Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cameron, Borgan, Obama - selfies and PMQs

When Oscar Wilde wrote that life imitates "art far more than art imitates life", it is not known if he was thinking about selfies. But, the snap of our Dave hunkering down with Borgen and Barack in front of a Danish iphone 5 must surely qualify.
Add in that the blonde Borgen was being played by Neil Kinnock's daughter-in-law and it could have been Saturday night on BBC4.
Instead, fast-forward to this morning and it was BBC2 starring the selfie himself in his own weekly serial, Prime Minsters Questions.

With his picture cosying up to the world's most important person at the world's most important funeral on every front page, Dave was clearly beside himself. Actually, he was beside his deputy Nick Clegg, but only physically, as his head was in that place reserved by politicians celebrating a good photo op.

That meant he was too self-satisfied by half to be gripped by his usual nemesis Ed Miliband, whose own claim to fame was apparently being ignored by Bill Clinton. Dave even turned up early for PMQs, swapping jokes with the man who would be Foreign Secretary, William Hague, who handily disappears from view when the cameras come out abroad.

Ed tried his best, but he must have travelled goat-class on the Prime Ministerial aircraft, since he appeared more jet-lagged than his host. He tried his best to get back into the game by calling for instant agreement to ban MPs from getting the suggested 11% pay rise.
And that meant a rare frisson of silence as everyone else in the Commons gulped and stared elsewhere.

But, the PM was well-prepared on that one and was as ready as Ed to do the dirty on his MPs before the press do more of the dirty on them.
With MPs dispensed with, normal hostilities resumed as attention switched to the pay packets of the rest of the population.

The Labour leader tried to get up a head of steam, particularly in his opposite number, but Dave seemed reluctant to mount the launch pad.
Having learned that he has nowhere to go on the cost of living argument, Dave is now learning to let it slip straight over his well-coiffured head.

He was helped early on by relative silence from the sledging champion of the Labour Party, Ed Balls, still smarting from his spanking during last week's Autumn Statement.

"Red Ed and redder Ed", quipped Dave, to the delight of members of his  Wall of Sound, still celebrating.
With that rare moment of unanimity - shafting their own members - now long out of the way, the leaders could adopt the traditional pose of PMQs. This involves avoiding eye contact with your opponent and the other side at every opportunity, concentrating fierce glances instead on an unwary Speaker. Mr Bercow had already suggested various members take up yoga, calm themselves or seek medical help and even suggested to one bellowing member that he was "being discourteous".

But, it can be reported that the return to business as usual seemed to have re-galvanised Dave's nemesis, the Shadow Chancellor.

As if to prove you can't keep a bad one down, Ed Balls had finally slipped  the crampons back on and climbed up the PM's patrician snout.

To the delight of traditionalists, not to mention the man himself, Dave  found himself sufficiently distracted  to denounce Ed B for being "at it again".
He can dish it out but "he can't take it", shouted the newly-red PM as Mrs Balls smiled to see her boy at last back in rude health. Then a Labour MP had to go and spoil it for everyone by suggesting some people wouldn't be able to afford Christmas for their kids.

Luckily to was lunchtime and even the Speaker had enough of being glared at.

Anyway, the selfie had to go and chair a dementia summit.