totally unmoved. Agree with others that the planted questions were a joke-poorly articulated with Brown's response having been pre-scripted and rehearsed.

I thought Bercow did pretty well. Not afraid of expressing himself and unlikely to be cowed. He might turn out ok. It was a nice surprise not to have his useless predecessor there.

Bercow 6
Brown 2
Cameron 6
Clegg 5

MaBeckett said...

BBC's Nick Robinson - Brown Lied:

"This comes on the day when the prime minister repeatedly refused to explain or apologise for his inaccurate claim at last week's PMQs that capital expenditure was going up between now and the Olympics."

Mervyn's done it again

Desperate Dan said...

Thank you Daisy. I can see now that the 'mad' question was a stroke of genius.

Roger, Bercow didn't do very well from Brown's point of view. At one point Gordon was working himself up into a lather and as he approached a crescendo and was about deliver his punchline little Bercow rose to his little feet and interrupted for no reason other than to get in on the act. Gordon had trouble picking up where he left off and the torrent of self-justification just petered out

Madeleine said...

I wondered also why Little Bercow interrupted; his ego is the only thing about him that isn't small.

Looking at him hidden in the depths of the Chair brought to my mind the Denis Waterman portrayal in Little Britain.

Goodnight Vienna said...

Since the world and his wife are promoting their blogs here, here's mine, with the added benefit of videos of Brown/Cameron; Brown/Clegg exchanges. Btw, Iain - what happened to your 'promise' to include blogs that advertised your election-special radio prog in a round-up?

Calling England

bnzss said...

The speaker did very well, for a corrupt, swindling cheat.

As usual Brown was rubbish, but that's not really going to change.

Anonymous said...

It's a bit hard to judge impartially when you had a definite preference for another to accede to Speaker. I admire those Conservatives who maintain Bercow won in a fair contest and should be given a fair chance, and in particular that the post of Speaker should be respected. I do not particularly like the whinging of the likes of Nadine Dorries, who look like sore losers. However, since you ask, I thought his performance to be that of a bumptious git.

Anonymous said...

Not so much of the git matey!Is it true he has sat nav in the chair in case he gets lost?

Anonymous said...

Not a single mention of PMQs on the BBC six o'clock news.


Rob said...

There's been a slaughering on the government over the opposition day debate on the Iraq inquiry from all sides of the house. I'm very surprised Andrew Mackinley didn't get up and chin the defence minister who spoke last. Even if they get the vote today they've had a good pasting with some of the most severe beatings coming from the labour benches.

The Grim Reaper said...

Can we have Betty Boothroyd back yet, please?

Pheasant Plucker said...

If anyone thinks Cameron's behaviour today will endear him to the electorate they should think again.

It did nothing for Hague, it will do nothing for Cameron.

The Tory front bench looked like a bunch of silly school kids laughing when someone has broken wind.

SHB said...

Cameron really got under his skin and I reckon Brown was close to losing it completely.

Brown's position on 'we are bringing forward spending' was clutching at straws, so obvioulsy not the case.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see Brown completely loose control at PMQs at some point over the next few weeks.

Dimoto said...

I wish Cameron would change his line of attack. Brown going into the election mindlessly promising more and more spending, is exactly what the Tories want.
If Cameron pushes his luck, no doubt we will get another U-turn with Brown claiming to be the originator and world expert at painless cuts !

Alan Johnson's body language was exquisite. He looked totally knackered and desperate for a kip.
Bossing one of the great offices of state is not for the light of weight ... all that reading and decision making to do ...