Eclectic Blue

Slippin’ and slidin’

Comments Off on Slippin’ and slidin’ 13 September 2017

Slippin' and slidin'

My loyal reader, if s/he is still alive, will know by now that I am interested in politics. For someone like me, who sees the world in black and white, politics is ideal. One of my favourite times of the week is prime minister’s questions (PMQs) and wherever I am I always try to watch or listen to it. Or rather I did. At the moment, it’s all pretty grim.

I loved watching Labour’s John Smith, the best PM we never had, jousting with John Major. Tony Blair versus William Hague was superb fun and even Cameron against Miliband was often a good craic. It became a lot less fun when Cameron was up against the woeful Corbyn, even though Cameron was often top draw. Now we have reached the pits: May v Corbyn.

Theresa May’s disastrous general election performance exposed her many weaknesses. It is plain she is highly uncomfortable in the limelight, can’t think on her feet and is hopelessly robotic. In PMQs she is even worse. Almost every week, Corbyn reads out a question – more about him in a moment – and she reads out the answer she was going to say whatever the question was. Last week, Corbyn asked a question about Sports Direct and May replied talking about Trident. I suspect this is not a tactic: it is the only way she can get through PMQs without self-destructing. Why would anyone who is such a bad speaker and clearly wishes she could be anywhere else want to carry on?

But Jeremy Corbyn? Where do I begin? The old boy has been speaking in public for the best part of fifty years but he doesn’t get any better at it. He has no charisma and he doesn’t project himself to any effect. In the Commons, he is even worse. Today, for example, not only did he rigidly read out his questions, he kept changing the subject. Even someone as useless as May can waffle her way out of that one. The best opposition leaders go on one subject and stick with it. It is very hard for a poor leader like May to try to avoid answering what is effectively the same question six times. But, as we say, neither the PM of the leader of the opposition can think on their feet. The Maybot versus the Corbot. It doesn’t sound appealing and it isn’t.

May’s evasion is gobsmackingly blatant. Why cannot parliament hand Mr Speaker the power to demand the PM actually answers the question and shuts her/him up when they start getting slippery?

PMQs is awful. I wonder who is going to succeed May and, hopefully, Corbyn? Someone who can answer and ask a question would be nice for starters.

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