Liberal Democrat setting for Prime Ministerial grilling

Prime Minister’s Question Time (PMQs) is often criticised as a bad advert for Parliament. It is confrontational and glib. – That particularly applies to the portion which is shown mostly on news programmes.

Anyone who is concerned about this should watch, or read the record of, the House of Commons Liaison Committee. Each quarter, it questions the Prime Minister for an hour and a half. The sessions are thoughtful, thorough and comprehensive. It is all very polite and earnest.

One could criticise the sessions for going to the other extreme of the style of PMQs. A good replacement for Horlicks, in other words. But no-one could criticise the seriousness and maturity of the meetings.

This week, the questions of the House of Commons Liaison Committee focussed on the “Big Society”. The session was chaired, very skilfully, by Liberal Democrat Sir Alan Beith and it was held in the Grimond Room in Portcullis House (hence the title of this post).

The session can be watched here. There is a transcript on the same page.

The subjects covered included:

-The Big society
-Community budgets and decentralisation
-Barriers to volunteering in rural areas
-Rural broadband
-Flood defences in rural areas
-August riots – police response, involvement of gangs, costs
-Police use of rubber bullets
-Secure borders
-Taking benefits payments away from convicted criminals
-The Work programme
-Early intervention
-National Citizen Service pilots
-Measuring the success of the Big Society
-Open Public Service White paper/mutual ownership
-The Big Society in Scotland and Wales
-Making decentralisation permanent
-Plan for implementing change

My prize for “Questioner of the session” goes to Dame Anne Begg, who was particularly tenacious in questioning David Cameron about taking benefits away from offenders.

Paul Walter blogs at Liberal Burblings

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in Parliament.

One Comment

  • Andrew Carlos 11th Nov '11 - 10:27am

    PMQ’s is a disgrace. The Speaker tries to intervene to stop the childish braying but fails. Cameron rarely answers a question but is constantly trying to score points balming the opposition for his governments failures. If I was Miliband I wouldn’t bother turning up and so deprive Cameron of yet another meaningless PR stunt!

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • Nonconformistradical
    @John Marriott 16th Jun '21 - 4:51pm It would be better if you were comparing like with like. As it is, it seems to me you are muddying the waters. Israel ...
  • Peter Watson
    If the Conservatives lose this by-election - or even come close to losing it - what will they learn? That they need to change tack because the country (or at l...
  • theakes
    Perhaps of more interest is the SUN news story suggesting Cons HQ think they may lose....
  • Barry Lofty
    As I have said before the chances of a Lib Dem win in Chesham and Amersham are likely remote but would It not be superb to give this abysmal government the kick...
  • Brad Barrows
    I hope the Liberal Democrats can take this seat off the Tories and keep it for a generation. However, this will be entirely pointless if the Liberal Democrats r...