Tag Archives: PMQs

Tim talks: Talking to refugees in Lesvos and a question to the Prime Minister

The latest “Tim Talks” video below looks at Tim’s visit to Lesvos and his question to the Prime Minister:

Posted in Lib Dem TV | Also tagged , and | 9 Comments

Man standing up and being quiet in top button shocker

What passes for news at the moment is pretty lamentable. Actually, it’s not just at the moment. The tabloid news agenda has its own way of taking our focus off what really matters in this world. Any responsible press would be highlighting the even greater hardship and poverty faced by those households whose tax credits are being slashed by the Government. Also this week trade unions face unfair and illogical restrictions which, if applied to the rest of our democracy, would mean we couldn’t have a legitimate government. Both those changes will make lives really difficult for the least powerful people in our society both at home and at work.

With all that going on, I can’t quite put into words how much I am struggling to give a nano-hoot, let alone two, to caring whether the Leader of the Opposition sings the National Anthem or not. As a liberal, I’m uneasy about enslaving anyone by conformity. Had he been playing Candy Crush (does that still exist?), I might have felt that was inappropriate behaviour for the circumstances, but if he doesn’t want to sing, why force him? Respectful silence is fine by me.  Of course, we do live in a world where Jeremy Corbyn can do no right, so if he had sung, the right wing tabloid press would have had a go at him for singing God save the Queen when he believes in neither a God nor a monarchy. Even less important is whether his top button was tied.  Maybe I should be pleased that a man has his appearance criticised for a change, but it is vacuous.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 94 Comments

Does Cameron think he’s been in Nick Clegg’s pocket these last five years?

The third last Prime Minister’s Questions of this Parliament was just as ridiculous as we’ve come to expect. I lost patience with it at the moment when David Cameron got away with describing Ed Miliband as despicable.

Now, I have many, many disagreements with the Labour leader. I’m also furious with Ed for countenancing some horrible personal attacks on Nick Clegg, not least that appalling Party Political Broadcast during the European elections last year. However, that was an ad hominem too far. Whatever his policy deficiencies, I think Ed is a decent enough bloke who does not deserve that sort of …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 40 Comments

John Bercow should look to Australia for ideas on how to deal with unruly MPs

John Bercow did try to get an Australian installed as the new Clerk of the Commons in what seemed to me to be quite a sensible move to split the roles of Chief Executive and Procedural expert. He might want to take a leaf out of the book of the Australian Speaker who has developed a habit of ejecting unruly MPs. At one PMQs session at the end of last year, she ejected 18 of them in 73 minutes.

You can watch the video and ensuing drama unfold below.

The reason I say this today is because of the disgraceful tidal wave of heckling which greeted Mike Crockart when he got up at Prime Minister’s Questions. It was so childish and there was simply no reason for it.You can see it from 10 minutes in. It wasn’t particularly unusual behaviour, but it’s high time Bercow moved beyond his sarcastic comments and started chucking people out. It’s the only way they’ll learn. He might want to make sure he throws people out from both sides, because there are plenty who deserve it.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 21 Comments

Yet again Scotland’s political leaders outclass their Westminster counterparts

Prime Minister’s Questions was even worse than usual today. Both Cameron and Miliband jumped into the gutter from the start and neither of them emerged. It was bizarre watching these people who had blocked every single attempt to reform party funding argue about each other’s paymasters. It was a matter of some considerable annoyance that Cameron kept saying how his government had done more to make sure people paid their taxes than the last one. Does anyone seriously think the Tories, left to their own devices, would have done that? Errr, no. That’s all been down to our man in the Treasury, one Danny Alexander. Cameron taking credit for our policy is bad enough. Using our success to cover his own party’s issues is worse.

It was all a bit classier in Scotland, though. Remember a couple of weeks ago how Scotland’s party leaders joked on Twitter about cancelling FMQs and drinking Pimms in Nicola Sturgeon’s office while watching Andy Murray’s semi-final in the Australian Open instead?

Well, they’ve done it again. After a journalist teased Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson about the fundraiser where a mega-rich Tory donor paid £17500 for a shoe-shopping session with Theresa May.

To cut a long story short, a shoe shopping session with all of Scotland’s political leaders is now to be auctioned to raise money for Scottish charity Cash for Kids. Buzzfeed has the story.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 12 Comments

Three moments from today’s PMQs

I’ve taken to avoiding Prime Minister’s Questions. However today, I had no choice. At the moment it feels like a particularly angry and vindictive goat has stuffed my sinuses full of bits of cardboard box and is now kicking me in the head. I couldn’t even muster up the energy to get up from the sofa, where I was lying feeling sorry for myself, to find the remote control to switch it off.

The impending election doesn’t seem to have persuaded MPs to behave in a more grown-up fashion. I don’t think anything will change until Speaker John Bercow actually starts throwing people out. It’s nasty, shouty, brawly and hideously unpleasant and it’s all most people see of the work of the Mother of Parliaments. In fact, much goes on that is consensual, professional and pleasant from people of all parties.

Anyway, here are three moments in the half hour which were noteworthy.

Cameron takes credit for Liberal Democrat policy klaxon

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 12 Comments

“This is not a snub. I thought it would be a nice change to get out of the Westminster bubble”: Clegg on his Autumn Statement absence

clegg on levesonNick Clegg has taken my advice.*

Back in July, I offered the Lib Dem leader five unsolicited pieces of advice. Most he’s ridden roughshod over: Vince Cable wasn’t appointed the party’s shadow chancellor for the next election, Jo Swinson wasn’t promoted to the cabinet, and (as far as I know) Nick continues to rule out options other than a full coalition in the event of a hung parliament.

But item number 4 was this:

Posted in News, Parliament and PMQs | Also tagged and | 46 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 25th Sep - 2:34am
    Thanks Little Jackie. Cameron got some a concession on free movement - there are ways to twist arms if we are imaginative. We could even...
  • User AvatarStevan Rose 25th Sep - 1:33am
    @Dennis Loretta. Thanks for making that point. How many people out if the 75,000 members and 2.4 million voters were at the conference? 2,000 /...
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 25th Sep - 1:12am
    Eddie Sammon - I think you are spot on right. But... 1 - The EU institutions can think and say what they want. There are...
  • User Avatarmalc 25th Sep - 12:53am
    Simon Shaw "It’s only when we get close to the next GE that they’ll really let rip with 30 years of facts with which to...
  • User AvatarDenis Loretto 25th Sep - 12:36am
    Was Stevan Rose at the conference? Surely he knows that the Lib Dems are the only party democratically deciding or endorsing policy - definitely not...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 25th Sep - 12:17am
    We need soft brexit with a concession on free-movement. This is what is pushing people towards hard brexit - they think a concession without serious...