Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tea Break's Over...


It is said the devil offers a choice on where to spend eternity. This victim finally selected the room in which the inhabitants stood up to their necks in odure drinking tea out of china cups. "Could be worse", he mused.

Then a whistle sounded and a voice said "Tea break's over. Back on your heads."
 
Just seven days ago, David Cameron was the toast of the Tory Party after his Europe speech, the polls bounced, and the Daily Mail licked him so hard his skin almost came off. Today the whistle sounded.

As of this morning the Coalition was in chaos, the polls un-bounced to a nine point Labour lead and Dave was back on his head. The January 30th edition of that long-running reality show, Prime Ministers Questions, may not achieve vintage status, but it could go down in history as "the end of the beginning" as Churchill might have put it.

Apart from last week's little hiccup over the EU, the politics of the last two and a half years has been about the economy, stupid. Dave has hardly had it easy but in extremis has always had the fall back position that it's all Labour's fault.

But, as memories of the Great Sulk fade into the Scottish mists and public appearances by Ed Balls sharply regulated, the blame game is not what it once was. Labour has the added advantage of a new leader whose appearance in the last Government has been forgotten by all - including himself - and whose early showing in this Parliament was equally unmemorable.

Repeated attempts by Dave to pin the tail on Ed Miliband's ass have failed and as tempus fugit towards the next election a new strategy is urgently needed. The man with a plan for the EU was cheered to the rafters as he arrived at PMQs last week but today he could have worn a frock and nobody would have noticed - not that he did, for those about to get over-excited.

Indeed it was Ed Miliband, - equally frockless - who got this week's demonstration of lifetime support from his backbenchers as he launched into a critique of the Government's economic record. 

Normally, the PM would have read from the well-worn script which blames Labour for everything up to and including Chelsea's recent poor performance. But, Ed happily reminded Dave of his recent boast that things were on the up and up.

The Prime Minister is due in Algeria later today and appeared to have had his face polished in anticipation of a rare snatch of winter sun, or it may just have been embarrassment at the humiliation inflicted last night by his Coalition partners in the constituency re-organisation vote the could cost him 20 seats. It may equally have been the brooding presence over his left shoulder of MP Adam Afriye touted at the weekend as the future David Cameron for those already bored with this year's model.

And there was little respite over his right shoulder where sat Deputy PM Nick Clegg who led his Lib Dem troops into the anti-government lobby last night. Nick seemed desperate to make up and almost decapitated himself in a display of pro-Dave nodding throughout PMQs totally ignored by his former innamorato.

Having happily accused the PM of presiding over the slowest recovery for 100 years and sundry other crimes Ed, finger finally sheathed, slipped back into his suit and his seat.
With escape to Algiers still an hour away Dave struggled through the remainder of PMQs cheered only by the sudden appearance of that other Scottish wraith George Galloway.

The Respect MP for Bradford West out-tanned the PM as he made this rare foray into a Chamber where so far he has represented three different constituencies. George asked a good question rudely and Dave ignored it equally offensively.

Happy days.