Wednesday, March 17, 2010

PMQs Preview

I am speaking at a lunch in the City so I will miss Prime Minister's Question Time. I'm kicking myself as I suspect it will be one of the more entertaining exchanges of recent weeks. It would be astonishing if David Cameron doesn't ask about the UNITE strike and the union's close relationship with the Labour Party.

I wonder what Mr Speaker will do.

As Jonathan Sheppard points out, he hardly covered himself with glory yesterday when he ruled Theresea Villiers out of order for mentioning UNITE, yet allowed Dennis Skinner to rant on about Lord Ashcroft. You don't have to be a Tory to find that odd and wrong - especially when even his worst enemy would find it difficult to find a link between Lord A and the BA strike.

After today, there will only be three further sessions of PMQs before the election. I suspect the nation will be watching proceedings a little more closely than usual.


Man in a Shed said...

The way in is to ask about Unite's request to the govt to review BA's volunteer staff's training.

( Which leads nicely on to favours being called in and the Union modernisation fund ).

David Boothroyd said...

More Tory lies about the Speaker, I see. This is what actually happened. The Speaker may have called up Theresa Villiers for going over the line, but she was allowed to complete her question. Then Michael Howard, Andrew Robathan and Andrew Mackay all asked questions which referred to Labour Party connections to Unite without any interruption from the Speaker. And Dennis Skinner was interrupted, and the Minister gave no reply.

If you want to have a go at John Bercow can you at least be accurate?

Dave H said...


According to the papers, Chubby Brown has just been cleared following shocking accusations of an abusive, foul-mouthed tirade against a woman.

I hope they can now both put this matter behind them.

In other news, there really was quite a flattering profile of Baroness Ashton on Sunday (well, it was on radio).

Mark Senior said...

4 more PMQ's before the election . Will the nation watch them with more interest ?
Nope - they will sticj to watching Bargain Hunt which is on at the same time .

Enlightened Despot said...

I know what the Speaker won't do - enforce the Parliamentary Code of Conduct to stop the party leaders acting like showboating schoolchildren.

Tdubs036 said...

I agree with David, they were all being as bad as each other. Skinner was just showing the relic he is by baiting it even more. Certainly it he wasn't stopping the Tories from speaking on the issues - Paul Wagh makes an unusual misjudgement.

Both Labour/Conservatives know this issue is a vote winner - if either side can paint the other as being funded by shady means it could tip the close numbers we are seeing.

As for Bercow, most Tories are upset that they didn't get their prefered candidate - to bad! Parliament is viewed as corrupt and out of touch, Bercow seems to get that with all his moves to open the building and Parliament as a whole to the public.

Janner said...


Paul Waugh doesn't see it that way

Still, I suppose he is a Tory lap dog ;)

Jonathan Sheppard said...

So the audio lies David? People can of course go to Democracy Live and watch the whole exchange in glorious videos and people and decide for themselves.

"Tory lies" - I suppose it wasn't Brown having to apologies for what he said to the House of Commons and Chilcot about defence spending today.

Give me a break!!

Bill Quango MP said...

MarK Senior.
Why didn't someone tell me before! I've missed Bargain Hunt.

Anonymous said...

>>I suspect the nation will be watching proceedings a little more closely than usual.<<

For goodness' sake, 'the nation' doesn't watch PMQs, they're too busy doing a day's work. All they see is edited highlights on the news channels, usually showing the most unedifying parts and reinforcing their conviction that politicians are a waste of space.

The obsessions of the 'Westminster Village' and its close/media associates, bear no relation whatever to what drives people to cast a vote one way or the other.

You'd think they might have realised that after the weird poll swings following on various political brouhahas recently, but no - they are as divorced from the electorate at large as ever.

Jason Myers said...

Great PMQs! I couldn't believe it when Brown admitted he had misled about defense spending. I wish he were honest about the rest of his mistakes!

Bercow seemed restrained. Maybe he knows his future is in danger. Frank Field for Speaker after election - he'd be amazing!

Cameron has to stop repeating the question though. Brown will NOT answer so move on. The Sean Connory thing when SNP MP spoke was weird. Even I'll admit those Tory MPs were childish & wrong to chant like that.

Cameron should've brought up the EU urging for faster cuts. The economy is more important than Unite.

Anonymous said...

I do not like UKIP or Farrage. The Tory voters in Berkow constituency should vote for Farrage to get rid of this Berkow. Boothroyd is the usual labour apologist

Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

It was certainly a heated PMQs with Cameron coming out with a little more aggression again, which made it fairly entertaining, especially on Guido's Live Chat.

I have condensed the highlights of the funnies here.

Brian said...

"Will the nation watch them with more interest ?
Nope - they will sticj to watching Bargain Hunt which is on at the same time ."

Probably because they trust the antiques experts' judgement more than the spin-befuddled blinkered donkeys in the Westminster care home for the fraudent and feeble. To think that we look down on eighteenth century tours of Bedlam - televised PMQs is just as bad.