Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Jeremy kept speaking; no-one was listening

It was the appearance of Diane Abbott by his side which gave the first indication this was not going to be Jeremy Corbyn’s day.
The harbinger of doom only makes it this far up the opposition front bench when the leader feels deserted by all others.

Prime Ministers Questions is, as you know, the weekly opportunity to get the leader of this bit of the free world by the short and curlies.
But events, as Harold Macmillan put it, seemed to conspire
to turn it into a trip behind the parliamentary bike sheds for Jeremy.

Never more so than today when, with passing thanks to Ken Livingstone, Jeremy swopped places with the PM.
With elections to just about everything everywhere tomorrow, the plan was to put Dave on the spot.

Normally the PM would just ignore the questions but today went one further.
Instead of just ignoring them, he decided to ask them himself thereby turning Prime Ministers Questions into Prime Ministers Questions.

For 30 years no-one gave a toss about what the member for Islington North thought about anything - but then he got promoted.
So, said the PM, could the Labour leader explain in the light of the angst over anti-semitism, where he stood.

Could he explain how he had met “friends” from Hamas and Hezbollah both dedicated to the annihilation of Israel.
Jeremy, who had turned up with a sheaf of questions on spending cuts, looked a little bit rattled.

Dave, with his bullyometer now on full power, swopped his attack to Labour’s London mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan. 
Had not he met people who knew people who knew people  they should not know, he asked.

Had not some of those people been Tories, Jeremy countered.
Tory back benchers, slightly stunned at possibly being on the right side of a racism argument, howled support.

Labour back benchers consulted their electronic excuses.
Diane mouthed insults across the aisle.

Jeremy kept speaking; no-one was listening.