Wednesday, June 03, 2015

#pmqsketch - SNP. Revolution delayed.

The biggest change was Chancellor George working Dave with his left hand following the reshuffle of the Government front bench.

Five years of having his right hand up the jacket of the Prime Minister ended with the departure of Nick whoever-he-was.

Now George, aka the First Secretary of State, sits where whoever-he-was sat and that means a change in spine control.

And change all over the chamber as Prime Ministers Questions returned following the election.

The return of a Tory majority meant the word ‘insufferable’ could be taken out of the cupboard and given a dusting down. Dave himself, borne in on a palanquin of welcoming braying, had the suspicious look of someone having failed to take half-term in Ibitha with the wife, had popped into a tanning salon for a top up.

The tan paled somewhat when the PM got to his seat however and spotted former party chairman Grants Shapps sitting there.

PMQs today followed a session on International development, the department recalcitrant ministers and sacked party chairman are sent to. 

Luckily George was there to do his duty and plonked himself between Shapps and his sacker. Both stared straight ahead.

With Shapps ejected as soon as his session finished, attention could finally turn to the business at hand.

Over on the Ed-less Labour benches, contenders for the crown had tried to engineer good camera positions but it was Harriet Harmon’s turn.

Stand in she may be but she soon had Dave on the ropes with a series of questions requiring the Prime Minister to know some facts.

The past five years of PMQs have proved the incumbent most vulnerable when detail is sought from him.

“Dave Doesn’t Do Detail’ was the mantra that worked for the previous Ed, when he remembered and so it did for his replacement today.

Within the length of two questions the tide that spreads past his shirt collar and up his neck when angry was on display. 

Would it get out of hand; would the para-medics be called?

George’s left hand twitched and, as if a switch had suddenly been clicked, Dave remembered what PMQs was about - he asked Harriet a question.

He calmed down as every question from her brought another one from him in non-reply. 

New MPs looked confused, contenders tried to look angry and old MPs checked their emails. 

There was a sort of silence when, for the first time since 2010, the Speaker called on the leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition but one, the SNP to ask their two questions.

Abandoned during the last Government when the Lib Dems got into bed with the Tories, would the SNP start the revolution from here today?

Angus Struan Carolus Robertson, looks Scottish and sounds Scottish as befits the leader of the SNP’s 56 members in the House of Commons. But as befits a Scot who was actually born in Wimbledon, Angus seems a bit more Surrey when it comes to the barricades.

Mind you over his shoulder sits Alex Salmond, SNP foreign spokesman - at least for the moment - not to mention the dozens of others for whom Prime Ministers Answers is what they though they had turned up for. 'Plus ca change’, as they say In Glasgow.