Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Dispatch of the Day - 12th March 2008

In a week of giant killings in the FA cup will Cameron be able to turn around his poor recent form? The budget is also coming up today so Prime Minister turns Puppet Master for the remainder of the parliamentary session.

I suppose PMQs will take a back seat today as Captain Cameron won’t want to use his best lines before his budget speech.

Darfur first up from Cameron, a very reasonable line of questioning with the undercurrent of inaction by the government. Brown responds with his desires to have proper peace talks. This is all very reasonable stuff and the 2 captains agree, Cameron presses on the details and Brown bemoans the difficulties and need for a ceasefire. No real political point scoring, I expect that Cameron is waiting for the Budget for that.

Half time sees Captain Clegg have another bash at PMQs. His question on election expenditure and donations sees Brown stumbling over his answer. Here we have our cup upset analogy, the condescending sneering Brown tripped up by lower league Captain Clegg. His second question snipes at the Tories major donor (Lord Ashcroft) and ends with a little flourish as he tells Brown to stop sitting on his hands and do what is best for Britain not his party. Much better from Cleggy this week, but he still persists in holding that folded scrap of paper like a school boy. Surely the Lib Dems have public speaking coaches or similar?

Cameron returns to ask about whipped voting, specifically with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. Many of the subjects covered by the bill (hybrids, saviour siblings et al.) are matters of conscience and should not be whipped. They were not whipped in the original bill in 1990 but are being so now. Brown really doesn’t like this and has no come back. Either doesn't know what decision to make or doesn't want to announce an unpopular one. Personally I find the whipping of votes on such issues abhorrent. Goal for Cameron but I’m not sure there is enough public knowledge about the issues for it to be more.

Result 0 – 1

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