Coffee House

A fairly bland PMQs

11 January 2012

1:06 PM

11 January 2012

1:06 PM

Today’s PMQs was rather a bland affair. Ed Miliband started with three questions on train fares that David Cameron batted away, but there is a little row brewing over whether Cameron’s claim that
he is simply continuing the policy of the last government is correct. Later, Miliband moved onto the safe territory of the Union and consensus broke out with only the half dozen SNP MPs dissenting
from it.


Angus Robertson, the SNP’s Westminster leader, then asked the PM a question that, in a preview of the SNP’s campaign tactics, was designed purely to get the words Cameron, Thatcher and Scotland
into the same sentence.

There were two other things worth noting from the session. Bercow made sure to call every MP who received an honour in the recent list which meant that the session again over-ran, to the visible
irritation of some on the front bench. Also the Tory attempt to use PMQs to deal with the government’s troubles with women is continuing into 2012. Today, there were questions from Sarah Newton
about nursing and Helen Grant about forced marriage with Cameron declaring that he takes ‘a personal interest in the issue’.

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Show comments
  • Cynic

    What are SNP MPs doing in Westminster anyway? Haven’t they got their own talking shop north of the border? Time we got an English parliament.

  • Cato

    The complaint is that prices are higher where there’s greater demand and lower where there’s lesser demand? Shocking.

  • Pettros

    Ellis – sorry I have a slightly different view to you so I must be a ‘labour troll'(what exactlydoes that mean anyway).

    Why did Cameron not continue with the measure which lifted the flexability?

  • FF

    The fares policy was for one year. Nevertheless, the Coalitions were the ones that re-instated the previous policy because they were in power at that point. They didn’t have to, and nor would Labour if they were in power instead.

    Milliband is correct

  • Verity

    Nonny – No woman I know can stand the weak, greedy, self-serving Cameron.

  • Number7
  • David Lindsay

    David Cameron blustered and floundered away while failing to answer Dame Joan Ruddock’s question about Housing Benefit. He cannot state the simple fact that the root of the problem is the sale of council housing. That policy compelled the State to make gifts of significant capital assets to people who were thus enabled to enter the property market ahead of private tenants who had saved for their deposits. And, as part of Thatcher’s invention of mass benefit dependency, it created the Housing Benefit racket, which is vastly more expensive than the maintenance of a stock of council housing.

    I am a good Chestertonian in this as in most, though not quite all, matters. I would dearly love every household to have a base of real property from which to resist both over-mighty commercial interests and an over-mighty State. But within the practicalities of these things, there is also a very strong case that each locality should have a base of real property from which to resist both over-mighty commercial interests and an over-mighty centre.

    Already, under New Labour, the powers that be apparently could not distinguish between the respectable working class and the characters from Shameless. So council and housing association tenants, whose rents will go up in April in line with the September inflation figure even though pensions and benefits will not, were to lose security of tenure in order that Shameless characters could be moved in next door to them, or even in place of them.

    But New Labour is no more, at least outside the Coalition. Those in that actual or potential position should contact Ed Miliband without delay.

  • ellis000

    Pettros – even Labour trolls can’t change the facts. Wallace was wrong as Guido is happy to enlighten:

  • ddrm

    Milipede was wrong. See Guido – document clearly states that change in policy WAS FOR ONE YEAR ONLY.

  • Chris lancashire

    Mrs Balls-Cooper, two to the right of Ed M, looked like she was chewing a lemon.

  • Fish

    Yes. Labour introduced the rail fare escalator, the purpose of which was to reduce the tax payer subsidy from 75% to 50% and eventually 25%. This was to ensure that the passenger would pay an increasing proportion of the true cost of the journey.

  • Pettros

    Milli was correct on the rail fares. The Coalition re-instated the 5% flexibility which was scrapped by Labour pre-election.

  • Jeremy

    James Forsyth:

    “Ed Miliband started with three questions on train fares…”

    Labour never raise themselves to the level of events, do they?

    Were the Argentinians to invade the Falklands you can be sure that Labour would spend the next PMQs closely questioning the government about the NHS.

  • nonny mouse

    What Cameron problem with women?

    From the latest YouGov: Men 38% Women 42%.

    The only problem that Cameron has with women is the ill informed media who can’t do their own research and rely on Labour spin printed in the Guardian.

  • ellis000

    Brillo confirmed on The Daily Politics that Cameron was right and Wallace was wrong – good start to the relaunch then.