Seconds out

I FEEL sorry for the Welsh, but only because Welsh Questions took place immediately before PMQs and the hubbub from the crowded chamber drowned out anyone trying to get a word in.

But on to PMQs. Sir Peter Tapsell kicked things off. Known as “Goldfinger”, he usually asks about gold reserves but made some silly attack on GB on the economy. GB swatted him aside effectively.

Then Do-Nothing had a go on the VAT rise that never happened. I do think his pained, injured expression is getting a bit tired. At 12.08 our side noticed that the benches behind Do-Nothing were remarkably quiet and unresponsive during his rant (I lost count of how many questions he had asked by then, on account of them all sounding the same).

Do-Nothing’s “Enron” jibe was a bit laboured but went down well on his side. “He’s been found out and New Labour’s dead!” he shouted before sitting down, red-faced and exhausted. The clunking fist swatted this aside. A very sure-footed performance from him, which went down well on our side (shouts of “more” have become more frequent from our aide recently).

Verdict on Clegg: he did that creepy thing with his hand again (how long before he starts getting called “The Claw”?) and started banging on about “fairness”. And possibly kittens as well, but I had stopped listening by then. He really is massively ineffective in the House, even when he’s saying something sensible (not all that often, to be fair).

My Glasgow colleague, Ian Davidson, made a typically funny and class-ridden comment about “rich kids” who “just don’t get it”, before Brooks Newmark stole the show by asking the PM to name one western country with greater debt than the UK. “America,” said Gordon, curtly, before sitting down to a roar of approval from Labour MPs. Probably the highlight of the session.

Final score: Gordon – 8, Cameron – 5, Clegg – who?



Filed under David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Parliament, Politics

10 responses to “Seconds out

  1. Brian

    One for the labourites..


    Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to £100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay £1.The sixth would pay £3.The seventh would pay £7.The eighth would pay £12.The ninth would pay £18.The tenth man (the richest) would pay £59.

    So, that’s what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. ‘Since you are all such good customers,’ he said, ‘I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by £20.’ Drinks for the ten now cost just £80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free.

    But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the £20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?’

    They realized that £20 divided by six is £3.33. But if they subtracted that from everyone’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

    And so: The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).The sixth now paid £2 instead of £3 (33%savings).The seventh now pay £5 instead of £7 (28%savings).The eighth now paid £9 instead of £12 (25% savings).The ninth now paid £14 instead of £18 (22% savings).The tenth now paid £49 instead of £59 (16% savings).

    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings. ‘I only got a pound out of the £20,’ declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, ‘but he got £10!’ ‘Yes, that’s right,’ exclaimed the fifth man. ‘I only saved a pound, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I did’ ‘That’s true!!’ shouted the seventh man. ‘Why should he get £10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks’ ‘Wait a minute,’ yelled the first four men in unison. ‘We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor’ The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

    The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill. And that, ladies and gentlemen, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

  2. Why do you think that so many political bloggers feel compelled to score PMQs? Perhaps it would be more fun to score the percentage of the electorate that is remotely interested in it. My guess – less than two percent.

    PS I (who am more interested in politics than most) missed it because I was sweeping up some autumn leaves and watching the world go by; someone has to…

    PPS I guess a few more people than would otherwise do so watch Welsh questions when it’s the curtain raiser. I rather miss Hilary Benn doing rather well at International Development questions as a warm up to the Tony Blair show of yesteryear.

  3. iain ker

    ‘Do-nothing’ – great heckle.

    You’re wrong though. I’ll tell you what he’s doing; he’s doing for the jobs of 150 and counting Nulabour* MPs at the next election, that’s what he’s doing.

    *Or is it just ‘Labour’ these days? I forget.

  4. Johnny Norfolk

    Cameron 7
    Clegg 5

    Brown detention

  5. John

    Cameron 7
    Brown -1 trillion

  6. John

    Brown 8
    Cameron 5
    Clegg 2

    Cameron should have slaughtered Brown today and he didn’t. What a lightweight.

    The highlight of the day was that Tory MP’s total miscalculation and being humiliated as a result I mean really, what the hell was he thinking?

    Tory MP: “There are only 3 countries with a bigger budget deficit that the UK. Can the Prime Minister name even one of them?”

    Gordon Brown: “America.”

    *House ERUPTS with laughter*

    Hahaha! What a tosser that Tory MP was! 😀

  7. ani

    If you were scoring for droning on and on, Cameron could win most weeks.
    Someone put a pint of beer at his elbow – he’s there long enough to drink it.
    To think they used to call Kinnock a windbag.

    Brown – 8
    Cameron – zzzzzz
    Clegg – 2

  8. Greg

    Tom, have you ever asked Gordon Brown why he doesn’t answer questions?

  9. iain ker

    Oh dear, must we have this nonsense every week?

    It seems that any PMQs where Laughing Boy is not abjectly humiliated is rounded upon by his client state as some great success.

    Face it, if LB performed Shakespeare’s Crispian Day speech during PMQs, sang Celeste Aida, and did a triple somersault it would affect not a jot the fact that he will not repeat not lead the (Nu?)Labour Party to success in a General Election.

    He is going to do to the Labour Party what he has already done to the country.

  10. ani

    I keep hearing about this section of society called the client state, but I’m not sure precisely who they are.
    Anyone care to elaborate?

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