By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor
I’m quite paranoid and believe the whole world is a conspiracy (against who, I’m not certain), but I am sure there was a very elaborate planned “joke,” during today’s PMQs. The sting began with Robert Jenrick, Con, who said of Miliband’s economic policy, “to be blunt” “James Blunt!” his partner in crime sitting beside him, chipped in, “he would send the UK back to bedlam,” he finished.
Then Robert Redford (played by the PM) stepped up and said “I didn’t hear all that, maybe I will buy the album to get the rest of it!” Rumours that the Tory election strategy codename is Oceans 2015 have been denied by Conservative HQ.
During the early exchanges, Cameron said that on a recent trip to Doncaster Miliband couldn’t open a door, was bullied by small children and set a carpet on fire. It conjured up an image of a Marxist Frank Spencer, wearing roller skates and starring in “Some Milband’s do ‘Ave ‘Em”.
Militant Frank Spencer shouted back “well you shouldn’t have chickened out of the election debates.” Ooh Betty.
But the pantomime wasn’t over, as the Wicked Witch, Mark Reckless, UKIP, stood up to boos and hisses. He demanded to know why the PM has not dared to debate with Farage when even CLEGG had.
The PM responded sharply that Farage would move the NHS to an insurance based system, and he wouldn’t ever privatise the health service.
That aside the majority of the session was taken up with the huge delay of the Chilcot inquiry, which will now be published after the election. Clegg talked about the report being “sexed down,” in the same way his “magic number” shrank – when it appeared bragging about sexual conquests, when you are politician, doesn’t win you votes (Ok maybe it worked a bit for Berlusconi).
Sir Peter Tapsell, Con, asked the house to contrast the inquiry into the Crimean War, the Dardanelles Campaign and the Chilcot report and said that Blair and Bush conspired in March 2003 to falsify evidence. I guess he is the Father of the House, so he can make sweeping statements before the report arrives.
Diane Abbott, Lab, stood up to ironic cheers (from all sides it appeared) but made a good point that lessons need to be learnt from the problems (especially stalling tactics) during this report, which should not be replicated in the upcoming investigation into child sexual abuse in the corridors of power.
The PM agreed, but said there have been no sinister backroom deals, various members of the inquiry have been “ill” which explains the five year delay. Hmmm Ok then.
But the most serious issue of the day came from Philip Davies, Con, who told the story of Murphy a husky dog that had been stolen, and claimed that dog snatching should be treated as seriously as other crimes.
The PM agreed and said “we are a nation of dog lovers”. Maybe we should set up an inquiry…
Sycophantic question of the day
Charlie Elphicke, Con, who stated that Barack Obama had said Cameron must be “doing something right” on the economy. I believe in porn films this would be referred to as the “money shot” and it looked like the PM really enjoyed today’s delivery.
Definitely not Ed Balls, Lab, who looked deflated today, the recent economic figures are good news for the Tories. He couldn’t even manage to give Gideon his “come to bedroom tax” eyes.