Wednesday, June 10, 2015

#pmqsketch - "Margaret Thatcher returns..."

You could tell Dave was feeling a bit bumptious when he turned up all suited and shiny a full five minutes early for Prime Ministers Questions.

His outriders had, of course, arrived even earlier to assist the great man to his seat with cheers and the sort of hand signals one associates with the Freemasons.

There was a time when PMQs could best be described as ’squeaky bum time’ for the Tory leader, but not the newly polished two-time winner.

Now he confidently turns up for what the longest serving MP in the House, Sir Gerald Kaufman, described this week as ”an exchange of pointless and useless declamations”. Sir Gerald, who in his time could often be accused of the same, certainly hit the nail on the head today.

But before we get to the uselessness - or maybe as part of it -  spare a thought for a man called Mundell.

When the SNP tsunami swept almost all before it in the general election. one lone Tory - the Mundell of Dumfriesshire - survived.

And as the only Tory left in the village, he was a bit of a shoe-in as Secretary of State for Scotland, a job which requires ritual humiliation once a month at Scottish Questions.

Yesterday that pleasure came just before PMQs where the increasingly gibbering remains of the Mundell could be seen on display.

As Tory Scotland slumped to his seat both Dave and chief minder Chancellor George seemed cheered by this early warm up and “the load of rubbish” which is PMQs could begin.

By now the field of donkeys penned in behind the PM were in full bray drowning out the first question from the acting, temporary leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition Harriet Harman.

They brayed, she shouted, Dave laughed and all was normal - and then Harriet lost it.

Mrs Harman may have sat down but it was Mrs Thatcher who stood up. Dave might have won the election, she said, but that was no excuse for “ranting, sneering or gloating”.

Having heard the charges in a slight lull of shock, those Tory MPs not yet guilty of sneering or ranting, then joined in. 

Chancellor George was transported back to the fifth form with chubby chum Michael Fallon and skeletal Phillip Hammond for a giggle behind the hands.

And even Home Secretary Theresa May, no slouch with the handbag herself, smiled enigmatically.
Dave started about him slightly non-plussed searching his back-benchers for similar smirkers but suddenly Harriet spat it out: The Prime Minister, said the former head girl of St Paul’s, “should show a bit more class”.

“Ooooooo”, said the donkeys in a donkey-like way.

Ouch! seemed to be reaction of the man they had elected to bring a bit more class to their party.

“Where was she when we needed a leader”, seemed to be the reaction on the Labour side.

“I am sorry she thinks I am gloating”, said the Prime Minister gloatingly but less gloatingly than he had been.

Harriet sat down, the SNP’s Angus Robertson stood up and Dave apologised to him for gloating over something else.

PMQs, “an exchange of crude insults and non-answers”, said one MP, finished well in time for lunch.