Wednesday, October 29, 2014

#PMQs29/10 "with the general election still seven months away............"

It can be reported that David Cameron took tea today with Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar.

It can also be reported that earlier he took Prime Ministers Questions with what appeared to be day trippers from Man U’s  Stretford End.

With the facts of the day - okay, not the whole Stretford End - out of the way, it is possible to concentrate on the nonsense that is PMQs.

The grand plan, if you remember, is for Dave and Ed Miliband to spend every waking minute of Wednesday morning with their expert advisers. The object of the exercise is for one to show the other unfit to govern and so far it seems like a score draw. 

Ed’s been on a bit of a downer since his slight slip with the deficit but with Ed Balls ready to frighten him to his feet, he seemed to be breathing unaided.

Dave was done in last week with a sneaky question involving facts - not his strong point - and many a coward fled Downing Street that afternoon. He was back with a bang today, however; Dave left in the cupboard and his inner Flashman out instead.If there is one thing the the Conservative Party like, it’s a bully, and Team Tory were in overjoyed full voice. 

Dave had even placed the nervous shape of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt next to him if any extra kicking practice was needed.

But Ed then went and spoiled everything by mentioning the Rochester and Strood by-election.

Everyone now expects Tory tender parts to be squeezed between two house bricks come the vote. The bully boys fell silent and the PM’s pan stick seemed to slip as the spectre of Nigel Farage slipped through the chamber.

Ed’s cunning plan was to demand an early vote on something called the European Arrest Warrant. This is a slice of euro-legislation which, if not passed, would apparently turn Blackpool an into the Costa Del Crime that Marbella once was. 

Impossible as it might seem for anyone with an O’ level to believe it, Ed knows any vote involving the word Europe/foreigner/White Cliffs, splits the Tories down the middle. Getting the vote in early and needing Labour support to win it, would then provide another stick for Nigel to beat Dave with, guaranteeing Rochester for UKIP.

Except that Dave said yes to the vote and yes to it being before the by-election. As this was not in Ed’s plan, he - and then the Tory back benches - both looked confused.

Was this one of the PM's planned plan or one of the PM’s unplanned plans? Jeremy looked terrified.

With a non-plussed Ed still with time to fill, he and Dave relaxed into swopping insults over immigration, foreigners and blame; members relaxed into their emails.

With the general election still seven long months away……….

It should perhaps be pointed out that the arguments over the unwanted arrivals of foreign nationals had nothing to do with the Emir mentioned above. He apparently has a personal fortune of several of those millions that begin with a ``’b” and can pop in for tea anytime he likes, anywhere he likes.

Qatar is also hosting the 2022 World Cup, although probably underground since it’s a lot,  hotter than Blackpool and got more sand.

Finally it would be an “ist” of many varieties if one was not to mention the deputy leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman. She appeared at PMQ’s sporting a t-shirt with the slogan, “This what a feminist looks like”. Earlier in the week Ed and Nick Clegg had made similar claims in similar shirts. Dapper Dave demurred. 
According to the Guardian, the UK is ranked 74th out of 186 in terms of female representation in parliament.

Qatar doesn’t even have a parliament, but it has the World Cup.