By Joe Mellor Deputy Editor
A laugh is good, it’s good to laugh, I don’t think we laugh enough. I’m all for laughing, I don’t even mind being laughed at, I’m from Newcastle where we laugh at each other remorselessly. So I hope I have made myself clear/laboured the point, I like a laugh.
But is it ever okay not to laugh? Well today we got a prime (minister’s) example.
This was the PMQs everyone wanted to see, would Corbyn refer to his MPs as comrades? Would he wear a CND badge? Would he reveal plans for a gulag on Hyde Park?
Well no, he just wouldn’t be as polished as Cameron, and stuttered over some of his words. It could be an age thing, he is kicking on 70 and it’s a high-pressure environment.
Corbyn’s new approach to PMQs appears to be reading out a list of e-mails. He said he had been sent forty thousand and based his questions on those that got the most correspondence.
I don’t know about you, but if I used my e-mail top subject areas, I would ask the PM if he wanted a bigger penis (as if Gideon wasn’t enough…boom boom), can we free an African prince and (weirdly) do we want to go a swingers’ club together – no idea where they got my details from…
Anyway, as Corbyn read out the names of the questioners (not them all obviously) the Tory benches sniggered, as if it was amusing a lady called Marie couldn’t find affordable housing. At least these are real people and not made up, like the DWP.
The morning’s front pages were all about Corbyn and how un-patriotic it was not to sing the national anthem. I’m pretty sure being un-patriotic is laughing at your own citizens’ plight.
Kevin Hollinrake, Con, even ribbed the PM, telling him peace and harmony has broken out in Yorkshire since his visit, after Cameron’s gaffe slagging them off over his mic. Gordon Brown had a go at one woman and was chastised, Cameron took on a whole county, and it was laughed off.
Corbyn, has tried to bring in a new form of PMQs, a debate rather than a mudslinging contest, which could improve politics…but could be quite annoying for parliamentary sketchwriters.
But Cameron can play along with this new style. He knows that Labour are deeply divided and the tabloid press, who thought Ed was fair game, are out to totally destroy Corbyn. They can do his dirty work and he can rise above it.
If the PM wants someone on the left to argue with, he can always turn his attention to Angus Roberson, SNP, for a slanging match, as he did today.
The issue of Trident will be a major focus of the upcoming feuds between the two, but it got me thinking. Without a nuclear deterrent would the Russians invade, and if so, what would they do? Take all the best houses in the capital, send their kids to the elite schools, buy a football club and own a national newspaper…the Russians seem to be having the last laugh already.
Sycophantic question of the day
It hit cringe factor 10 and kept going. Tom Pursglove, Con, who praised Corby (his constituency) not Corbyn (get it) for getting the PM into power, and also a fact you never needed to know; The DVD case was designed and produced in the town.
A new style of politics, a man with no style…and Corbyn did OK.