Thursday, February 22, 2018

Why Vince Cable doesn't go to PMQs any more

Vince Cable, reports Isabel Hardman, has been to only three out of the six Prime Minister's Questions held this year. He does turn up when he has a question allocated, which is now around once a month.

And she also quotes Vince's explanation for his absence:
"There’s no point sitting there like a stuffed dummy every single week just to watch a Punch and Judy show when I can be doing more important work for my constituents and on policy. If there is a Prime Minister’s statement, then I always turn up because I get to ask a question."
Vince is right.

In part this decision is a function of the Liberal Democrats' diminished strength in the Commons, but it is also a comment on the gruesome spectacle PMQs have become.
Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice
They are pretty much the House of Commons at its worst, but unless you are a political anorak PMQs are all you get to see of it.


Phil Beesley said...

Vince's questions and the PM's answers make little or no difference to my thoughts. It's just a pantomime which I watched until I realised it isn't part of government.

But PMQs, Question Time, Any Answers etc have a role. Occasionally, they push politicians into corners which journalists have not found. For those discovering politics, PMQs may be useful.

Unknown said...

It would be nice to know that we had someone at PMQs, if only as an observer. While in general PMQs (as it is now run) is a despicable waste of time, and a disgrace to Parliament, there may be occasional opportunities to make an intervention - if only in Dennis Skinner's style - that may show our distinctive policies in the full glare of publicity. (A role here for a budding comedian in our parliamentary party with perfect comic timing, perhaps?)
And then, PMQs is, if I am not mistaken, a relatively recent invention, supposed to be a rare and important opportunity to question the Prime Minister, and that is VERY important. The event deserves to be treated with more respect.
But if our leader judges that MPs time could be better spent, then I am sure that he is right.