Wednesday, March 05, 2014

PMQs March 5th -Politics and the Third Eye

Students of the downward-facing dog would have felt at home in the House of Commons today as yoga made a rare appearance in British politics.

If posing in fixed positions is an essential part of the oriental art, then aficionados can now add a new one to their list, "the statesman".

Like the dog and its lesser-known equivalents, the tree and the chair, the statesman requires the practitioner to stand stock still and empty the mind.

No movement in any direction is allowed and after five minutes you can emerge feeling a better person.

Which explains the smiles of contentment on the faces of that famous Wednesday Whitehall double act, Ed and Dave, at Prime Ministers Questions.

Normally they would be at each other like stoats in a sack but a sudden outbreak of statesman-like behaviour was unavoidable following events in the Ukraine.

It was clear from the off that both had booked passage to the high moral ground following President Putin's re-interpretation of neighbourliness.

The Ukrainians learned that the Prime Minister and the Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition backed them all the way - but the way to where was the question.

Ed, miffed at being accused of being soft on Syria, wanted to know just how big a stick Dave planned to hit President P with.

Bu, he didn't press him too hard when the PM, well aware that Russia and its oligarchs already own SW1, dodged the answer.

 There would be "consequences" said the PM, and statesmen and women throughout the chamber broke from their poses to nod sagely.

And this was enough for Ed to pledge his full support, which Dave indicated, would be more than enough to seriously unnerve President P - once he found out.

With world affairs now settled normal insults could be resumed and a series of rent-a-gobs on the Tory side parotted out the questions on jobs they had been given by Government whips.

But, you could see that the ten minutes devoted to yoga at the start of the session had done the damage and their chakras were not in it.

Meanwhile Dave could now concentrate on recovering from the descriptions of him which have emerged from women respondents in a survey this week.

Having been variously described as "pompous" and "incompetent" the PM took the opportunity in what remained of PMQs to lend support to these descriptions.

Sitting by his side - and in complete agreement with every insult - the never-smiling figure of International Development Secretary Justine Greening, sacked by Dave for having an opinion on Heathrow.

Next to her, Chancellor George, who has had his abacus out ever since someone suggested interfering with the Russian contribution to the recovery.

He looked suitably pained as the word "consequences" was trotted out and names were no doubt taken.

Not that the survey held any comfort for the opposition since Ed qualified as "boring", "slimy" and "unsure". In fact the most positive he could get was "annoying".

Talking of which, "spineless" and "wet" had been saved up specially for Dave's deputy, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg.

It was announced this morning that he is to stage a television debate on Europe with Ukip leader Nigel Farage.

It will be held on April 2nd since April 1st is fully booked with other similar events.