Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Prime Minister's Questions: Cameron's "Straight" Talking

Thought Gordon Brown was very sure footed today. Thought Nick Clegg completely wasted his two questions. And that David Cameron's fixation with the word "straight" - repeated about ten times I think - was quite extraordinary. A change of tack from the "Gordon is mad" meme the Tories, and their tame blogger boys, have been running with?

Clearly - assuming there is a National Debt, and assuming there is a Benefits System - there are some substantial elements in the national revenue and capital budgets that aren't "new" public services. That aren't particularly discretionary. Just as most of our household budgets have elements of rent and mortgage and other more-or-less fixed costs within them. Hardly shock horror now is it?

The difference between the two main parties is going to be in decisions about the approach to pay down and/or servicing of debt in different growth scenarios, whether and how the parties commit to intervening to secure better growth or not, and within the discretionary balance of the Budget where the party priorities lie.

Good to see (or rather hear on R5L) Gordon Brown specifically challenge David Cameron to drop the commitment to tax cuts on Inheritance Tax for some 3,000 million- and billionaires.

Will be interested to see how Iain Dale scores and analyses this encounter. And also wonder what the difference is between (a) watching (b) listening and (c) reading the full exchanges. And (d)(e) and (f) receiving mediated highlights by these means.

Without visuals, without textual analysis I score this encounter:

Brown 8 - Cameron 6 - Clegg 3

UPDATE 13:48: Dale agrees on Cameron and Clegg scores but takes three marks off my Brown score. He doesn't notice the "straight" meme.


Dave Hennigan is a fool said...

I'd say Brown just about edged it.

In terms of the visuals, Cameron looked very wobbly after his line about there being a recession all over Europe. The barracking he received from MPs who were shouting, 'at last he understands' was so bad he sat down twice. He looked visibly shaken. He tried to regain momentum by launching a clumsy attack on Brown for which he had his fingers wrapped by the speaker for using the word 'you'.

Brown on the other hand looked very assured as he rose to respond, telling the speaker that Cameron is learning all the time and at last he has a policy on Europe.

Towards the end Cameron could clearly be seen making strange 'bring it on' hand gestures as Brown said the debate on public sector spending would go on for several months. I thought this made Cameron look puerile.

Anonymous said...

Clegg was bloody useless. Throughout the recession he's had absolutely nothing useful to contribute. All he'll be remembered for his his gubbins about recessions being good for liberating men as they become house husbands. Pathetic.

Even Cable has blotted his copybook of late with his suggestion that the Government should let Vauxhall at Ellesmere Port just collapse and cut them loose.

Cheers, Vince. Has the recession reached your seat in Surrey yet?