Perhaps David Cameron got up super-early to open his birthday presents today, or perhaps he’s a bit tired after his fortnight of party conference and reshuffle mayhem, but the Prime Minister wasn’t on top form today at PMQs. Neither was Ed Miliband, for that matter. Both men bickered about who had the best energy policy, like two kids comparing birthday presents in a playground. Neither really got in a deadly shot, with both seeming a little halting.
The PM was at his weakest when he decided to attack Miliband for being a ‘Marxist’. Labour’s lurch to the left or whatever you want to call it might be interesting in the Westminster bubble where we all like to stroke our chins about the size of the state, but for an insult to cut through to voters, it needs to chime with the things they worry about. Moreover, I’m not sure that ‘Marxist’ or ‘socialist’ are really such dirty words in the UK today as they still are in the US. They sound like words from history, rather than a real threat.
Cameron warmed up, though, with an effective attack on Ed Miliband’s record as energy secretary. He provided a long list of the ways that Miliband had pushed up energy bills through his own policies. Miliband hit back that the PM was wobbling about on what he thought of Labour’s pledge to freeze prices.
But though neither man won PMQs, Miliband will be pleased that it is his focus on the cost of living that is setting the agenda at the moment, both in today’s exchanges in the Commons and in the repeated announcements from the Coalition on the cost of living.Tags: David Cameron, Ed Miliband, PMQs, UK politics