Wednesday, September 16, 2015

#pmqsketch "Revolution postponed"

You could tell it was special when the population of Cardiff seemed to have turned up for that audience gripper otherwise known as questions to the Secretary of State for Wales.
The half hour that precedes Prime Ministers Questions is usually filled by some piece of parliamentary business which allows the heating and lighting to be checked for the main event,
But today MPs, some of whom didn’t even knew Wales was part of the UK, were packing the chamber early for what was billed as the political event of the century.

The event himself came in at 11.55.
Would he sing the Red Flag, would he call them comrades, would he wear a tie, would he cry.
By now the place was packed to the rafters and had there been seats up there, they would have been packed too.
All of which seemed a bit much for a man with a beard who had borrowed a jacket a size too big.

Jeremy Corbyn, until last week occupier, for 30 years of the seat nearest the upstairs exit, was now just a sword’s length from being Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The man in his way — not forgetting the electorate and the Parliamentary Labour Party — and present holder of that title, arrived two minutes later.
And there you had it, Jeremy in his mis-matched jacket and trousers, a tenner a piece in any good Islington charity shop, and Dave in his blue two-piece, two grand anywhere posh.

The PM, who’s meant to look confident, looked nervous, his MPs looked nervous. Even his minder, Chancellor George, looked nervous-behind his unavoidable wolfish grin.
Jeremy, who should have looked nervous, did not, although everyone else on his side did.

The rules of PMQs are quite simple. The leader of the opposition asks a question containing as many insults about the PM as possible and the PM ignores it.
Instead he replies with an answer containing as many insults as possible about the leader of the Labour Party.
The massed ranks behind cheer and boo in direct relation to the quality, range and size of the insults. TV records the best bits for the One O’ Clock News and everyone goes to lunch.

Jeremy asked a question from Marie —who he said was a voter —  and the House went silent.
He had said he would ask questions from voters and he told a suddenly ashen-faced governing party that he had 40,000 of them.
As they calculated that PMQs could now last five years, George who had brought along Dave’s statesman’s outfit just in case, slipped it to him and Dave morphed into the PM.

The first, second and third rule of politics is never be rude to the voters as Gordon Brown found out to his cost.
Dave didn’t get where he was today etc. and so Marie got an answer, almost a real answer with content.
Down the front bench, ministers grappled with this new approach to politics. Theresa May, whose usual answer is “off with their heads”, conversed with her shoes.
The always inscrutable Foreign Secretary, whose name no-one remembers, almost disappeared into his face.
Labour MPs, most here for their new leader’s evisceration, looked almost impressed as he added Stephen, Paul and Gail to his real people list.

Jeremy stared about him as he said voters didn’t like bully-boy tactics, leaving the bully-boys staring off into space.
Dave looked as is he didn’t know whether to twist or bust and Speaker Bercow was so taken with the new approach he kept PMQs going long enough to ruin more than a few lunch dates.
Finally, unmarked, Jeremy sat down sat down into the sheltering shadow of his own burly bruiser Tom Watson.
There was a sight stunned silence at his failure to fail but luckily the gap was filled by a Tory MP getting the mood of the moment and asking about an entry permit -- for a tiger (honest!) 

With the mood ruined for the day, even the usual suspects, the Scottish National Party, failed to get Dave going.
His heart and that of his MPs wasn’t in it as they contemplated six questions down, thirty nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety four to go.
Mind you, 40,000 chances to make the PM look like the PM may not be Labour’s best tactic.

Meanwhile the Labour Party let it be known that in future Jeremy will be singing God Save the Queen. Revolution postponed for today.