Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Prime Minster's Questions: The verdict

Pete Hoskin writes on the Spectator's Coffee House blog:
If you ever needed a PMQs to brush away the last morsels of festive cheer, then this was it. Every question and answer came laced with some sideswipe or other, and it made for a scrappy exchange between the two party leaders. Both struck blows against each other, but both were also guilty of errors and mis-steps.
And that is about right.

David Cameron's inner Flashman broke free and he never looks half as appealing when that happens. One dig at Alan Johnson's lack of grasp of economic details would have been funnu, but there were four or five and it felt more like the bullying of one of Labour's more attractive figures.

I did like his put down of Angus Robertson though.

Someone who emailed The Daily Politics shares my view of Ed Miliband's performances on these occasions. He moves from subject to subject, claiming to have proved all sorts of things when few listening will have noticed any such thing. He is like an overconfident student who is confident precisely because he has failed to understand the subtlety of the questions he is tackling.

As I once wrote, the widespread view of Miliband 2 is that he resembles a bright sixth former, but on occasion he can be more like that sixth-former's ink-stained younger brother.

And there was not even a question from a Lib Dem backbencher to cheer us up.


dreamingspire said...

LD Ministers do seem frustrated - perhaps that has spread to their backbenchers. I'm beginning to think that they realise they might have been better in coalition with the lot that has experience of being in government - a false hope, though..

Nick O said...

Funny you should comment on this. I caught PMQs on TV some time last month, and I was struck that there were two David Camerons. The debate between the two party leaders was infantile and thoroughly unenlightening.

I don`t think I`m someone who over-reacts, but it left me with a feeling of distaste for both Cameron and the Millipede.

Then normal politicians (if there is such a thing !) got to have their say. An MP from Merseyside mentioned a constituent who was wheelchair-bound after a particularly vicious assault and 20 or so others around the country having trouble getting whhelchairs. Priti Patel asked about an allegedly flawed Ofsted inspection in her area. No-one went in for pointless point-scoring, no-one made idiotic jokes. Cameron was a changed man - he was relatively dignified, he was approachable, he showed good judgement.

I don`t really draw any party political conclusions from that, but it stuck in my mind.

Mark said...

Moving from subject to subject makes sense for Milliband.

He should also hold back one of his 6 questions to near the end of the session. That was, if he's clever, he can 'follow up' a dodgy Cameron answer to a backbench question with a supplementary of his own to nail a specific point.