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Ouch

Nick Robinson | 12:19 UK time, Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Comparing David Cameron with Gordon Brown was risky, cheeky and took personal nerve but Ed Miliband's done just that at PMQs.

"He shouldn't get so angry - it'll cloud his judgement. He's not the first Prime Minister I've said that to."

Thus, Labour's leader posed as Mr Calm and Reasonable facing Mr Tetchy. And you know what? It worked.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    he who eye did it work then ? Not mine

    So gordon got very angry did he , thought labour said he was the saviour of the world and wonderful PM

  • Comment number 2.

    its easy to be calm when somebody else is cleaning up the mess that you were responsilbe for when in governement

  • Comment number 3.

    Yes, excellent, a soundbite to mask another pitifully poor PMQ's by the leader of the opposition.
    Both Ed's looked uncomfortable today and no scripted gags will take away from the fact they are both tainted by the previous administrations failures and both out of their depth!

  • Comment number 4.

    you would be techy when you had to clear up somebody else mess rather than get on with the polices that you would refer

  • Comment number 5.

    its easy to be calm when you have nothing to offer

  • Comment number 6.

    Mr 'Nice Guy' Cameron is not above insulting his opponents and this will be to his cost eventually.

  • Comment number 7.

    Mr Calm and Reasonable? Mr Weak and Spiteful more like.

    The question you should be asking Mr Miliband is now "on what occasion(s) did Gordon Brown's anger cloud his judgement".

  • Comment number 8.

    Nick, re PMQT, the audacity of Ed Miliband was truly stunning, but the timing of the reference to Gordon Brown appeared quite absurd and I disagree that it had an effect on David Cameron. In my view, it also failed to obscure the increasingly adolescent approach to PMQT by Miliband. We have a boy in a man's job and he won't grow up any time soon.

  • Comment number 9.

    I wish I'd seen it.

    I have to say I have noticed before that Cameron gets ugly as Brown when he can't take the pokes. Very early days too.

    The longer Cameron is PM the more likely he is to take himself more seriously, and the more often he will be as ugly as brown. I doubt there is much that Cameron will be able to do about it. Leopards don't change their spots.

  • Comment number 10.

    David Cameron came out with some inaccurate statements with alot of bluster, but Ed Miliband still looked weak. It was a day EM should have done really well, somehow he didn't. Seems to me that Labour will do well in the polls regardless of EM's performance but at some point he will have to pick up his game. . . . . but it was a good line!
    http://extranea.wordpress.com/

  • Comment number 11.

    Yeah Mr Robinson, risky, cheeky and nervy.

    And completely unimportant.
    Why are you, a respected expert political journo even mentioning this? John Bercow frequently stops proeceedings to complain about the baracking and here you are, lauding it's importance in your blog.

    The people are actually with Bercow on this. This silly anachronistic nonsense that is PMQs has nothing to do with getting this country out of the mess that Labour put us into. Faith & trust in politicians of every hue, is at an all time low and we want less silliness and more work out of them. Praising it, or reporting it is being interesting, is not serious journalism.

    Sharpen up.

  • Comment number 12.

    And this is the subject of a blog?

    I give up......

  • Comment number 13.

    Miliband is growing into the job quite nicely, isn't he?

  • Comment number 14.

    oooooh, sounds like some of the True Blue's on here are getting a bit tetchy-lol :-)

  • Comment number 15.

    It is amazing how the myth that this government is clearing up Labour's mess has become so widely accepted and little questioned.

    Majority of the defecit was due to bank bailouts, and a large chunk of the rest due to the recession caused by the aforementioned.

    Subtract borrowing to invest (infrastructure, education) and it's arguable there's not much left to blame on the former government.

    Then add back the fact that Cameron's Tories supported the spending plans, and their attitudes to bank regulation would have made the crisis deeper rather than shallower and the notion of them now 'clearing up Labour's mess' becomes highly arguable.

    Back to PMQs, surely the real question is this - if there was a majority/consensus exopressed at all at the last election it was this - we wanted out of the old schoolboy/corporate expenses Westminster and into a 'new politics'. If there's one pledge the coalition can't be an excuse to renege on it's that one - so where is it Mr Cameron, where is this shiny new politics of yours?

  • Comment number 16.

    N.Labour need to win some points.

    GO is starting to show them up as Numpty Labour.

    Ed Balls was ignored by WATO at 1pm.

  • Comment number 17.

    I never thought that I would say this, but Cameron is in danger of appearing to have gravitas when compared with Miliband, who appears increasingly lightweight with each passing week. He still has nothing to contribute to the national debate apart from his blank sheet of paper.

  • Comment number 18.

    Excellent choice for the blog, Nick. Think you must have called this one correctly. Not that I've seen the exchange myself. I'm just going by the hysterical response from the right. Cue ridiculous claims of bias at the Beeb?

  • Comment number 19.

    Most people have rose tinted glasses yours seem to be left wing tinted. Ed Miliband gave another inept scripted performance and was unable to understand and react to answers given. If you are going to blog about something please listen, watch and understand what happens before commenting. There again you do work for the left wing BBC

  • Comment number 20.

    Sadly the Eds are too easy a target for cheap rebuttals.

    I doubt if Miliband E. ever spoke to the Clunking Fist like that. He would have received a popular make of mobile via express delivery.

    Nick, you're becoming the BBC's own Q. Letts.

  • Comment number 21.

    Good line though it is, I bet he never had the guts to say it to Gordon's face though.

    Chances are, if he had, he'd have had the word "NOKIA" printed backwards deeply in his forehead.

    And even if he did, it plainly didnt work. "Just shut up and carry the bags, Lightweight. White, two sugars. NOW!" would have been the extent of the reply he'd have got!
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .and that would probably have been from Sue Nye....

  • Comment number 22.

    "Thus, Labour's leader posed as Mr Calm and Reasonable facing Mr Tetchy. And you know what? It worked."

    Are you serious Nick? Mr Calm & Reasonable? Mr Floundering, more like.

  • Comment number 23.

    Interesting PMQs. Ed Miliband certainly has the Tory leader - and his apologists on this site - well and truly rattled.

    Of course, being able to control your tetchiness isn't everything. But since the Tories elected Cameron leader mainly for his presentation skills - as most of them disagree with his politics - he has reason to worry.

  • Comment number 24.

    That comment is going to come back and haunt Miliband Jr as it won't take much effort to find quotes in which he denied Brown was angry (you might even try it). It's something, now he's brought it up, that Miliband Jr needs to be questioned on (again you might even try it).

    It working is in the eye of the beholder (like the chance of coups in the snow) but if it's not the clip played on the news who'll care?

  • Comment number 25.

    #15 the Brown Boom was based on a unsustainble level of Private,Public and Company debt that acted as a positive feedback loop until the bungie took us bad to reality which is were we are now and Brown Balls Millband were all at the helm , yet they have a blank postage stamp with there policy on

  • Comment number 26.

    7. At 12:53pm on 09 Feb 2011, spirite wrote:
    Mr Calm and Reasonable? Mr Weak and Spiteful more like.

    The question you should be asking Mr Miliband is now "on what occasion(s) did Gordon Brown's anger cloud his judgement".

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    I agree

  • Comment number 27.

    I love objectivity. Those who always moan about Labour think Ed was pathetic. Those who have always moaned about the Tories think, "Nice one Ed." But you lot aren't the audience.

    If it gets broadcast, and only soundbites do, it will come across to those casual observers who form the bulk of the electorate and bother to think about it as, "Cameron is a little bit rattled and I (Ed) stood up to Gordon and is not so responsible." This is the sort of sound bite Cameron used while he was in opposition. The truth (whoever's version you choose to believe) doesn't come into it.

  • Comment number 28.

    What ever happened to Gordon Brown?

    Only last year you couldn't get him off the T.V. Now he is nowhere to be seen. How the mighty have fallen.

    I have a vision of him now spending time with his wife and children skimming stones across a Scottish Loch, and pondering the next volume of his biography - "The Tony Blair Years - my part in his downfall."

  • Comment number 29.

    Is it me or does Ed Miliband look like he's going to cry everyime he gets a slap from Cameron?

  • Comment number 30.

    70. At 10:32am on 09 Feb 2011, DistantTraveller wrote:
    # 61 bryhers
    "You say "There is a debate going on about the future of the economy between government and opposition and in the country.The parliamentary theatre between the chancellor and his opposite is a distraction from the alternatives facing us in an uncertain future."

    "Yes, obviously there is a debate going on - but not sure why you felt reference to the culpability of Ed Balls in the last government was 'dim witted' (#46) Perhaps it was a knee-jerk reaction to leap to the defence of the previous failed administration...
    As to your reference to the 'Bullingdon Twins', don't you think that's a bit of a distraction? As you probably know Ed Balls also went to a private school as did many Labour politicians.
    As for Cameron being the 'heir to Blair' (as you mention), that was certainly an incredibly foolish claim for him to make, particularly as Blair's popularity inevitably slumped to an all-time low as the New Labour project crumbled into disarray. That was over 5 years ago. Hopefully Cameron's new Director of Communications will help him avoid such gaffs in the future."

    My remark wasn`t about Ed Balls it was about your comment.It was fatuous.

    The George and Ed show is a distraction because it personalizes complex issues to the detriment of serious discussion.

    Mr.Cameron being heir to Blair was more than just a foolish remark.There was a messianic gleam in Mr.Blair`s eyes,especially after he went into Iraq.Not just his self belief, which is considerable, but the idea that liberal democracy would spread through the world and he was its instrument.

    Before the last election Mr.Cameron presented as the kind of decontaminated Tory you wouldn`t mind introducing to your socialist grandmother.After the election he introduces a five year plan breathtaking in its scope and audacity,risky in its implications and absent from the Conservative manifesto.Not just to shrink the state but privatise its organs, beginning with local democracy,spreading into schools, the forests,the NHS,all swept up in the inclusive idea of the big society.Little wonder that Saint Vincent described the coalition`s ambition as Maoist! It`s Cameron`s great leap forward.Heir to Blair with the same messianic impulses under a reasoned exterior.

    To someone who is conservative by temperament,radical by intellect, I think he`s an extremist.

  • Comment number 31.

    Nick

    Of far greater interest was the ganging up on Cameron from the right wing Tory backbench MPs. Jon Craig on Sky opined that is was orchestrated by the Chairman of the 1922 committee. As a Tory voter this was good to see - if Cameron moves any closer to the left he will be soon crossing the floor to Labour..

  • Comment number 32.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    pdavie65

    'Interesting PMQs. Ed Miliband certainly has the Tory leader - and his apologists on this site - well and truly rattled.'

    You're right pd. I'm very rattled by Ed Miliband, and Ed Balls for that matter. I can only hope they aren't still in place come the next election.

  • Comment number 34.

    Oh sooo painful, opposition or not, I'm sooo fed up of this childish bickering, just get on with the job of putting this extortionate, rip-off country back on it's tracks.
    Yawn Yawn, oh? is it time to pay for the privilege
    o-O

  • Comment number 35.

    No one is perfect, and no one but a fool would believe that everyone in Gordon Brown's cabinet always agreed with him. It is ridiculous that former cabinet ministers should be expected to pretend otherwise.

    It is entirely to Ed Milliband's credit that he challenged Gordon and is now prepared to say so.

    I hope that some present cabinet ministers are prepared to challenge David Cameron. According to some accounts there were hardly any ministers in Mrs Thachter's cabinets who were prepared to risk a handbaging.

  • Comment number 36.

    meanwhile the debt interest for my grandchildren caused by the Recless trio of Brown Balls and Milband keeps increasing and all they have is a blank script perhaps they are just a bunch of airheads.

    Where is the Super Galactic hero these days, is it that Labour effectively have one less vote in the commons then ? Bet Brown is thinking this is money for old rope then at taxpayers expense but then it only grows on trees

  • Comment number 37.

    26. At 2:10pm on 09 Feb 2011, DorsetJane wrote:
    7. At 12:53pm on 09 Feb 2011, spirite wrote:
    Mr Calm and Reasonable? Mr Weak and Spiteful more like.

    The question you should be asking Mr Miliband is now "on what occasion(s) did Gordon Brown's anger cloud his judgement".
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    I agree


    The answer is probably, "The way you respond to David Cameron at PMQ".

  • Comment number 38.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 39.

    15. At 1:15pm on 09 Feb 2011, JPStrategy wrote:
    "It is amazing how the myth that this government is clearing up Labour's mess has become so widely accepted and little questioned."

    However much counter evidence you bring to show that the debt/deficit problem was largely due to the collapse of private capital,it is ignored and the same ideas repeated.

    For some this has a pragmatic value so why should they change,but many others maintain false beliefs despite the evidence.

    You have a parallel in Millenarian beliefs that the world will end on a certain date,people sell up,gather,sing,disrobe, etc.waiting for the coming of the rapture.When the messiah fails to arrive they find reasons which enable them to explain why not while sustaining their apocalyptic ideas.For example it didn`t happen because they believed it would.
    Mr.Osborne proposed a similar idea when he said the election of a conservative government prevented a collapse of sterling.

    Ability to maintain contradictory ideas is described as cognitive dissonance:-evidence that counters our beliefs is segregated and made safe.There`s a lot of it around.




  • Comment number 40.

    #25

    You shouldn't be selective in your criticism. In 2006 GO criticised the Labour government for not following the Irish way of doing things. They all got it wrong in the past.

    If Dave and George are allowed to change policy, then so can the Eds. Whether they are getting it right is another matter. Those who say that Ed hasn't got a policy are probably correct, but Dave didn't have much of one from 2005 to 2009 and he ended up as PM. There were many on this blog who defended that at the time, by saying that if Dave had a really good idea he had to keep it quiet or Gordon would steal it.

    I had always hoped that the purpose of the Opposition was to challenge and improve the ideas of the government. As David Cameron proved (televised PMQs is one of the main reasons for this to be so potent) the role of the oppostion is now to ridicule the government and act as a government in waiting.

  • Comment number 41.

    I thought it was really funny and cheeky as well. You can tell when Cameron gets unsettled by his body language and today he was unsettled. Laughing at his Big Society concept really gets to him. Lets face it no one really knows what it is -it's like the financial instruments in the city that brought on the crash -no one in Government dare say to the PM this is total tosh.
    I always feel good when the response to Nicks blog re PMQs is criticism of Ed by the governments supporters it shows that Cameron took a hit today.
    I noticed that the Daily politics didn't seem to read out the ususal suspects e-mails today which was interesting. PMQs is about perceptions and no amount of posts on a blog will change the publics long term view of each leader gained over many months. Already people (in the real world) are laughing about the Big Society and what rubbish it is. Ed seems to have his finger on the pulse of opinion when he raises an issue. How effective he is we will know in part in early May after the elections I guess.

  • Comment number 42.

    'And you know what? It worked.'

    Coincidentally I did see this, and would have to say this rather over-inclusive, sweeping statement is a matter of opinion, possibly not the remit one would hope to see engaged via an impartial national broadcaster.

    If it did work, then I can only presume it did for BBC 'rep... opinionators'.

    Or Peaches Geldof. I guess you know your audience.

  • Comment number 43.

    Where is the progressive left on these blogs. If you dont like it dont read it. Excellent blog Nick. Miliband is improving (slowly). Still a lot of work to do. First time I have seen Cameron floored in the Commons.

  • Comment number 44.

    27. Boilerbill

    'I love objectivity. Those who always moan about Labour think Ed was pathetic. Those who have always moaned about the Tories think, "Nice one Ed." But you lot aren't the audience.'

    Does it matter Bb? 'Sir Gus' runs the country.

  • Comment number 45.

    17. AS71 wrote:

    I never thought that I would say this, but Cameron is in danger of appearing to have gravitas when compared with Miliband, who appears increasingly lightweight with each passing week. He still has nothing to contribute to the national debate apart from his blank sheet of paper.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yes, I’m beginning to wonder when Red will get his crayon out & actually write something on that blank piece of paper, but I won’t hold my breath for too long.

    The ConDems are winning their arguments by default because we have no real opposition present in Westminster, apart from name, & they will have no credibility until they come up with something meaningful…..I’m turning blue waiting for it.

  • Comment number 46.

    "You have a parallel in Millenarian beliefs that the world will end on a certain date,people sell up,gather,sing,disrobe, etc.waiting for the coming of the rapture.When the messiah fails to arrive they find reasons which enable them to explain why not while sustaining their apocalyptic ideas."

    Whatever you do, dont tell lefty11 that, he'll be absolutely distraught. He's already bet the farm on telling kids the tories would force them to eat the family dog to survive.

  • Comment number 47.

    "IR35_SURVIVOR wrote:
    its easy to be calm when somebody else is cleaning up the mess that you were responsilbe for when in governement"

    Dear oh dear, must have hit a nerve with the Tory Boys?

    1.3 Trillion spent out bailing banks who banrole the Tory party!!! Thats where the real mess is!!!

    No one believes the Tory Madrasa anymore.

    8 pts behind Labour in the polls and the cuts haven't even bit yet!

    Camerons BS is taking on anew meaning (and its not Big Society).

  • Comment number 48.

    "41. At 3:15pm on 09 Feb 2011, wirralwesleyan wrote:
    I thought it was really funny and cheeky as well. You can tell when Cameron gets unsettled by his body language and today he was unsettled. Laughing at his Big Society concept really gets to him. Lets face it no one really knows what it is -it's like the financial instruments in the city that brought on the crash -no one in Government dare say to the PM this is total tosh.
    I always feel good when the response to Nicks blog re PMQs is criticism of Ed by the governments supporters it shows that Cameron took a hit today.
    I noticed that the Daily politics didn't seem to read out the ususal suspects e-mails today which was interesting. PMQs is about perceptions and no amount of posts on a blog will change the publics long term view of each leader gained over many months. Already people (in the real world) are laughing about the Big Society and what rubbish it is. Ed seems to have his finger on the pulse of opinion when he raises an issue. How effective he is we will know in part in early May after the elections I guess."

    Indeed. The Tory Madrasa boys get really hot under the collar when their PM gets roughed up.

    You can almost guess what Cameron response will be to the Question. It usually involves "Mess", "Deficit", "Your Fault" etc, and he reckons Ed has a blank piece of paper? This doesn't work anymore Cameron, and people are laughing at him.

  • Comment number 49.

    "its easy to be calm when somebody else is cleaning up the mess that you were responsilbe for when in governement

    ==============================================================================

    If the government were making a mess, why on earth didn't Cameron oppose any of it in opposition?

    It's not hard to oppose spending, after the bubble bursts.

  • Comment number 50.

    So Milliballs goof it up again...this could soon be a cartoon party! Watch out The Simpsons!

  • Comment number 51.

    Nick, re PMQT, the audacity of Ed Miliband was truly stunning, but the timing of the reference to Gordon Brown appeared quite absurd and I disagree that it had an effect on David Cameron. In my view, it also failed to obscure the increasingly adolescent approach to PMQT by Miliband. We have a boy in a man's job and he won't grow up any time soon.

    ============================================================================

    Is this an opinion based on fact, or a sound bite from an over excited tory blog reader?

    The Times, this morning, printed an editorial, stating how Cameron was way too eager to get into party political, tomfoolery, during PMQs, and how he often replied to a policy question with an insult.

    Cameron's worse than Milliband on that front. Even the tory media recognise it

  • Comment number 52.

    "Thus, Labour's leader posed as Mr Calm and Reasonable facing Mr Tetchy. And you know what? It worked."

    Are you serious Nick? Mr Calm & Reasonable? Mr Floundering, more like.

    ============================================================================

    Floundering?

    If only polls followed that theory.

    The tories are polling 33% at the minute. 3% lower than their election performance

    Labour are polling 44% today. 14% up since Milliband took over.

    The tory leadership is floundering. Labour are flourishing

  • Comment number 53.

    Maybe this is what has the PM so narked today:

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/3097

    ..and some of the Tory Madrasa boys and girls here?

  • Comment number 54.

    Only last year you couldn't get him off the T.V. Now he is nowhere to be seen. How the mighty have fallen.

    ==========================================================================

    He's probably having a coffee with Thatcher.

    Maggie made one commons speech in 3 years after she was ran out of town

  • Comment number 55.

    Ed Balls & Ed Milliband were very incompetent during Chancellor's statement today. How on eath did they rise to dizzy heights of the Labour Party? Both are deficit deniers and the sooner they are replaced by true Labour PMs of the PLP the better for the country and parliament

  • Comment number 56.

    Nick

    You’ve picked up on a long standing issue with Cameron. One that the Labour party have been working on for nearly 2 years.

    Cameron, in truth, tends to generally panic, and get visibly upset and angry, when his opposite number pushes the right buttons.

    It happened in opposition, and has continued in government.

    His reaction to being slighted by a sly comment or question, is in general, to fly back with a rash, undignified comment or insult.

    Labour know this. And work at it. They know how easily rattled Cameron is, during unscripted situations.

    And it pays off. Most polls suggest Cameron comes across as arrogant, and childish, during such situations

  • Comment number 57.

    To clarify my point, The Times printed an editorial this morning, stressing the importance of Cameron coming across more statesmanlike in the commons.

    They think he gets far too involved in party political insulting and bickering, and it’s paying off for Labour.

    What I’m basically saying is, you can get away with this as leader of the opposition. Not as prime minister

  • Comment number 58.

    43

    Milliband doesn't need to improve a great deal. He's in exactly the same position as Cameron was in 2009.

    What I'm saying is, Cameron, personally, had very low personal polling right up until he was elected.

    Not only did people consider him a lightweight, too inexperienced, and a fake, but they just didn't like him. The same for Osborne.

    The issue is, the tories, in 3-4 years time, are probably going to be unelectable. With all the cuts, in fighting, and bickering, it's probably going to end up like that.

    All Milliband has to do, in that time, is not offend anyone.

    You know, seriously, look at Thatcher in 1982. Michael Foot, even with his manifesto, would have won the 1983 election without the Falklands War ruining his chances.

    Michael Foot would have beaten Thatcher.

  • Comment number 59.

    I actually thought is was a very cheap and indiscreet shot at Brown from a man who was supposed to be close to him, as Ed Miliband was. Loyalty obviously counts for nothing in the Labour Party. It also opens a new can of worms, where people will be asking, how bad was Brown's temper and how much did it effect any decisions he made at that time. Considering Miliband, along with all Labour, always denied Brown had a temper when he was actually working for Brown, that would also mean he tells untruths as well. It will give Cameron another stick to beat Miliband with, once he has realised the implications of what Ed said. After all, Cameron can now say it was because Brown had such a bad temper, that so many poor decisions were made under Labour at the time, for a start.

    When Miliband said it, in fact, I thought it was a rather foolish thing to say, I was thinking of all the ways this could be used against him.

    I am surprised Labour liked it actually.

  • Comment number 60.

    A nice little piece there, Nick. Poke your audience with a stick, sort of thing. Very good.

    But what on Earth is that 'Do you know what?' for? You're above all that Jon Sopel down with the chavs look at me I'm not wearing a tie nonsense.

  • Comment number 61.

    Mr Cameron starts all PMQs as Mr Statesman but can't stop his natural Public Schoolboy 'Flashman arrogance' to come out in his replies. Does he really think the voters are impressed with his show of(phoney)anger on the news bulletins?

    Nick Robinson is correct to point this out as it is one of the reasons he and his party are plummeting in the polls.

  • Comment number 62.

    I'm not a Cameronite or a Tory but I don't think Ed Miliband has been all that good during PMQ's and the remark, while making me smile, didn't to me appear to have the impact on Cameron that you're crediting it with. Also it's not going to be very to find a quote from Ed where he has denied Brown had a problem with anger. I'd rather he came up with some credible arguments rather than one-liners.

  • Comment number 63.

    Mike 52

    'Labour are polling 44% today. 14% up since Milliband took over.'

    Yes Mike. That's the political price you have to pay for clearing up Labour's mess. Thankfully, for the sake of the country, it's a price they're willing to pay.

  • Comment number 64.

    Mike 56

    'Most polls suggest Cameron comes across as arrogant'

    He does indeed. Mind you it's hard not to come across a little superior when you're facing such an inadequate lightweight as Ed Miliband.

  • Comment number 65.

    47/8#

    Ah, another dreamer. Three words for you, from Zammo McGuire... just say no. That stuff rots your brain.

  • Comment number 66.

    is that the latest term that Baldwin has introduced to you, guys?

    Tory Madrassa? Wow, radical. Bet he spent a long time thinking that up.

    Mikes political dysentry has returned. Time for a sharp exit before he takes over the whole board. They only wheel him out when theres something for them to hide.

    Nothing to do with him (Baldwin) about to be ripped to shreds about a certain... substance habit in tomorrows Spectator, is it?

    TTFN!

  • Comment number 67.

    Susan @ 59
    Miliband's quip would indeed backfire if everyone were as po-faced as you. But in fact, MPs on both sides of the house laughed.

    Cameron's leaden performances at PMQs do not endear him to his colleagues. He claims to be the heir to Blair, but that's wishful thinking: in many ways he is more like Brown.

  • Comment number 68.

    Amazing what rattles the Tories on here. It was a good line and MPs on both sides had a laugh about it. The humour had some bite because DC was angry. DC is very comfortable as PM for sure and I give him a lot of credit for that. He still lacks gravity though and even the arch spin meister that DC is cannot make "the big society" a "big idea", however badly he might want it to be.
    When EM rather gently exposes "the big society" as nothing more than an empty soundbite the PM visibly loses it.

  • Comment number 69.

    Mike 58

    Sure there are parallels with the early 80's Mike. The Tories had just taken over from a Labour party that had bankrupted the country and left the economy on it's knees. They had to take painfull measures to clear up the mess. On the other hand the economy hadn't fully recovered by 1983 and unemployment was over 3m and rising. Providing the coalition sort out most of Labour's mess by the time of the next election I think they should get home OK. In fact could well be a Tory majority.

  • Comment number 70.

    Blame @44

    That's a strangely comforting thought - but there again we don't know a lot about Sir Gus.

  • Comment number 71.

    Cameron does not like criticism or scrutiny. He has generally had a free ride from the media in the run-up to the election and his early months as PM. Now that his vacuous "big society" rhetoric is being exposed as a euphemism for slashing services and the economy nosedives, his old Etonian arrogance and tetchiness are becoming more pronounced. People are getting a bit tired of hearing that everything is Labour's fault. And the full force of the cuts has not yet begun to be felt.

  • Comment number 72.

    Gordon 10p Brown? I thought he was always angry.
    Regards, etc.

  • Comment number 73.

    Cameron gave a shameful performance. He usually does a lot better than this and has started to overshadow Miliband. But today he refused to answer a single question and reverted to moronic soundbites that gave PMQs no legitimacy whatsoever. A disgraceful performance from a Prime Minister and a terrible example for other MPs.

  • Comment number 74.

    57 Mike

    To clarify my point, The Times printed an editorial this morning, stressing the importance of Cameron coming across more statesmanlike in the commons.

    They think he gets far too involved in party political insulting and bickering, and it’s paying off for Labour.

    What I’m basically saying is, you can get away with this as leader of the opposition. Not as prime minister

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    There is some truth in this. Cameron is PM and must act like one.

    Gordon Brown's shouted angry response to a naughty question on workplace bullying from a Tory MP in 2009 was priceless.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr152QOkKGY

    The question was "What does the Prime Minister intend to do about the important issue of bullying in the workplace, given the reliable reports of a senior Whitehall boss throwing about mobile phones and printers and swearing at switchboard operators?"

    Blair would have laughed it off, Brown had a meltdown.

  • Comment number 75.

    Why doesn't Ed ask Dave what spending plans he opposed when in opposition? I think it would be a big fat zero overall.

  • Comment number 76.

    No25 IR35,
    Do you agree with the view that only idiots think that governments in Liberal Democracies 'run' free market economies?

  • Comment number 77.

    67. pdavies65

    'Cameron's leaden performances at PMQs do not endear him to his colleagues. He claims to be the heir to Blair, but that's wishful thinking: in many ways he is more like Brown.'

    Is that not a positive, pd?

  • Comment number 78.

    With any verbal reporting, it is not just the words used which count, but the tone in which they are expressed. So far as PMQ's is concerned, it is not the question asked that matters, but the credibility of the person asking it! Milliband's credibility,(and also that of Balls), is by defintion of past performance in Government ZERO. If either of them want to gain any credibility in the future, they should both resign from politics - get a real job with real responsbilities - experience accountability to others with proven credentials & then, if they succeed, seek re-election and justify it, by way of the knowledge & experience gained. Meanwhile, the Coalition, the media & the public should neither be subjected to or respond to their rubbish for 3 years. If after that period of time - sufficient for the siesmic changes needed throughout the UK to impact favourably for the future - it proves not to be the case, then the Coalition will have failed. In the meantime the Coa;ition should not take a blind bit of notice of the Opposition - nor be drawn in by their rhetoric, mouthed in a fashion as though they have had absolutely no historical connection with the mess that the Coalition is presently faced with clearing up. If that means fewer Journalists & Reporters - so be it. The majority of them could similarly gain from following my advice.

  • Comment number 79.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 80.

    #47 who was in power just remind everyone pls. Tories have only be at the helm for 300 days give or take NOT 13 years

    Oh gess it was all thatcher fault then

  • Comment number 81.

    69# 'Providing the coalition sort out most of Labour's mess by the time of the next election I think they should get home OK. In fact could well be a Tory majority'.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    I doubt it very much, if ever there was an election to lose it was the last General Election. The anger now aimed towards Dave, George, Vince & Nick is considerable indeed, they are heading into a dark tunnel of which there is no return. This won't be a Thatcherite slump and return to glory, its impossible with this deficit. They are the cutters now, maybe unfair but thats how the voters will see it.

  • Comment number 82.

    52. At 4:01pm on 09 Feb 2011, Mike wrote:

    Floundering?

    If only polls followed that theory.

    The tories are polling 33% at the minute. 3% lower than their election performance

    Labour are polling 44% today. 14% up since Milliband took over.

    The tory leadership is floundering. Labour are flourishing
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Should be good then, if they can develop some policies.

  • Comment number 83.

    Cameron's leaden performances at PMQs do not endear him to his colleagues. He claims to be the heir to Blair, but that's wishful thinking: in many ways he is more like Brown.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ouch, as NR says, that's got to hurt.

  • Comment number 84.

    "63. At 4:35pm on 09 Feb 2011, jobsagoodin wrote:

    Mike 52

    'Labour are polling 44% today. 14% up since Milliband took over.'

    Yes Mike. That's the political price you have to pay for clearing up Labour's mess. Thankfully, for the sake of the country, it's a price they're willing to pay."

    Err no.

    This level of unpopularity in unprecedented. Not even Thatcher in the 80's was this unpopular, until the Falklands War saved her.

    ...and you can claim all you want "it's Labour mess", opinion polls show, people don't believe it anymore.

    It's just more BS or Big Society you are talking!!! :)

  • Comment number 85.

    "80. At 5:53pm on 09 Feb 2011, IR35_SURVIVOR wrote:

    #47 who was in power just remind everyone pls. Tories have only be at the helm for 300 days give or take NOT 13 years

    Oh gess it was all thatcher fault then"

    Partly for destroying British industry and leaving us at the mercy of bankers and the service sector, but mostly the fault of the bankers who bankroll the Tory Party!!!

  • Comment number 86.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 87.

    Mike @58

    "You know, seriously, look at Thatcher in 1982. Michael Foot, even with his manifesto, would have won the 1983 election without the Falklands War ruining his chances. - Michael Foot would have beaten Thatcher."


    Mike, I tend to agree with your points about Cameron, but you are being very simplistic with this!

    Cleaning up after Labour has always been painful and unpopular, but Foot took Labour so far to the left, 30 of his own MP's wouldn't go with him, let alone the electorate. The longest suicide note in history winning an election? Do me a favour!

  • Comment number 88.

    @ 78

    "In the meantime the Coa;ition should not take a blind bit of notice of the Opposition - nor be drawn in by their rhetoric, mouthed in a fashion as though they have had absolutely no historical connection with the mess that the Coalition is presently faced with clearing up"

    So the government should just do whatever the hell it likes, not respond to criticism or attempt to justify its policies? Sounds democratic.

    Just so you know, Cameron has a connection to the 'mess' too - he supported every single Labour spending plan until after the crisis. The same spending plans he now claims were 'out of control.' But you won't hear him admitting that, either.

  • Comment number 89.

    ToriesBrokeBritain @84

    ...and you can claim all you want "it's Labour mess", opinion polls show, people don't believe it anymore.


    So What? At one point in the last parliament, Cameron had a >20% lead!

    Right now, the coalition can only afford to do unpopular things but there is over 4 years to go until the next election. In 4 years time, Labour will need to fill in their ‘blank piece of paper’ with some credible policies. And, there will be far less for them to whine about, and far more latitude for the coalition to indulge in populism. 4 years is a long time and many things may change.

    As such, I think that you’re getting a little bit over excited!

  • Comment number 90.

    Yes, there is 4 years to go. And yes, Labour have time to fill in their blank peice of paper (which makes you wonder why people demand that they must do so now - at least they will be well-thought through, unlike the policies being rushed out by Lib Dems and Cons alike).

    And in 4 years time, after front-loading cuts and getting those unpopular things out of the way with, the government can make vote-winning tax cuts. I'm certain that there's nothing politically convenient about that.

  • Comment number 91.

    J_Bull @89
    Right now, the coalition can only afford to do unpopular things but there is over 4 years to go until the next election. In 4 years time, Labour will need to fill in their ‘blank piece of paper’ with some credible policies. And, there will be far less for them to whine about, and far more latitude for the coalition to indulge in populism. 4 years is a long time and many things may change.

    As such, I think that you’re getting a little bit over excited!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tend to agree with you here John. No matter how sensible and logical a return to Labour might seem, events over the next four years could prove it not to be the case. Stranger things have happened. Like the Tories not getting a majority at the last election.

  • Comment number 92.

    Some people seem to be suggesting that Dave and George and their butler Clegg are not quite the ticket. Why, these chaps were in the jolly old Bulli Club and that's good enough for me. Keep cutting I say.

  • Comment number 93.

    46. At 3:43pm on 09 Feb 2011, Fubar_Saunders wrote:
    "You have a parallel in Millenarian beliefs that the world will end on a certain date,people sell up,gather,sing,disrobe, etc.waiting for the coming of the rapture.When the messiah fails to arrive they find reasons which enable them to explain why not while sustaining their apocalyptic ideas."
    Whatever you do, dont tell lefty11 that, he'll be absolutely distraught. He's already bet the farm on telling kids the tories would force them to eat the family dog to survive."

    I had you in mind rather than Lefty.Gloriously oblivious to evidence,treating prejudice as fact, and fact as prejudice.Your actual beliefs are irrelevant,could be left,right or centre.It`s the rigidity with which the hold them and the evangelical fervour with which you try to propagate them with a relentless profusion that puts you among milleniarists like The Rapture,The End is Nigh and The Second Coming is Now.




  • Comment number 94.

    I must admit that British PMQs are the only one of its kind. You do not see such confrontational politics in any other country - and I love its entertainment. You also do get the occasional consencual PMQs (like the last) which thus provides diversity and unpredicatbility - amenable to all proponents of consensual and confrontational politics.

    Although the depth of subjects cannot really be gotten into (primarily because of time restrictions and because of the limited number of questions the shadow Prime Minister gets - which is perfectly reasonable), nonetheless it is great to see politicians tearing chunks out of each other. I must say Cameron is very good (and reminds me of Blair - though Cameron is alot more agressive). But I have been surprised by Ed Miliband's capacity to withstand and even at times beat the Cameron onslaught. They have contrasting styles - Miliband relaxed while Cameron superior and at times devastatingly dismissive. And given that Cameron has had four year of practice prior to Miliband, and that his previous opponent (Brown) was easy to defeat, I feel that the leader of the opposition is growing in stature.

    At this particular PMQs two things stood out: Miliband's humorous first question (How's the Big Society doing?) and Miliband humorously advising the PM to calm down whilst refering to the fact that he offered the same advice to Brown. That fitted with Milibands relaxed and cheeky demeanour. Cameron was not his usual devastating self (and had no jokes up his sleave) which to me hands over the win to Miliband.

  • Comment number 95.

    Er, what planet are you on Nick?

  • Comment number 96.

    Ed was right - it did cloud his judgement. Dave got himself all mixed up with numbers (again), accused Ed of getting it wrong when in fact Dave had made a right pigs ear of it (mixing up Sure Start funding with a whole heap of other things too - Channel4 news were on it like a flash). Now I'm sure it was the researchers, advisors behind the scene that mucked things up, not Dave. I guess when you are out there cutting things left right and centre its difficult to keep up to speed with the numbers.

    Ed winning a small PMQ triumph is pretty meaningless in the grand scheme of things, as is DC getting his numbers wrong (again). As is Georgie and Eddie having their little spat yesterday. As is Labour's current opinion poll lead.

    Still 4 years to go, but at this stage of a govt lifecycle its all looking a little bit rubbish. Wonder what the plan is to blame Labour for in 4 years time?

  • Comment number 97.

    "89. At 7:35pm on 09 Feb 2011, John_Bull wrote:

    ToriesBrokeBritain @84

    ...and you can claim all you want "it's Labour mess", opinion polls show, people don't believe it anymore.


    So What? At one point in the last parliament, Cameron had a >20% lead!"

    Err no, he has never had this. You are living in fantasy land.

  • Comment number 98.

    "89. At 7:35pm on 09 Feb 2011, John_Bull wrote:


    Right now, the coalition can only afford to do unpopular things but there is over 4 years to go until the next election. In 4 years time, Labour will need to fill in their ‘blank piece of paper’ with some credible policies. And, there will be far less for them to whine about, and far more latitude for the coalition to indulge in populism. 4 years is a long time and many things may change.

    As such, I think that you’re getting a little bit over excited!"

    Err no, because there will be no Falklands War to save you this time!!! :)

  • Comment number 99.

    97. At 9:54pm on 09 Feb 2011, ToriesBrokeBritain wrote:
    "89. At 7:35pm on 09 Feb 2011, John_Bull wrote:

    ToriesBrokeBritain @84

    ...and you can claim all you want "it's Labour mess", opinion polls show, people don't believe it anymore.


    So What? At one point in the last parliament, Cameron had a >20% lead!"

    Err no, he has never had this. You are living in fantasy land.

    -----------------------------------------

    Err, yes he did! Sept 08! (Hate that simplified language by the way)

    And, as for living in fantasyland, your handle says it all!

  • Comment number 100.

    98. At 9:57pm on 09 Feb 2011, ToriesBrokeBritain wrote:
    "89. At 7:35pm on 09 Feb 2011, John_Bull wrote:


    Right now, the coalition can only afford to do unpopular things but there is over 4 years to go until the next election. In 4 years time, Labour will need to fill in their ‘blank piece of paper’ with some credible policies. And, there will be far less for them to whine about, and far more latitude for the coalition to indulge in populism. 4 years is a long time and many things may change.

    As such, I think that you’re getting a little bit over excited!"

    Err no, because there will be no Falklands War to save you this time!!! :)

    -----------------------------------

    Err (whatever that's supposed to mean) I don't need saving!

    As for the next election; we simply don't know what will happen over the next 4 years. If you want to claim victory for Labour now, then you're living in fantasyland. But we knew that anyway, as per #98...Err!

 

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