PMQs: Vince skewers Gordon (again)

Vince did it again, successfully raising a host of Government debacles, most seriously Iraq, at the last Prime Minister’s Questions of the year – and his final one as acting leader. What is grabbing Vince another round of plaudits, though, is his quickfire riposte to Gordon Brown not to speculate about leadership contests given the PM’s recent lacklustre record.

Vince’s triumph in the bearpit of the Commons is undisputed (for all that PMQs remains our Parliamentary democracy at its pantomime worst), and he’s certainly raised the bar for his successor, whether Nick Clegg or Chris Huhne. Whoever wins could be forgiven for feeling a tad daunted at the prospect of following Vince.

Anyway, here’s the full Hansard exchange:

Dr. Vincent Cable (Twickenham) (LD): When the Prime Minister tucks into his Brussels sprouts on his one day off at Christmas, which of the various disasters of the last six months will haunt him most: his indecision over the election, his inaction over Northern Rock, or the gross incompetence of the loss of 25 million people’s personal data?

The Prime Minister: It is nice to have the hon. Gentleman here, and I thank him for his appearances over the last few weeks. Given the history of the Liberal party, it may not be long before he is back in that place again, representing his party. As for the issues of the last few months, we have made long-term decisions on energy, the environment, transport, infrastructure, planning, skills and the economy, and that is what governing is all about.

Dr. Cable: Given the Prime Minister’s own position, he might not be wise to speculate about leadership elections. Is not the real disaster, for which he has personal responsibility, the continuing tragedy in Iraq? When he was in Basra this week, was he told that at least 40 women have been executed for personal immorality? Is that why 173 British troops have died—transferring power from the fascist regime of Saddam Hussein to the terror of the fascist militia who run the streets of Basra?

The Prime Minister: Iraq is now a democracy. Millions of people have voted. When I went to Basra, only two days ago, I found that there had been a 90 per cent. fall in violence over the last few months. We are now able to hand over Basra to provincial Iraqi control. So instead of the British forces having to engage in a combat role, we will, over time, be engaged in training role, supporting the Iraqi forces. Over these last few months, 50,000 people have been trained up as police and security forces. This is Iraqis taking control of their own security. I would have thought that, even with the differences over the war, the hon. Gentleman would have welcomed the progress that is being made.

Read more by or more about .
This entry was posted in News and PMQs.


  • Viva la Vince! 15th Dec '07 - 8:12am

    Isn’t he just brilliant. You are right, following Ming must have been an exciting prospect – there being bags of room for improvement. Following Vince must be a different proposition altogether!

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

  • David Evershed
    HS2 is the hot topic in Chesham and Amersham. The environmental destruction that HS2 and East West Rail construction is causing is very apparent in Buckinghams...
  • Peter Martin
    @ David Raw, On a point of information: The word "you" in the English language isn't necessarily singular. It can be plural. It would possibly be better,...
  • Little Jackie Paper
    Peter Martin - 'It’s a great pity that the Euroscepticism of the Labour Party largely passed away with Tony Benn.''s not been remarked on much bu...
  • David Raw
    @ Peter Martin The Greens are no threat to me, Peter. You assume too much. I appreciate their contribution at Holyrood which is not insignificant....
  • Peter Martin
    @ David Raw, I don't have a problem with environmental radicalism but I do trying to understand why anyone on the left thinks it's radical to support a euro-...