Wednesday, January 22, 2014

PMQs January 22nd- Duvet Day for the Eds

It is not known if the leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition has ever pulled a sicky but, if not, today was the day to do it. He should have spent it under a duvet with his alter Ed rather than turn up to be ritually disembowelled at Prime Ministers Questions. 

They both knew they were on a hiding to nothing as the Government gleefully announced record employment figures only hours before PMQs began. And what was to come was writ large over both their faces as the combatants gathered for the weekly swapping of ill-tempered insults.

It was meant to be week three of Ed M's attempt to put politeness back into politics and muzzles certainly seem to have been fixed to the noisier of the boot boys who pack the Tory benches. But, the restraining straps broke as soon as Ed M, shadowed by a squirming Ed B, rose to try to get past the good news to the bad.
The shadow chancellor had brought his index finger out of its recent retirement in order to point to the floor in general indication of his views on the economy.

But, you could tell his heart was not in it as Prime Minister Dave, clearly as surprised by the good news as everyone else, reminded MPs of the Eds previous predictions.

Labour looked glum to a man - and several women - while Tory MPs half-celebrated as the ones with brain cells realised further falls in the dole queues could trigger interest rate rises.

Ed M went over the top claiming 13m people were "living in poverty" and Dave dutifully followed him claiming everyone was "better off this year."
With both factoids dutifully delivered, Dave basked in the delight of his followers and Speaker Bercow popped up to say PMQs was not a Punch and Judy show - Punch and Judy then sat down. 

With the main non-business of the day out now of the way, attention could be drawn to the other torrid tale filling up the empty space in the mind  of parliament.

Staring off into space throughout the above events was none other than the deputy PM and Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg, a story in his own right this week. Ignoring what was going on around him, it was obvious that his mind was in 'the other place" as next door is known in the Commons.

For those not in the know, "the other place" is the House of Lords wherein rests, or not as the case may be, the portly frame of Lord Rennard, key player in the Lib-Dem, sex-scandal-without-sex scandal. (It is known as "the other place" for probably the same reasons that Macbeth is known as "the Scottish play" which are none of the business of this column.)

Lord Rennard is obviously - and sadly - not a member of the House of Commons although he does have a a passing resemblance to the equally rotund Tory MP, Nicholas Soames. It must immediately be pointed out that there is no suggestion that Mr Soames has ever been named in the sort of behaviour alleged against Lord Rennard. Indeed the only passing reference to Mr Soames and sex came from an ex-girlfriend who described making love to the MP for Mid Sussex as: "like having a double wardrobe fall on top of you with the key still in the lock."
Mr Clegg certainly gave the appearance of a man on whom several wardrobes had fallen recently.

Normally his Tory torturers, upset that Lib-Dem influence has curbed their ability to be extra-nasty,would have seized the change to foul him further.
But with him making such a good go at doing it to himself they decided to leave him  swimming in his own misery.

If only they'd all stayed in bed - apart from Nicholas Soames of course.