Friday, 23 May 2008

Dispatch of the Day - 21st May 2008

Once again Cameron begins with Burma, but there is a by-election coming up and the niceties are soon dispensed with.

The theme today, Captain Brown won’t answer the question. And true to form, on the issue of whether the £2.7b to help those affected in the scrapping of the 10p tax band will continue next year. Brown hits back, albeit rather weakly, by asking Cameron what the Tories would do. Quite an annoying tactic.

Captain Cameron also teases Brown over his absence from the by-election campaign. His attacks are less effective than in previous weeks and although Brown was irritated I think this was a wasted opportunity. Brown gets his soundbite out at the end “get by without substance for some of the time but he'll never get by without substance all of the time” and scores a consolation goal. Sadly for Brown, the Tories are going to win the by-election and next week Cameron will be insufferable.

Result 2 – 1

Dispatch of the Day 14th May 2008

Cameron was in free scoring mood today and choreographed his attack well to fit in with Nick Clegg’s questions.

Cameron's discussion of the Burma and Chinese disasters achieves 3 things-
-Appears to forego the Punch and Judy of PMQs
-Shows compassion
-Subtly suggests Brown isn't doing enough or leading the situation

Very clever. He then sits down and allows Clegg to have a real swipe over the 10p tax fiasco and the 'charade' of the package announced by Darling. If Cameron had raised this Brown would have hot back over Tory plans and what their position would be. This way the issue is raised, Brown is damaged and Cameron can attack in a different direction.

That direction is housing and the theme of the attack - Brown isn't and won't be straight with people. This point is reinforced by attacks on the £2.7bn package and the by-election and the problems with Bendy Wendy in Scotland. Issues the public and media are highly cynical about and to which he knows Brown won't give a straight answer.

Brown, however, seemed in the mood for a fight. Obviously he didn't answer the questions but rather went on the offensive regarding previous Troy governments. While he managed to get off some good sound bites, I for one am very tired of this argument from Brown. Yes it happened and the country was in a mess and you know it will evoke bad memories of the Tories but it was a long time ago, get over it Gordon. If that is the sum total of the Government’s argument, the Tories would be worse than us, you have big problems.

Result 1 - 3

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Dispatch of the Day - 7th May 2008

So we start with Bendy Wendy. What will the less than Bendy Brown have to say about her recent statements? Ignore the question? Skirt around the issue? Not a chance, he seems to have heard something completely different to the rest of us so has no problem denying that she has called for an early referendum. Wasn't expecting that, even from Brown. Cameron gladly accepts this open goal, brown is 'losing touch with reality' he says and proceeds to quote Ms Alexander and add a nice jibe about no one following Gordon Brown.

Prisons next and the Post Offices and the point here being to prove that Brown doesn't listen (following on from last week where he refused to listen to the former director of Public Prosecutions). Brown sluggishly hauls himself to the Dispatch box after every question but Cameron springs up eagerly after every reply. You can see which one is enjoying today. Cameron's parting gifts to Brown are rants about the lack of leadership and vision of the Labour party and a bit of personal abuse to boot.

Cameron really piled the pressure on today and scored some decent goals. Brown finished in a stronger fashion than he started but the damage was already done. His response to the questions on Bendy Wendy really defied belief. Nick Robinson calls it 'Brownspeak', I have another word for it, also beginning with B.

Result 1 - 3

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Dispatch of the Day - 30th April 2008

So to continue last weeks theme of embarrassing climbdowns from Captain Brown, Cameron opens up with the suggestion that he will have to make major con sessions on the government's proposals for detention without charge. Brown simply says he will put the proposals to the House. Fair enough. He then tries to suggest that all the parties support the need for exceptions to be made in the cases of serious terrorists, but he stumbles over his words and ends up mumbling to himself.

Cameron quotes the Director of Pubic Prosecutions - "we do not perceive any need for the period of 28 days to be increased" and "our experience is that we have managed comfortably with 28 days". Why will the Prime Minister not listen to him asks Cameron? Brown ignores the question but instead says the police and Lord Carlise have both backed the idea of increasing the detention period. Brown then suggests that not to would give oxygen to terrorists and that the Tories should be ashamed of itself.

So here we are, a little bit of gentle sparring and now back to the 'deeper message' both sides are looking to get across.

Cameron quotes some Labour MPs in an attempt to show that Brown is only concerned with his own view. Brown then complains that Cameron won;t deal with the 'substantial issue'. Oddly Cameron is able to counterclaim that the Tories have addressed the substantial issues and goes on to list their policy ideas. And Cameron continues his line on Brown, how long will he ignore his parties wishes and will they get a vote of conscience on the proposals? Brown skips answering this, simply saying it will go before the house, I doubt the truth would be popular so I guess we'll have to wait to find out.

Cameron suggests the the DPP would know more on the subject than the Prime Minister, so why won't he listen? So Gordon, will this be subject to a vote as a matter of conscience?...Same answer from Brown, it will go before the House. This sets up Cameron nicely for his repost - "everyone knows what is going to happen: another rebellion, another backdown, another U-turn, and the collapse of stout party". There is reference to the recent 10p tax fiasco and then Cameron's finish with a flourish (which the Speaker interrupts) "The Prime Minister is putting political calculation and self-interest ahead of the right decisions and the national interest".

Brown again complains that Cameron won't address the substantive issue, but by the time he has finished saying it everyone has stopped listening.

Brown was at his bumbling, arrogant worst but Cameron failed to score any real blows.

Result 1 - 1