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Westminster plays recall tennis

13 August 2014

4:47 PM

13 August 2014

4:47 PM

Now that David Cameron has returned from his Portuguese fish-shopping exploits, the game of recall tennis that Westminster has been playing for the past few days has stepped up a few notches. Now it’s not just Philip Hammond, Michael Fallon and other Cabinet members leaving COBR meetings who can be asked whether or not they think Parliament should return from recess to debate the situation in Iraq, but the Prime Minister himself. It’s running like this: another Tory MP writes to the Prime Minister to say there should be a recall, or a senior party figure from the Lib Dems or Labour says there should be one. The ball lands in the government court, and the government bats it back out again, saying, as David Cameron did this afternoon, that there is no need for a recall because ‘this is a humanitarian operation that Britain is involved in’.


But Cameron sent the ball back into the opposite court with enough force that those who do want a recall can send it right back to him. He added that ‘of course I always keep this issue under review and were things to change then obviously that is something that could be done’. Ming Campbell has already repeated his call for a recall, and the growing number of Tory MPs who want one still think that there is a very good chance of the rally ending in the government court and Parliament returning early.

MPs are naturally agitated about the dreadful international situation. But perhaps there’s also something else that’s driving them: a fear of Parliament being irrelevant and remote. It’s unfair to say that this is along the same lines as politicians involving themselves in news stories just to seem relevant, Gordon Brown and Susan Boyle-style. But when one of the main arguments against a recall seems to be that it wouldn’t make any difference, you can understand why those who still have faith in the power of politics are a little unsettled.

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Show comments
  • Mynydd

    The game of recall parliament is being played between Mr Cameron and his back benches. Mr Cameron lost his serve when he stayed on holiday and continued with is dead ball game. Other parties can just stand back and watch the game, and wait until it’s game, set and match to back benches.

  • Mark McIntyre

    Never mind Whitehall – this Westminster Farce be more entertaining !
    When will some politico speak the truth ? – on this matter anyway…
    Those clamouring for a recall fall into two camps – Journos who are bored by the ‘silly season’ and Politicos who want to score points.
    The biggest laugh of all ? – the very idea that the world be waiting for this – the British Parliament has spoken – now then world – do as we say !!
    As for Ming Campbell – the loudest

  • alabenn

    The Muslim problem for the UK is here, not in that other cesspit the Middle East, they should get their heads around the fact that they have destroyed this country, no one in their right minds would think the bunch of two faced liars that inhabit the Labour Party and their clones in the Coalition are capable of doing anything constructive for the non Muslim inhabitants of anywhere

  • Scepticus

    If parliament is recalled, what expenses can MPs claim, and how large?

  • goatmince

    Oh what a pompous, self-aggrandising muppet show this is.
    Philip Hammond is doing an excellent job, he was an excellent choice to replace … already forgotten now who he replaced … why can’t he just get on with it?

    • Colonel Mustard

      “Oh what a pompous, self-aggrandising muppet show this is.”

      Well, you and your other sock puppets could always cease and desist.

      That would be nice…

    • Mark McIntyre

      PH – a cool head – at the right time.

  • @PhilKean1

    We must stop all this dangerous talk about recalling Parliament.

    There is a case in the national interest to eradicate the source of the problem – plus we have a duty of responsibility because the military action initiated by Blair is the cause of Iraq’s current instability.

    The last thing the British people need is for their PM, already made impotent by being subordinate to EU authority – adding to that impotence by requiring Parliament’s blessing to cover for his own timidity and lack of direction.

  • Holly

    The last thing I want is these navel gazing bods wasting everyone’s time by recalling Parliament.
    How is that going to stop the nutjobs, or get anyone in desperate need, to safety.
    I also don’t have the stomach to have to listen to you journo’s. ‘Ad-libbing’ about what YOU think this, or that sentence/word meant, let alone a half full HoC.

    • John Dalton

      Why don’t these useless g*ts DO something about the nutjob I*lamo-fascists handing out IS-IS leaflets on Oxford Street? Some hope!

    • The Masked Marvel

      Indeed, why give these market rate talents an opportunity to grandstand and puff themselves up with self-righteousness? Half of them probably don’t even care much about what’s going on in Iraq anyway, and quite a few will seize the chance to demagogue about Israel.

  • The Masked Marvel

    But if they’re only going to vote not to do anything – which we all know will be the result – what’s the point?

  • Ricky Strong

    Here we go again. You wait for the reaction when one muslim who not a member of IS (ISIS) is killed by an American or British bomb.