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PMQs: Miliband mocks ‘divided’ Tories

16 January 2013

2:15 PM

16 January 2013

2:15 PM

After PMQs today, David Cameron must be wishing he could just get on and deliver his much-trailed Europe speech. Ed Miliband took advantage of all the speculation to mockingly question Cameron on the subject, asking him to comment on every bit of process.

Cameron wouldn’t rule out this morning’s James Chapman scoop that Tory ministers will be allowed to campaign on different sides of the referendum question. This made it all too easy for Miliband to get away the line: ‘ it’s the same old Tories, a divided party and a weak Prime Minister’. For Miliband, that was mission accomplished.


Those close to Cameron are arguing that Miliband has now shut the door to Labour offering a referendum, putting Labour on the wrong side of public opinion. They believe that once Cameron has actually delivered his speech, the atmosphere will change and Miliband will have to say what he would do.

But there’s no doubt that Cameron has a very difficult balancing act to pull off. He wants to stress he will keep Britain inside the EU, he again declared that ‘Britain is better off in the European Union’. But he has to show his party that this won’t be a token renegotiation.

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Show comments
  • Dimoto

    What about Wilson’s “renegotiation”, was that token ?
    I wonder what Wilson and his cabinet would have made of full Labour support for where we are now. Labour have come so far in forty years, haven’t they ?

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Wow milliband, thats quite some attack!

    “Your party isn’t as united in favour of the EU like what we are” ……Wow – what a fantastic electoral proposition.

    Its a shame the media wont be reporting it like that.

    • Tim Reed

      True. The Libdems and Labour – united against public opinion.

      …but it won’t be reported as such, because they’re in line with the attitudes of the superior metropolitan elite – our betters.

  • AdemAljo

    It’th the thame old Ed Miliband.

  • Chris lancashire

    Good to see Cameron taking Fraser Campbell’s advice (amongst others) and remaining cool and authoritative, particularly in the face of Miliband’s juvenile humour and the ever gesticulating mad Balls. Despite a difficult topic this was a Cameron walkover.

    • AdemAljo

      Gesticulating balls; what a horrid thought.

    • George_Arseborne

      Calm with a red face and shouting? What an irony?

      • Chris lancashire

        Sorry George, no red face and hardly a raised voice this week. Maybe you were watching an old one on iplayer.

    • DWWolds

      Balls always reminds me of a small child who is in danger of wetting his pants and is thus desperate to catch teacher’s attention. Perhaps DC should turn to the speaker and say: “The Shadow Chancellor seems to want to be excused. Can we pause for a minute whilst he leaves the room”.

  • UKIP for change

    Cameron is weak,and his image is getting worse and worse.

  • UKIP for change

    Miliband has also made a huge error in my opinion.Working class Labour voters will flock to UKIP without a Labour promise on a referendum.

    • George_Arseborne

      That would have been happening as we speak. Only the Tories are threaten by the UKIP because Cameron is half baked or a Humpty Dumpty.

      • UKIP for change

        Keep telling yourself that.

        In the latest opinion poll that asked the question,44% of Labour voters wanted to leave the EU.Sorry to hit you with facts!

        Seeing as 90% of the austerity program has yet to take place,that number can only rise.

        • David Lindsay

          Leading them to vote Labour. They’ll never vote for UKIP, which wants to be even more austere.

    • 2trueblue

      Liebore promised one when they were in power, and in the 13yrs it did not happen. That is a long time, filled with opportunities, and they could not manage it. Why would one believe them at this stage?

    • David Lindsay

      There’s going to be one. Just not to Cameron’s daft effort. To a real one. Wait for Jon Cruddas’s Policy Review to report. Farage has already said that he expects that to form the basis of a pact between UKIP and Labour, the only pact in which he is interested.

      But he is not to get one. And no, they are not. Working-class Labour voters have not been so happy with their party in more than 30 years, and they are wholly impervious to the attractions of public school, Home Counties party of Thatcherities-in-Exile whose only objection to the cuts is that they do not go far enough. Don’t say “Rotherham”. UKIP merely replaced the Tories there, taking only 20 per cent of the vote (fewer than the Tories used to, in fact) while Labour romped home.

  • UKIP for change

    As someone once said ‘ no time for a novice’

    Cameron is in a tailspin,he looks like a boy in a man’s job.It gets worse for him from here on in though.

    All this month.Eu speech,Eu budget,4th Qtr GDP.

    The opinion polls at the mo,point to a landslide defeat,as big as 1997,or BIGGER!

    UKIP now have a immigrant countdown clock to add to the fun.29m more immigrants allowed free access to the UK welfare and social net from 1/12014.

    With the Telegraph printing the true numbers of Eu immigrants on benefits,about 24% of all EU immigrants inside the UK.It can no longer be spun,that immigration pays for itself.

  • Colonel Mustard

    Do Labour do anything other than criticise the Tories? Of course they are in opposition to supposedly hold the government to account but I seem to remember Brown spent most of his time as Prime Minister doing exactly the same thing. It always seems to be all about Labour and all about Labour always attacking the Tories.

    • BigAl

      That is what you do if you have no policies

      • telemachus

        Heaps of policies
        In Gestation
        They will be ready for the manifesto for when we resume office in 2015

    • AdemAljo

      Ed Miliband is the kind of person you went for first if you were playing Bulldog at school.

      • realfish

        Yes. He seems a bit full of himself at the moment.

        Miliband is a lot more confident than he is entitled to be, but then again being a fantasist and having a lack of self-perception is something that seems to be in the job specification of a Labour leader .

    • George_Arseborne

      What else do you expect? Why are they call the Opposition? At times l wonder where your brain is when commenting. Wobbling Cameron was red faced all the time when Ed gave him room to answer.

      • DWWolds

        The job of he Opposition is to hold the government to account. Milliminor fails to do that.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Maybe you should read the comment more carefully arseborne, or get someone to translate it into whatever is your first language.

    • DWWolds

      The same thought went through my mind after today’s PMQs. Labour are just totally destructive.

    • David Lindsay

      Jeremy Corby made a very constructive proposal at PMQs. Rumour has it that he turned down a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours List. That seems a shame: alongside the DBE for a Campaign Group veteran and for a Cornerstone Group stalwart, Sir Jeremy would have balanced and complemented Sir Richard Shepherd. Two old anti-Maastricht warhorses together, one of whom later cast one of the 44 Labour votes against the European Finance Bill when the other had the
      Whip withdrawn for being among the mere eight Conservatives who had joined the Labour front bench in abstaining.

      No Labour MP joined the Major Government and voted in favour of that Bill. Every Labour MP without exception now demonstrably agrees with the then-44, a surprising number of whom are still there, about European Finance. Whereas the number of Conservatives who now do so is demonstrably smaller than the number of Lib Dem MPs.

      But I digress. Corbyn’s Question to the Prime Minister, calling for statutory rent control, ties in with work such as that of Stella Creasy, a 35-year-old 2010 entrant, on pay day loans. It ties in with Friday’s letter to The Guardian calling for tighter controls on the proliferation of betting shops, signed by 13 Labour MPs from across the party.

      The whole issue of Housing Benefit, perhaps especially in London but nevertheless throughout the country, exposes the fallacy that Britain is not One Nation, since it demonstrates starkly that working, taxpaying Britain and the Britain that depends on State benefits are one and the same place, inhabited by one and the same people. The British People. One Nation. Please, please, please, no illiteracy and innumeracy about “Why don’t you cut their taxes, then?” You would only be making yourselves look silly by attempting to post such comments.

      Rent controls, action on pay day loans, greater restrictions on gambling and on its outlets, a land value tax, strong statutory regulation of interest rates, a massive programme for the building of council and affordable homes, the requirement of planning permission for change of use before a main home could be turned into a second home: the only thing more important than electing a Government with such commitments will be electing a body of friendly but critical MPs from areas far beyond the Labour heartlands and even the Labour targets. MPs who were determined to hold that Government to those commitments in the name, and in the interests, of this One Nation.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        ‘But I digress’

        Pure comedy gold.

    • dalai guevara

      Does it not seem odd to you that on other occasions, many voice their opinions on here to complain about how Lib Lab Cons appear to deliver exactly the same outcome?
      And how now, ‘No Change Europe’ is supposedly a Labour position?
      And that the Conservatives supposedly stand for a change thru’ renegotiation?
      Does that sound to you in any way like an accurate description of reality?

      • Colonel Mustard

        Nothing seems odd to me any more. Europe and the machinations and ploys danced around it are one great deceit placed on top of many other deceits and impositions on the English. The PM Questions dancing is the equivalent of those old, faked wrestling matches where the outcome is pre-planned and all the grunting and body slams are orchestrated for the benefit of a gullible audience. So that we might believe some great constitutional contest is being played out, rather than just more craven subservience to bespectacled foreign non-entities that look and act like Himmler.

        The corpse is rotting from within but already dead, the corruption far advanced and relentless. The undertaker dresses it up, applies make-up and tries to staunch the stench, uttering optimism about what a fine figure of manhood lies before him and how glory days shall come again. But the reality is a mean little island, full of mean little people full of righteous indignation and bile, bickering with each other about their rights and trying their hardest to rip each other off.

        None of that stops the Labour party from being especially repulsive in its slithering shape-shifting and accountability dodging. Or my comment regarding their endless attack the Tories stance, which is just as wearying as telemachus’ dreary propaganda.

        If I was fifty years younger I’d pray for civil war to cleanse the cesspit.

        • dalai guevara

          perspicacious words lovingly delivered

  • Slim Jim

    Is that all that happened at PMQs? I didn’t watch it as I’d rather stick sharp objects down my fingernails. Why are you giving that oxygen thief Milliband the time of day? As for Cameron’s speech, I suspect that it will be just a load of hot air. The Westminster bubblers are getting very twitchy about the plebs having a say on the EUSSR. Go on Dave – surprise us!

    • Span Ows

      Why are you giving that oxygen thief Milliband the time of day?

      Yes, if we want out of context quotes making Miliband sound good we can listen to the BBC.

      • 2trueblue

        And we have to pay for it, which really is annoying.

  • sir_graphus

    It’s 1995 again; the Tories hopelessly divided over Europe; Labour’s only EU policy is to point out how divided the Tories are over Europe.

    • David Lindsay

      Worked for Labour then.

      Working again now.

  • HooksLaw

    So Miliband and Labour are fully in favour of the EU then? Makes sense to get them back into government of course.

    • Nigel Jones

      Point is Hookster, to get rid of Miliband-light Cameron and get a Conservative leader again.

      • David Lindsay

        Like whom? I mean that question in terms of present options. I also mean it in terms of historical Leaders.