Tag Archives: Cameron

“Order, Questions to the Prime Minster”

Prime Minsters Question’s is often talked about as the “shop window” of politics, the most watched debate of the parliamentary week and frankly it’s an embarrassment. The constant braying and shouting by Government and Opposition MPs and the sniping between the Leader of Opposition and the Prime Minster must fuel the public’s disillusionment with politics.

One of the few things I agree with newly enthroned Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, on is the need to change PMQs and end the pantomime it has become. This is what he told the Huffington Post after his election:

“I want Prime Minister’s Question Time to be less theatre, more fact, less theatrical, more understandable. I think it’s very exciting for political obsessives, it’s utterly boring for most of the population, who think it’s an utter irrelevance.”

If you’ve ever watched any other Ministerial Question Time you will often see a friendly rapport between Shadow and Government ministers, in which considerable care and attention is given to answering questions. Thus allowing the opposition to actually hold the Government to account – the Prime Minster could learn something from that!

Corbyn needs to do something very quickly to improve PMQs, he needs to tell his party to stop braying and shouting during the session and encourage the other opposition parties (I’m looking at you SNP) to do this same. This will make the opposition look considered, almost mature, whilst making the Conservatives look more and more like children. I’m sure if this happened, the Government benches would soon fall silent too.

Perhaps too, extending Prime Minsters Question’s to an hour (like Ministerial Questions already is) without significantly increasing the number of questions would allow more careful and considered answers. At the moment the sessions feels like a rush, with the PM trying to give short answers that make his Government look good and also embarrass the Opposition.

Corbyn has tried something unique already, he’s asked people to submit questions via Twitter – needless to say this had led to some ridiculous suggestions. But in principle the idea is a good one, getting people to engage with politics is necessary to end public disillusionment.

This is a move in the right direction, although I’m not sure it will last. I don’t know about you, but I certainly feel sorry for Corbyn and his team having to sift through 60,000 suggestions to find just six to ask at 12 o’clock tomorrow, but look forward to seeing what is asked.

Do we need to restore some order to the Prime Minister’s Question Time? Do we need to restore some order to the Prime Minister’s Question Time?

— asked by

 

Author: Edward Molyneux 

Follow Edward on Twitter @NotSoRedEd

 

Has David Cameron handled the refugee crisis well?

The refugee crisis in Europe has just got very real for many people in the UK. The shocking image of three-year-old Aylan lying dead on a Turkish beach has made Britain wake-up to the genuine plight of these people.

The picture even managed to shock some of the most anti-immigration papers into submission (even the Mail!) – as The Independent put it, the 3rd September was “The day the British media finally got a conscience.”

The papers have finally realised the difference between these refugees and migrants – migrants “want” to come here, but refugees “need” to. Migrants certainly don’t risk their lives to try and reach Europe, but refugees are forced to because they have no other choice.

A petition for the crisis to be debated in parliament has now reached over 200,000 signatures, but while public opinion seems to be in favour of taking more refugees the Prime Minister has failed to act decisively.

The government still talk of tackling the root causes of the problem – which, in this blogger’s opinion, means refusing to rescue a man from a burning building until after they’ve discovered how to put out the fire.

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister said the UK shouldn’t take any more refugees from Syria, but on Thursday afternoon he promised that the UK will fulfil its “moral responsibilities” after being “deeply moved” by the image.

Will this involve taking more migrants? Only Mr Cameron can know that. But the Prime Minister’s handling of the issue has made his decision making skills seem poor. Politics is often about making unpopular decisions, and he’s in a difficult position – one way he upsets the EU leaders he’s trying to renegotiate with, the other he upsets a large proportion of his party and risks its unity, but either way he’s going to upset parts of the public.

The longer Cameron flip-flops, the more incapable he seems and that can only damage him in everyone’s eyes.

Vote now to have your say:

Has David Cameron handled the refugee crisis well?

— asked by Edward Molyneux

Author: Edward Molyneux 

Follow Edward on Twitter @NotSoRedEd