January 31, 2023

PMQs – Cameron and Miliband have a sensible discussion! 18 June 14

I agree with the Right Honourable gentleman…

Who’d have thought it? Today the Prime Minister had ‘meetings with ministerial colleagues and others’.  But with formalities out of the way (he answers the first question this way every week) it was back to a subdued House of Commons, with MPs asking about topics including England women’s football and Watford’s new technical college

That the Passport office is in disarray is known to most people. That it makes a profit out of its incompetence is not so widely know. Kevin Brennan brought this anomaly to the PM’s attention – pointing out that it has recently returned a surplus of £73 million, whilst not getting passports to people on time for their holidays. Cameron said they must get it right – giving the impression there are things that they can get wrong. They had introduced free fast-tracking – the kindly PM doesn’t want anyone to miss their holidays.

Sir Peter Tapsell, Father of the House, brought up the issue of the impeachment of Tony Blair. The current PM, knowing that he will one day be an ex-PM was wary and side-stepped the issue, merely noting that the Labour party had voted against the Iraq Inquiry four times.

Cheers met Ed Miliband as he took to his feet. His first question was not party political, instead he wanted to get the latest on the current situation in Iraq. There were no cheers as he sat back down, Labour MPs wondering what was going on. After all, Leader stands up, we get to shout like schoolchildren at sports day is the usual order of the day at these events. When the leader meekly asks the PM’s assessment there was nothing to cheer. Or boo. It didn’t seem right.

Unable to believe his luck with the questioning Cameron thanked Milliband for the cross-party approach, then gave a serious report about where, when and who was fighting in Iraq. He followed up with the measures being taken to stop UK citizens returning radicalised to wreak havoc here.  Miliband stood again, this time asking about the humanitarian situation. Everyone waited for a This wouldn’t have happened under Labour moment, but it never came.

Of course MPs couldn’t go a whole PMQs without a bit of partisan shouting. Mention of NHS doctors got it started. Sara Newton’s congratulating of the England women’s football team continued the cheering, but it was the PM’s campaign against Mr Juncker that provoked something nearer the usual levels of noisy shouting.

Just maybe though, Parliament is realising it exists to run a country and not just to shout abuse at the party opposite.

Quote of the week:

David Cameron – As I have said before, where Essex leads, the rest of the country follows.

 

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