By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor
The politician everyone is talking about wasn’t mentioned today, even though the likelihood is he will be leading the party next week. It appears the Panorama documentary, which was warmly received by the Tories and most of the Labour benches, won’t stop the Corbyn juggernaut. Yvette Cooper, Lab, looked like a rabbit caught in his headlights on the front bench today.
It was Harriet Harman’s final session as acting Labour leader and the Libyan crisis led today’s session, so as you can imagine it was serious and sombre affair.
The PM has decided to grant twenty thousand refugees asylum, but not if they have sailed across treacherous waters, cramped into the back of a lorry and been branded with a number. It seems they have done too much to get to Europe. We will instead pick some worthy refugees directly from camps in the Middle East.
You have to wonder if the gesture from Cameron is a way to curry favour with the EU ahead of planned renegotiations, however, as Germany plans to take 500,000 refugees a year, I can’t see it working. Imagine someone buying a car, you contribute a hilarious “My wife is dirtier than this” sticker and then demand they become your personal driver for life…unlikely.
During today’s session the only real scrutiny came from David Davis, Con, who asked whether security services are spying on UK politicians, in breach of the Wilson doctrine. The PM said: “I have got nothing to add to comments I have made about this issue,” so I’ll let you make your own mind up what the real answer is.
Cameron also referred to Davis as “the honourable gentleman,” when he should have referred to him as “my honourabe friend.” Might not seen much to you or I, but it’s the Commons equivalent of bottling your best mate for getting off with your girlfriend.
If the Government were willing to bomb a country we agreed we wouldn’t, would they hold off tapping an MPs phone? Jeremy Corbyn, Lab, has probably had his phone bugged ever since he did that interview wearing the jumper his mum knitted for him.
I get the impression behind the scenes, Labour have no agreement on whether the killing of these British citizens in Syria was the right thing to do. My guess is the majority of people at home probably agree with it; there tends to be little sympathy for ISIL members. So Labour’s general consensus was, “let Jeremy deal with it next week.”
However, there was one issue that Labour wanted to address today; Debbie Abrahams, Lab, asked about the rise in deaths from people forced back into work. Everyone looked at Iain Duncan Smith, Con, who rather than “double” fist pump, developed a slight nervous tic. But he shouldn’t have worried, the PM said the original figures were a lie anyway. So as usual, we sit at home and wonder if any of these stats, from either side, are ever true.
Caroline Lucas, Green, attacked the PM for the UK’s involvement in the global arms trade and hosting the world’s largest arms fair in London (again) this week, fuelling international conflict. The PM refuted this and said it was Assad’s and ISIL’s butchering that caused this current crisis. However, I doubt they would be very successful if their only source of weaponry was plastic spoons.
Just as I was getting angry with Cameron, he answered the final question with an impassioned speech about the Irish peace protest. Explaining how he watched it from the opposition benches, and it was the greatest political achievement he had ever seen. Suddenly I turned full circle and found myself quite liking him. I guess that’s the problem with being a wooly liberal.
Sycophantic question of the day
The gushing praise for the Queen in the chamber, leading up to PMQs, meant that all noses were already sufficiently browned.