By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor
The session began with Karin Smyth, Lab, wondering if the PM had failed on the number of apprenticeships being offered to our kids. To be fair they can probably make more uploading themselves jumping from scaffolding onto their You Tube channels, than toiling away in a cement factory in Droitwich, but that is beside the point.
Each week Labour claim apprenticeship schemes are failing, more children are in poverty and there is less house building than ever. The PM comes back with contradictory figures; someone has to be right, call me a warped lefty, but I’m more inclined to trust the party that didn’t vote to cut benefits to people with disabilities.
But I digress. Corbyn asked his 100th question as shadow leader and for the first time mentioned the economy. He told the PM that he had not answered his previous 99 questions and to preserve continuity (he is a conservative after all) Cameron promptly didn’t answer the 100th either.
Jezza claimed that the Chancellor found £6.6bn to cut corporation tax, but was cutting funding for children and young people by £2bn (71 per cent)the wrong choice he wondered.
The PM shot back “look what happened to corporation tax receipts, they’re up twenty per cent, so we have more money to spend on children.” That may well be the case, but the Tories clearly are not putting the money back into these vital services. It is like a burglar robbing your home then telling you “well I could give your TV back,” as he sells it to his local Cash Generator branch.
Catherine Mckinnell, Lab, talked about a polio victim losing PIP, personal independence payments. The PM ignored that and said we should be thankful polio is nearly eradicated from this world, at least there is one ailment they can’t cut ESA on now.
Corbyn actually opened the session with a tribute to the fifth Beatle, George Martin. The PM, never one to miss a chance to ruin one of my music idols forever, also belatedly shared his condolences and said, “his tunes live on forever more.” Sadly not for me now, the Jam, the Smiths, Bowie, and now the Beatles are alI confined to the Our Price dustbin of history.
It was nice to see Corbyn go at Cameron, but the most pressure on the PM came over the EU. Sir William Cash, with his pants raised as high as the Union Jack in his garden presumably is, moaned about impartiality over the EU referendum. Richard Burgon, Lab, asked if he failed in the referendum would he resign? “No” was the answer, and finally Anne Marie Morris, Con, who asked if the EU free movement of workers was damaging people in UK who can’t get jobs. No, again, came the reply.
In fact his only support on the EU came from Julie Elliot, Lab who said the positive case for Britain in the EU was lower prices and easier travel. So it appears the “In’ campaign will focus on stag groups. Maybe “vote out and you won’t be able to punch each other on flights to Bratislava,” would appeal to the hard to reach voters.
Andrew Stephenson, Con, raised an important question about ex offenders, he even employs an ex-lag, he told the house. Who could it be I pondered? Jonathan Aitken? Elliot Morley? Lord Taylor of Warwick, Lord Archer? Lord Hanningfield? …
Sycophantic question of the day
Jim Dowd, Lab who praised the PM for setting up his wildlife crime unit. He then asked for a ban on wild animals in circuses. The PM said there were only two circuses left where wild animals still work…the lower and upper house I assume he meant.
Corbyn “100 not out”, which could also be the Tory MPs voting intention for the referendum.