Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The Starship and the Troglodyte


It is not very often that the Starship known as Philip Davies MP touches down on Mother Earth so it was more than interesting to note his arrival this morning.
Mr Davies, who represents the planet Shipley for the Conservative Party, is said, among other things, to be parliamentary spokesman for the Campaign Against Political Correctness. In this post he once asked if it was " offensive to black up or not, particularly if you are impersonating a black person." 
But we digress - as indeed did Mr Davies later. It should be said that he was spotted during another almost extra-terrestrial experience, Prime Ministers Questions.
Tradition has it that PMQs happens at noon every Wednesday that parliament is sitting. But, the present incumbent, sick of being served up for lunch every week, came up with a cunning plan to avoid it - he just went missing.
His luck ran out yesterday, and after almost eight weeks on the run David Cameron turned up to put the P back into PMQs. Extra doses of ritalin were clearly on hand as over-excited MP's, just back from their latest holidays, happily cheered and jeered even before he opened his mouth.
Dave sun-tanned from his recent sojourn in Ibiza, certainly appeared more rested than his Labour counterpart, Ed Miliband who looked to have holidayed in Isleworth. And, having marked the row over gay marriages in the House of Lords for the moment, the Prime Minister seemed almost popular with his own side.
Indeed he had the best of the early exchanges as he teased Ed over Labour's "re-think" on universal benefits and future spending plans. But, his huff and puff seemed to run out as Ed pressed him on the waiting times scandal in English hospitals.
Dave tried to hang on to the PMQ tradition of totally ignoring why it exists and replied to a question about hospitals in England with a question about hospitals in Wales. But, the Labour leader, who seems to have extensions added to his flashing fingers, was having none of it.
"We've got a Prime Minister who says 'crisis, what crisis?'," said Ed with all the pleasure of finally delivering his learned line of the day. Patients were waiting in ambulances and anywhere apart from hospital beds, he said declaring the NHS unsafe in Tory hands.
Which brings us back, admittedly slightly unevenly, to Mr Davies, who in and around this time decided to join the debate. Control of PMQs, if that is the right phrase, rests with the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow.
In his previous existence as a Tory MP, Mr Bercow had cause apparently to call his then party colleague, Mr Davies, "a troglodyte". There is also, as regular readers will know, little love lost between the Speaker and his former leader David Cameron.
Imagine then, the pleasure for Mr Bercow in inviting the troglodyte to question Mr Cameron. We learned immediately that he has a brother and the aforementioned brother is in hospital and was recently visited,
On that visit Mr Davies was told his brother was having to pay £6 a day to watch TV. If he was in prison, he would pay just £1 a week.
It was at that juncture that the mind wondered if the trogs brother, never mind the nation's prisoners, had just forked out to watch their MPs.
Luckily for them there are no TV sets in ambulances.