Wednesday, December 02, 2009

PMQs: Brown's Best Performance Yet

There can be no doubt about it. Gordon Brown won the exchanges at PMQs today. It wasn't so much for what he said (which was the usual bollocks), but the way he said it. For the first time he seemed comfortable without a script, and for once was able to think on his feet.

David Cameron failed to drive home his main point, that Brown's policies had failed to bring us out of recession, and instead was deflected onto responding to a fatuous point made by Brown about Inheritance Tax. Labour backbenchers loved it. For the first time in his Premiership Brown got genuine, rather than orchestrated, cheers. He even managed to follow up his dusting down of Cameron with a contemptuous remark about Nick Clegg and how grateful Barack Obama would be for Clegg's support.

It was an impressive performance, even though it sticks in my throat to say it. The question is, can he do it week after week? And if he did, would it make any difference to the electorate at large? Probably not, but it makes Labour MPs feel better, and that's an important priority to Brown at the moment.

Brown 8
Cameron 5
Clegg 3


Dungeekin said...

Clear communication from Gollum? The mind boggles.

Perhaps he's been taking lessons from Fraser Brown.


Anonymous said...

I have to watch PMQs every week for work,and always try to call it fairly, but Brown took Cameron to bits today. The body language and tone of voice were both completely different - Al Campbell has obviously been doing some Rocky style 1 on 1 coaching in a basement in No. 10..

Kate j Norden said...

luckily for you people don't vote on a how a person performs at they?

Unknown said...

What's happened to David Cameron? Several unforced errors in recent days. It used to be just George Osborn that seemed unprepared for power (see Steve Norris's comments this morning). Still can't see Brown turning it round, but he is eroding the seemingly impregnable lead...

Tom said...

Really? He came across as Louis Walsh.

Bill Quango MP said...

Not bad, even though some of the plants were a bit off. Maybe they had been given too much liquid before hand. it certainly sounded like it.

Next week Dave should start by asking what questions the prime minister would like him to answer this week.

True Belle said...

Cameron has modulated his Horrid shouty voice, and for once did not look bright red. ( or spit and dribbley) Does Brown need a quick reminder on the pronounciation of Al Kaydah/ El Kyder/al Keeedah?

How does ONE say it?

Anonymous said...

He did do well, and Labour MPs are feeling decidedly "UP" with other good reasons too . . .

Poor Chameleon really does sound more and more like an Eton senior trying to bully someone who keeps coming back, doesn't he?

When, as is likely, it is shown that the Economy moved out of recession in August (the Jul - Sep figures was adjusted to minus 0.3%) the feel good factor will turn the tories to their battles:

Next Leader
EU: in or out
Climate Change/Denial? etc

Ben said...

Agreed, Brown was on unusually good form and seemed for once to be enjoying himself. He's obviously enjoying the class war.

The Labour backbenchers may feel cheered by this and some may be tempted to change their minds about needing to get rid of their useless leader.

Such a shame for them that none of this will register with the voters.

Salmondnet said...

Silly question Iain, of course he won't. After 11 years of New Labour do you not understand that if Brown says something it must, ipso facto, be true?

UB41 said...

Hmm, not convinced Iain...

Was it just me or was it a lot more “personal” from Gordy today. I actually found his performance a little odd to be honest.

“Eton” this and “Eton” that.

Then blatantly taking the pi$$ out of Clegg about Obama being pleased that Clegg endorsed his speech. Actually thought Broon was out of order belittling someone like that. I think he did it again later to someone else.

Have to say I thought Brown looked odd. He seemed to be laughing a lot which (and I’m serious here) was like the behaviour of someone mad.

It was as if he thought he was winning and some sort of superior being. He actually embarrassed himself.

Dippyness. said...

Did anyone notice according to our great leader we are now a Continent & Spain is part of the G20?

Once again..Brown may talk the talk but fails to crawl the walk! :-)

Dippyness. said...

BTW...Zac no longer a non dom.
Hopes for Susan Kramer to hang on to her seat are fading fast..I am delighted to say!

golden_balls said...

I disagree @ dippy

How long has he been Non Dom will be the next question along with shouldn't he pay back the money he Cheated oops i mean saved from being Non Dom.

and why has he changed his status if theres nothing wrong with it ?

he's a nice guy but he's lost before the election has even started.

Desperate Dan said...

Brown 8 and Cameron + Clegg 8. That's a hung parliament. The next parliament isn't going to be much fun for whoever wins. Let's hope its a Labour hung parliament with the current Cabinet having lost their seats and someone likeable like James Purnell in No. 10. And then a re-election with a Tory victory after about a year.
That would be nice. Good move to get rid of that huge Poll lead Dave.

Unknown said...

Hate to contradict @dippy, but Spain is a member of the G20 - it has attended both last year's summits as an additoonal member, as has the Netherlands.

Zac deciding to pay UK tax on all his income will persaude voters about as much as Hazel Blears paying back expenses money...

Iain Dale said...

John, you are wrong. Spain is not a member of the G20. It has been invited to attend G20 meetings but it is not a full member.

Unknown said...

Brown's crude class war against the Tories is being orchestrated by Alastair Campbell - and like Crewe, it will backfire again.

Here's a question which no one has asked - do the Labour party really want another 5 yrs of Brown, let alone the public?

hhmmmm, the Tories should be glad that Brown has cemented his place.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Cameron is not right wing enough thats the problem. He is not hungry and is like New Labour Mk2.

The Tory party is like it was with Heath, wet, and we need strong.

Why are we bothering with that Zac Goldwhateverhisnameis. Lives in a different world to us.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Dave had been at the Consituency Office office Christmas Party last night and was not on top form. We've all been there.

Or perhaps Gordon had been at a Christmas do ans someone slipped him some Es.

R Nosgrove said...

Cameron can no longer afford to sit back and let Brown dig his own grave.

Every small victory by Brown erodes Cameron's lead.

People hate Labour but still don't see the Tories as a credible alternative.

A substantial Tory vote is the only sure-fire way to ensure we get rid of Labour once and for all but everytime Cameron opens his mouth he loses a few more votes. It's still all up for grabs but unless Cameron can get his act together quickly and convincingly on the issues people care most about - Europe (in or out), immigration etc - there's a serious danger that UKIP and the BNP will split the anti-Labour vote and Brown will get back in.

Does Cameron really get this, or is he secretly hoping not to inherit the poisoned chalice?

True Belle said...

R Nosgrove said...
'Cameron can no longer afford to sit back and let Brown dig his own grave.

Every small victory by Brown erodes Cameron's lead.

People hate Labour but still don't see the Tories as a credible alternative'

If we have a Lib Dem walk over in S Dorset like Mid Dorset has now, what then?

Anonymous said...

Shows how low the the bar is for Gordon Brown at PMQs!

Brown screwed up one comment on the unemployed, he said that he had achieved 500,000 unemployed. What he was trying to say i think is that his policies stopped a futher 500,000 from being unemployed. Nobody picked Brown up on this! But I noticed!!!

Cameron held his own today and Cameron is more dignified and lets remember it is not for Cameron to give awnsers at PMQs at this time!

I thought that Danny Alexander was of more interesting note - he looks very worried indeed!!! Indeed I thought he may have done something in his pants he looked that worried! What does he know we dont?

Nevermind - Cameron will be like a blow tourch on butter next week.

Mirtha Tidville said...

So Broon had a good 15 mins...well lets face there has to be the odd occasion when he doesnt make a complete tawse of it....and no matter how hard Al Campbell tries, you cant polish a turd.....

Anonymous said...

Shock horror - Brown did not defenestrate himself.

Yet Spain is NOT a member of G20 and even if - so what? The fact that we are in the recessionary doldrums along with them is hardly a reason to cheer.

Brown said were were well placed and look at us now!

ONLY millionaires will pay under tory IHT proposals - labour imply they will be somehow exempt. Knowing how thick labour MPs are (they elected Brown after all) we should not be surprised they ail to grasp this.

Labour backbenchers may cheer Brown over IHT but the ordinary middle classes like it.

Paddy Briggs said...

Surely the precise timing of emergence from the recession is much less important than the fact that it has happened / is going to happen and that it is the Governments' actions which have led to this. Left to the wonders of the market we'd probably all be scurrying in the gutter for food.

(nb. please note position of the apostrophe in Governments' !)

Unsworth said...

Is this really a Prime Minister? 'Best performance yet'? Good grief. Remind us, how many PMQs has he attended? And this is the best he can do? No ability to do anything apart from shout slogans, dissemble, offer fictions about the Opposition's actions and policies, and never ever a single straight answer - even to the time of day.

Frankly it's time we did away with this whole charade. This 'Government' is determined that it will never answer to Parliament - or anyone else, for that matter. We no longer live in a democracy. Cameron and the Conservatives should hold the Speaker to account for this. When is Bercow going to act?

Unknown said...

You gotta be kidding!! Spain in G20? Billionaires live in houses worth £320K? Stoking up "class warfare".

"Son of the manse"? Must have been an interesting intrepretation of Christianity at that church, i.e., lying is fine and who cares.

The Purpleline said...

Next week I hope Dave takes some of the advice I send him and start bashing Brown, on his false economic record emphasising that a man who sells gold at $257 should not give any lessons on economics. Failed chancellor failed Prime Minister and failed moral compass.

I would also read out the latest Gold fixing, the level of sterling at each PMQ and remind Brown of his words when in opposition about a strong currency reflecting the good governance of the economy

Gold Today 1,214
GBP/Euro 0.9100
GBP/US£ 1.6640

On the point of the French being in charge of the EU internal market and the city of London, if ever there were a reason for us to leave the EU then this is it.

As for Spain being in the G20 this should have been picked up and a question directly asked of Brown of when they joined. We know the answer, but would be good to see Brown squirm.

Finally, he must start on the health question again, a blind man cannot take the country forward as it is obvious the French put some obstacles in his way and he came up with Baroness Ashton.

I agree Brown did well today it cost me a TV set, as I was so mad I threw my cup of Coffee at it. I am off to see the same trick cyclist as Brown and Campbell to sooth my nerves. Mad, I’m livid.

Steve Tierney said...

You're right. Cameron was awful today.

Captain Ranty said...

Did any politician congratulate us all for completing our historic entry into the EU Superstate?

Did any of them applaud the fact that we are now all officially dual citizens?

Did they explain that we now all owe allegiance to the EU President and not our monarch?

Did they mention the freedoms we lost, or the thousands of new statutes we gained?

For the first time since, well, since ever, 27 states in Europe are united.

And not a word was said about it?

Why was that, do you think?*

*Genuine question. I am mystified.


Anonymous said...


Brown didn't say Spain is a full member of the G20, did he?

Will you be following your own advice?

Tapestry said...

It's all rolling Brown's way.

The byelections in Scotland were 'won'.

He's spending GBP 200 billion a year on subsidising the fastest stock market boom in history.

There's no point in getting rid of him now.

The Conservatives have squandered their months of easy lead by making a few tactical errors such as Osborne's IHT changes, and the Lisbon chance to make headway with Britain's eurosceptics is over.

The bill for Brown's largesse will not need paying until after the election.

He's got the largest postal voting 'turnout' in history planned and all set to go - maybe 5 million votes this time versus 3 million last time.

No wonder he's feeling chipper at last. It's an easy game destroying a democracy.

Iain Dale said...

Brown said Spain is a member of the G20. It is not. End of story.

Anonymous said...

@ Iain:


"It has had special invitations to attend, but is not actually a full member" a certain Cons Blogger rote of Spain on another of his blog posts.

Perhaps a trivial slip of the pen?

Iain Dale said...

What part of "is not a member" do you not understand? Just because it gets invoted to attend the odd meeting does not make it a member. Look at the membership list on the G20 website, for God's sake. Admit you are wrong,

Anonymous said...

When you criticise the PM for using the same phrase you used yourself . . .


Iain Dale said...

You really are showing yourself up. I have just looked it up in Hansard. Here is the exact quote.

"Spain is a member of the G20".

IT IS NOT and nothing you say can change that.

Anonymous said...

Silly, if you can say Spain is not a full member you imply that in some sense it is a member.

It may not be a legal definition but:

member |ˈmembər|
1 an individual belonging to a group such as a society or team

If they attend the meetings they are members in this sense, the G20 being a group which meets.

Happy to be shown up in your current fashion, as I may already have suggested.

Anonymous said...

zapple - 'attending' a meeting does not make you a member of the society or group.

People attend the Cabinet - but they are not 'in the cabinet'.
The G20 itself says
"In a forum such as the G-20, it is particularly important for the number of countries involved to be restricted and fixed to ensure the effectiveness and continuity of its activity."
So Spain will NEVER be a member of the G20, although I have signed the petition.

The fact that we are alongside Spain - an economic basket case - in the economic stakes is hardly a cause for celebration.

Be prepared for more names to be read out at PMQs.
The US 'surge' means one thing - more fighting. BBC news seems to be saying that Brown and Labour are quite chippy about the surge.
But it means more fighting and more losses.

The commitment of Pakistan and their success is going to be of great importance to us - but to think we can succeed (and wwe can) without losses is once again putting our heads in the sand.

King Athelstan said...

Dont know where the stuttering nutter gets off with this class warfare crap, He's had a pretty privileged upbringing from where I'm sitting. In fact I think He's guilty of discriminating against Cameron by ridiculing his schooling, someone should tell Harridan, Who herself is...... By the way does anyone know anyone who has one of the 500,000 saved jobs? Not much of a comfort to anyone who did lose their job is it? Or their kids, especially if they are still trying to get their lives back on track, with all the government help, which is actually bugger all by the way I can assure you. You thought Brown looked good today, I found it deeply offensive. Need I remind you that recovery and the feel good factor did nothing to save John Major.

Iain Dale said...

Thick or what. Qz.

If I attend a meeting of my local LibDems, does that make me a member of them?

You normally talk rubbish on this site, but this time you have really surpassed yourself.

Keith Elliott said...

Really, who cares if Spain is or is not a member/full member/invited guest etc of the G20?

What surely matters is that Broon said the UK was best placed to emerge from the recession and it is, in reality, the last, or second last industrial nation on earth to emerge from the recession.

The UK is bottom of the class, or near bottom, however you define the group. And Brown seems to be managing to deflect this fact by getting everyone worked up about whether Spain is a member of the G20 or not.

It's actually quite clever of him.

Anonymous said...

If you attend their meetings and play a full part you would be thick Iain, you'd be a member of a political party to which you have little affiliation.

Spain attends the G20 meetings and participates fully, and the G20 is a forum for discussion of economic matters attended by Finance Ministers and latterly Leaders/PMs. You seemed to accept this when you posted that they were not Full Members, perhaps not formal members might have been better.

I could see the difference between informally counseling Tory Councillor friends who were sometimes at odds on the one hand, and attending their group meetings as invited on the other hand when I was a Labour Councillor in the '80s.

Best you are more careful, memberships can be two edged swords.

Iain Dale said...

Do carry on making a complete tit of yourself.

Spain does not have full rights as it is not a member. As such it does not attend all meetings.

You seem strangely reluctant to acknowledge that on the G20 website Spain does, for some strange reason, not appear on the membership list. Perhaps this link will help you see what a complete and utter fool you are making of yourself.

Newmark said...

johnwillman said...
"Hate to contradict @dippy, but Spain is a member of the G20 - it has attended both last year's summits as an additoonal member, as has the Netherlands.

The clue is in the name G-20. If Spain were to be made a full member then it would have to be called the G-21.

Hurf Durf said...

"When, as is likely, it is shown that the Economy moved out of recession in August"

"Brown didn't say Spain is a full member of the G20, did he?"

Oh, Quackzapple. Proof, if ever one needs it, that all Labour supporters need to be sterilised.

As for Comrade Clown, they've obviously resorted to injecting him with testosterone and heroin to give him a bit of a pep.