The Right-Minded View on PMQs (10th February 2016)

by richardhutton

A commanding performance by PM Cameron today. The kind that we have come to expect, as a matter of course. The scene was set; the battle-lines drawn: the weather outside – unseasonably mild.

The prelude began. A backbench government MP stated that affordable housing is the number one issue among the more confounding members of their constituency; and bravely asked if the PM would agree his policies were the right ones. The Prime Minister said that he would agree his policies were right: “anyone who cannot afford a home can simply trade-in one of their investment portfolios; or inherit a larger property”.

A backbench opposition MP said something or another about homelessness or some such. The Prime Minister generously took the time to reply that “homelessness is less than half the peak it was under the previous government”; while the number of people living on the streets “decreased exponentially as the weather grew increasingly cold during the winter months”.

Then the denouement commenced. There our Prime Minister stood – dauntless, in the face of a bespectacled and bearded foe: Jeremy Corbyn; who promptly demonstrated why he is so popular with the juvenile and delinquent, by impertinently questioning whether there might be a discrepancy or two between what the government says, and what it actually does.

Few would step up to the plate against such an adversary – indeed, many would quail. But in moments of crisis, that is when you find our Prime Minister at his best: no matter how rough the going may be – the chin is always up, the lip is never less than stiff; and the trousers are always creased.

Corbyn asked a question on behalf of ‘Rosie’ who lives in ‘London’ – going so far as to suggest that the government’s record is “less than adequate”. “Shut up” Cameron explained in response. “But what is the government doing to help people suffering from unrealistic house-prices and uncapped rents?” Corbyn persisted. “I know you are, but what am I?” Cameron declaimed forcefully. “This is a serious problem, which requires concerted action” the red-rosetted and villainously demeanoured Corbyn counterpoised.

And that’s when Cameron grew stern. Drawing himself up to his full height, placing his hands firmly on the desk before him, he looked Corbyn straight in the eye, and cried “It takes one to know one!”.

And with that, the day was won. Victory had been secured. The Prime Minister had triumphed.

Verdict: an 11 out of 10 performance from Cameron. Mr Corbyn, however, must do better.