Wednesday, June 18, 2014

PMQ sketch June 18th - Ed and Dave. The slough of despond.

If the appearance of Mr Facing-both-ways gave the first clue, then the sighting of Mr Worldly Wiseman brought confirmation - it was time for Prime Ministers Questions.

Those who say Pilgrim’s Progress is an allegory out of its time were clearly not watching BBC2 at noon today. Had they taken time out from arranging their seats for the football they could have thanked John Bunyan for his guide to British foreign policy in the Middle-East.

Last week readers may remember that the crisis in the region was ignored for a World Cup knock-up. But with Iraq now apparently re-located just across the Channel, the House of Commons decided it was time to have a look.

Britain obviously has a problem with Iraq as Mr Facing-both-ways admitted when confirming we are about to become new buddies with Iran. We now like Iran said Mr F’s look-alike, David Cameron, because they now like the government of Iraq.

Mr Worldly Wiseman, leader of the Labour Party, said he liked  Mr F’s approach and Mr F replied that he liked Mr Ws approach. 
Both had obviously decided not to mention Iran’s support for President Assad in Syria, which neither F nor W support.

Mr W said it was important that all countries in the region support avoiding stirring the sectarian conflict. This was as oblique a reference as possible to Saudi Arabia - which spends billions here - and supports Iran’s enemies which we sometimes do and sometimes don’t.

Mr F took a similarly strong line managing to mumble Saudi as he said it would be very naughty if any countries who spend money with us took a different view. 

Luckily time was up and after promising another £2m to the £3m already earmarked to help the hundreds of thousands of refugees he and Mr W escaped to their seats.

It should be reported that earlier there had been some panic on both sides of the House when an admirable old duffer called Sir Peter Tapsell rose to speak.
Sir Peter, who may or may not have been around for the launch party of Pilgrim’s Progress
reminded MPs they could always impeach Tony Blair if they fancied doing something about Iraq.
Sharp intakes of breath all round as members swallowed this threat to democracy.

Had not Mr W served Tony almost faithfully and had not Mr F led the standing ovation when he left the Commons? Had hundreds of MPs not voted for war? 

The House moved swiftly on.

It must have been a relief to Labour MP’s that Mr W had turned up instead of their usual bloke Ed Miliband.

He, they discovered this morning, is now less popular than whoever scores the first goal for Uruguay tomorrow night.  In fact it is worse than that -  Ed is now less popular than Nick Clegg. It may well have been that news which accounted for the sight smile on the face of the Lib Dem leader occupying his traditional role of indifference at PMQs.

Nick, it can be revealed, is less popular than at anytime since he became Deputy Prime Minister.
Indeed at -37, the difference between those who think he is doing a bad job compared to a good one, he must have expected to hang on to the title he earned over the last four years.

But step forward Ed M who scored -39 after 61% in a survey said he was doing a crap job as Labour leader against 22% who pledged their troth.

Luckily Ed doesn’t read the papers so like Iraq and PMQs, there’s always next week.