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Sunday, 22 February 2015

A plague on all your houses.

Ed Miliband, your idea is out of the question

Victoria Coren Mitchell

Spot on Victoria.
To reprise what I wrote in February 2013, (because nothing has changed since then or is likely to change in the foreseeable future) the kindergarten of PMQ's continues unabated.
Questions to the Prime Minister. The weekly excursion into the world of “Yaboo” politics where each side of the House of Commons can indulge themselves in mindless baying and snide remarks from one side, no doubt shouted in order to provoke reaction from the other side or to draw the “referee” Mr. Speaker to intervene with “Order, Order” or a phrase that Mr Bercow has taken to using over recent years of “The honourable member should calm down”.
Questions to the Prime Minister now demonstrates for around 30 minutes each Wednesday, everything that is wrong with British politics and why, generally, there is such disillusionment amongst many people in this country with the political structure. Scoring cheap political points or “landing blows” on your political opponents is not the way that we should expect our elected representatives to behave. In fact I would propose a plague on all your houses.
Prime Minister's Question's could, and should, be a very useful tool in the democratic process of this country and could provide the opportunity for backbenchers to interrogate the Prime Minister on his, or her, actions. All too often it becomes a forum for “planted questions” to be asked, giving the Prime Minister of the day, the opportunity to either goad the leader of the opposition or to “free publicity” to some new government proposals.
The weekly PMQ's is no exception to the usual circus. Cameron not answering Milliband's questions, except by asking questions of his own and Milliband pursuing  the cul de sac of, “Will he answer, Yes or No?”
This general preoccupation with point scoring amongst the members, leads to missing many issues which should be seized upon and expanded at the time.
Misleading responses seeking to score points and deflect from the issue, bring nothing but contempt for the politicians indulging in such behavior.
Facts should betaken up at the time, or at least reported in the media, but as usual the issues became lost in the general “ya ya ya ya” from the Tory benches and the “No, rubbish nay” counters from the Labour benches.
Many issues are important subjects for  some people, but not it seems to the members of House of Commons (or the reporters from the media).
It must be many years since a politician promised that the days of “Yaboo” politics in the House of Commons were over and that business would be conducted on a more professional level. A week is a long time in politics, and this promise has gone the same way as all the others.
A plague on all your houses.