PMQ’s – Calm after the storm….
After what has been a tumultuous couple of weeks for the government PMQ’smarked something of a return to normality. Alan Whitehead opened up for Labour; with an obvious planted question asking what would be the effect of ‘say a 10% cut’ on combating climate change. David Cameron opened up well by saying ‘Welcome to Prime Ministers planted questions’ and wondering if ‘Mr 10%’ was referring to the governments poll ratings. Cameron pushed onto the offensive saying that the government was proposing real cut’s and Brown batted back with his predictable 10% line.
This line has proved profitable for Labour with a clutch of opinion polls showing slight rises although I maintain it’s probable cause is a solidification of the core vote. Brown, unsurprisingly in this light, promised this debate would go on for ‘many months’; he also, rather shockingly and tellingly looked at Cameron which shows he is comfortable with this line. He also pressed home his advantage attacking the Conservative policy on inheritance tax saying this proved Labour was the ‘party of the many’ as opposed to the Conservatives being the ‘party of the few’.
A chorus of Labour jeers was responded to by Cameron saying ‘they shout for half an hour and spend the rest of the time trying to get rid of him’. Brown and Cameron obviously don’t like each other with Brown saying in a rather patronising vein ‘he’s learning all the time’. Nick Clegg defied my prediction that he would ask a question on Iraq and asked a question about banking regulation. He put in a strong performance blaming the government for the recession and ‘ignoring warnings’; insisting if nothing was done to separate casino banking from high street banking then it would happen all over again.
Barry Sheerman (Lab, Huddersfield) asked a good question about Lloyd’s ‘decimating jobs in Yorkshire’ and Tom Brake asked a Iraq themed question. John Randall asked about the compiling of dossiers on opponents of the third runway at Heathrow and Brown brushed this aside with a wry smile. Planted questions around the 10% theme reoccurred; one wonders if Brown will ever tire of this line of attack but given the outburst of a smile I think not; he feels comfortable and secure and it would defiantly appear he is for the moment at least.