Wednesday, 28 June 2017
PMQs Review: 28th June 2017: The Straightforward Lies About Cuts Edition
We're back and somehow Theresa has become Mrs Bean and Chauncey has become a cult hero. He even had people chanting his name at Glastonbury, and his real name too, although Chauncey would actually have scanned better. They do of course smoke quite a lot of herbal substances at Glastonbury I'm led to believe and so how thrilled he should be by this is moot. Clearly he was thrilled though. Underneath that modest exterior is an ego the size of the Pyramid stage.
Of course he is still Chauncey. He is still mouthing ridiculous meaningless platitudes and talking about how peace is possible despite all of those years voting against peace if it meant that the side he backed had to compromise or even accept defeat. Try not to snigger when he tells us he would get a better deal in any or all negotiations. There is something inherently absurd and wondrous about a Marxist going to a 300 quid a ticket pop festival and giving a speech about how much better the world will be when he gets to tax everyone more to an audience filming him on their 600 quid smart phones and driving home in their SUVs. If you've ever wondered how countries get swept along by autocrats and demagogues, look at what is happening here now in wealthy, prosperous Britain.
Apparently he was telling people at Glastonbury that he will be PM inside 6 months. Bless! He and his party still cannot add up.
He did however go and hug someone in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire. This made him the cult hero he is. Because the ability to hug and emote and shed a tear is exactly what we want in a PM. Look at Tony Blair. Maybe Chauncey will follow in Blair's footsteps and become a keen user of our armed services if he doesn't disband them within a day of gaining power. He's already said that, regardless of what Labour Party policy is, he'll get rid of our nukes the moment he crosses the threshold.
Not that he is completely opposed to war. After all they have declared class war in the wake of Grenfell. John McDonnell opined that the residents, even the ones who weren't actually residents officially and were there illegally, were effectively murdered. Yes, murdered. That's the caring, honest Labour Party for you. Never afraid to turn your misery into a stick with which to beat the Tories who clearly did this all deliberately. It goes without saying. After all that is what murdered means isn't it. And anyway it's all so that they can seize people's homes to accommodate the victims. If you own a home and don't always occupy it then you will be first up against the wall in the next six months. That will free up your other homes too.
Sadly for Chauncey and co Theresa did a deal with the DUP on Monday meaning that her numbers actually do add up and she will be able to get her Queen's speech through parliament at the vote tomorrow. Not that Labour will accept this of course. They will win that just as they won the election despite finishing 60 seats behind the Tories. That's how they got their numbers on taxes and spending and all of that money given away to students to add up.
Interestingly Chauncey entered the chamber today to silence whereas Theresa May entered to cheers. This blog has called for her to go and go soon. I stand by that opinion. But you have to admire her tenacity and bravery and Tories must stand by her while she remains in post.
Chauncey got to his feet having ignored the first question about intimidation of Tory MPs by nasty lefties who are likely encouraged by cretins like Channel 4's Jon Snow. Tories are not the enemy. We are just people who happen to see the world in a different way to others. 13 million people voted for Tories just 3 weeks ago.
Chauncey wanted inevitably to talk about the Grenfell Tower disaster and the wider consequences. His questioning, though hardly forensic, was calm and comparatively authoritative for him. This however played to the Prime Minister's strengths. She is a swot, a details obsessive. She knew what she was talking about and came well prepared. She gave an update to the house and the country about where things stand, the status of the investigation, what is being done for the former residents of the tower and the setting up of the Public Inquiry. A judge will be appointed shortly she said.
The disaster led to PMQs being grown up and comparatively civilised for a change with questions asked and answered by a PM anxious to inform. Only at the end did Chauncey start blaming government cuts for any of this, an allegation that is entirely unproven and likely wrong. Mrs May told him that he was missing the point, that the regulations are there but have not been followed. This was a systematic failing across governments of both colours she said. Many of the regulations about inspections were implemented under Tony Blair a decade or more ago.
Chauncey wants to blame cuts and austerity though. Labour have this week accused the government of murder. It is nasty, it is dishonest but it is very Chauncey's Labour. You might call it straightforward nasty, mendacious politics. The Fire Service itself has said that resources had nothing to do with the fire. Early reports have said that the Fire Service attended the fire in a lower floor flat and actually put it out without realising that it had spread to the outside. The rest is history. This was a fire as a consequence of money being spent not money not being spent. Yes there is a case for sprinkler systems but this was more about a bad design and bad luck than a lack of resources.
Still that is what Labour will continue to allege regardless of the facts. They have a spring in their step thanks to the election result and so dishonesty will be their schtick for the foreseeable future. But Theresa May was quietly effective and impressive today. Chauncey did his shouty sanctimonious thing and he was as good as he has ever been. Politics has returned to normal today. But it was a different normal to what we had prior to the election.
Oh and we had a new questioner from the SNP, who remain the third party despite the heavy losses they endured at the election. Angus Robertson is now an ex MP and has been replaced by the formerly anonymous and likely to remain anonymous Ian Blackford. Even Alex Salmond is no longer an MP. A nation rejoices. Blackford wanted to complain about a poor deal for Scotland, angry that another nation of our union has more influence. So at least some things in this parliament are not going to change.