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Coffee House

Labour uses Cameron’s ‘butch’ line as PMQs weapon

12 September 2012

2:05 PM

12 September 2012

2:05 PM

Today’s PMQs will not live long in the memory. The Hillsborough statement will, rightly, eclipse it.

There were, though, some things worth noting from it. Labour clearly believes that they can paint Cameron as some kind of chauvinist. Chris Bryant got the ball rolling, sneering ‘I know the Prime Minister thinks of himself as butch.’ During the leader’s exchanges, Ed Miliband responded to Cameron mocking predistribution—Miliband’s new policy idea—by calling it a ‘very butch answer’ and Cameron ‘Mr Butch.’ Finally, the Labour MP Ann McKechin asked why departing male minister got honours while there was ‘nothing like a dame’ for his sacked female ministers’.

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I wonder, though, if this attack will stick. Cameron might be a bit too Flashman in the Commons, think ‘calm down dear’ and all that. But outside the House, he does come across as a modern family man.

On policy, it was striking that Cameron wouldn’t repeat that the government remains committed to having the national debt falling as a percentage of national income by 2015-16. It does increasingly appear that the coalition is preparing to drop this one of its fiscal rules.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


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