Wednesday, 27 October 2010

PMQs on 27 Oct 2010

I hadn't originally intended posting whenever there is a Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) event, though at least there is an Ed-M connection.

However, I have been asked to do so and to link to Guido's live blog and the highlights of that blog/chat by Beware of Geeks.

I suspect that the person asking me to do this really just wants others to see that he has been awarded the "best line of the week" award at the latter site(!)

Anyway, it was very much a so-so affair, and at least David Cameron didn't give his political and media opponents the excuse to label him "Flashman", as some have been trying to paint him. In fact, it was one of his better sessions in that he was being genuinely helpful to questioners from all parts of the House. That for me is the very best part of PMQs, far more so (and more interesting) than the six-question spat between the Prime Minister and the leader of the official opposition.

That said, Ed Miliband did have one good line about Simon Hughes and Nick Clegg being "Glum and Glummer", but failed to deliver it properly so it didn't have that noticeable an effect. Never mind: he's the new boy and still needs to develop his skills at the Despatch Box (assuming he has any; but I am trying to be charitable here). His nasal voice and slight lisp don't help either.

He has time to improve, but not necessarily all that long. There are (admittedly so far isolated) stories of Labour whips having 'gone soft' in the last week or so, and Ed-M's appointment of Alan Johnson as Shadow Chacellor looks to have been a real erro of judhement, so he isn't looking very effective so far.

Although surely no-one could be as bad as Gordon "MacMental" Brown, it is starting to look as though the Labour party has jumped out of the frying pan into an adjacent cooking pot (i.e. not quite as bad as jumping straight into the fire) and Ed-M is really going to have to shape up and soon if he is to survive as party leader.

The real test will come in next May's various elections around the nation. If the results for Labour are bad (and with the coalition government's spending restrictions in several sensitive areas really starting to bite by then, there should be no reason for Labour to do poorly) then his position could become less than tenable!

Even at PMQs, from which most of the voters of Britain will see only the brief clips shown on the evening news, he and his party will be judged to some extent, based on his performance on these Wednesday lunchtimes.

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