Wednesday, March 11, 2015

#pmqsketch Fracas to all of you.

It was when Speaker Bercow proudly declared it ‘a disgrace to the House of Commons’ that the third last Prime Ministers Questions of this Parliament took on special meaning. Until then it had been just another get-together of MPs with a half an hour to fill on their way to the Wednesday trough.
But, at a stroke it was transformed into the word of the week; no longer a row, not even an uproar, but a fully-fledged fracas.

It had all the necessary ingredients, a ruddy-faced refugee from Chipping Norton, known to be a bully and uncertain of his links with Johnny Foreigner.

Out in the wider world one was fighting to hang onto his job, and back in the Commons, so was another.

And just like his pal, the Prime Minister knew a few punches were going to have to be thrown before dinner was served. He was in for a hiding ever since deciding to dodge the head-to-head 90 minute TV confrontation with his Labour counterpart.

It was Ed to Dave instead for seven minutes at PMQs as both tried to pack as  many insults as possible into the shorter time.
“Any time, any place”, repeated the Labour leader as he seemed to be trying to reach over the Despatch Box.

Finger jabbing, a slight flush to his usually wan cheeks, Ed looked happy to wind himself up into a mini-temper. And the Tory back benches were even happier to help him out with collection of catcalls that would have graced any football ground.

The Labour leader himself has let it be known that a few more democratic decibels from his own side would not go amiss - but amiss they went.

Speaker Bercow bounced up again to remind MPs how they looked to the outside world.  They stopped, they thought and they turned up the noise.

Finally the Prime Minister had to answer for himself and having nothing to say on the charge of cowardice decided to have something to say on Scotland instead.

He would not be debating head to head with Ed, he said, because he was marooned (check the Tories latest poster) in Alex Salmond’s top pocket.

Miliband was a chicken, said the PM, in a move demonstrating how the brass in his neck had now spread to his waist. He then made a suggestion involving Ed, Alex Salmond and a bed, which, thankfully, was lost in the noise.

But, it has to be said that some could hear and Defence Minister Anna Soubry appeared to gag. 

By now happily in full Flashman, the PM said Ed was “weak and despicable”, hanging onto Alex Salmond’s nether regions to get to Downing Street.

With both party leaders now fully wound up nearby MPs on both sides were trying to lean out of the storm.

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers, jammed between a nervous Chancellor and the now levitating PM, squeezed herself even thinner.

On Dave’s other side, deputy Nick Clegg was clearly regretting not fleeing the country.
He must be most likely to “empty chair” himself.

Even Ed’s other Ed, no mean bruiser himself, seemed impressed.  

The Speaker, now in full fracas mood, accused the Government’s chief whip, Michael Gove of “smirking”.

Mr Gove, unloved since losing the Education brief, smirked broadly at the compliment.

Outside, in the unreal world of the web, 400,000 people demanded the BBC keep Jeremy Clarkson in post as insulter-in-chief to foreigners.

The other Chipping Norton refugee could only look on in envy.