Wednesday, September 03, 2014


Politics was put on hold for half an hour this morning as the real world forced its way into the House of Commons. Usual hostilities were almost abandoned as an outbreak of statesmanlike behaviour spoilt Prime Ministers Questions.

The smell of after-sun dogged the Chamber as MPs got back together after their short six week summer break. Dave sported his Ibiza tan and Ed the peg marks from hanging in the wardrobe over August.
Sunburn loins had been girded, campaign lies dusted off and character assasinations prepared for the general election just nine months away. 

The defection of Douglas Carswell, a new bash-Bercow campaign and a reinvigoration of the usual bile promised extra pleasure at PMQs. But a blast of realpolitik from the Middle East put paid to those plans - at least for the moment.

Four years of insults made a performance of the Dave-and-Ed-as-statesmen show a bit hard on the hearing of the audience. But phrases like “our full support” and “entirely right” mouthed across the chamber by both Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition set the tone.

Foot soldiers on both sides looked confused as they tried to work out if to cheer or jeer and finally settled for silence.
We learned that Dave and Ed believe something must be done about the Islamic State  by somebody, somewhere.
Having agreed on this larger plan all they have left to agree on now is who, where and when.

They also have to agree on how, but they agreed to put off agreement on this until they find out more about what they are agreeing to.

“I think we should try and do this on a cross-party basis to send the clearest possible message”. said the Prime Minister.

They then agreed to do this urgently and agreed to an urgent debate - next week.
With the Middle East now sorted, cross-party consensus switched to another crisis of slightly more geographical import -Scotland.

"A humiliation of catastrophic proportions" on its way was the downbeat assessment of Tory MP Sir Edward Leigh. With Alex Salmond apparently on a roll and the Scottish referendum just two weeks away cross-party support for the union would not go amiss. 

With matters-Scottish now on a knife edge, mentioning north of the border was always going to be dangerous.

By now one of the Scottish National MPs, who normally turn up in London to wind up everyone else, had wound himself up.

As what were translated as insults of a West of Scotland nature were hurled up the chamber, MPs quailed.
Dave, who is said to be resigned to quitting if Scotland goes independent, nodded furiously.

Ed, who may never be elected if Scotland leaves the union, nodded even more furiously.

Chancellor George, who hopes to replace Dave when he goes, stared straight ahead.

Nick Clegg just stared.

Normal service next week.