Yesterday, David Cameron decided to “’fess up” to the fact that he had failed in his endeavour to call time on “Punch & Judy politics”. I’m not too sure quite what part he feels he plays in such a puppet show mind you, but judging by Prime Minister’s Question Time earlier on today the Tory front bench are certainly managing a more than passable impression of the string of sausages.
But if we can take today’s PMQs as a guide then Cameron is better off sticking with making all those “loser”, “weird” and “strange man” jibes, as he seems pretty unqualified to do anything better. Asking all six questions on the seemingly solid topic of the proposed Counter-Terrorism Bill that allows terrorist suspects to be detained for up to 42 day without charge, Cameron was useless. Gordon Brown managed to defend the indefensible with ease while Cameron struggled to land a clean blow; and indeed that has more or less been the story of PMQs lately as far as I can tell. Cameron may be a slick performer but when he has to make the weather himself he seems flummoxed and clueless; only when events have done the heavy lifting for him – when Brown has already been on the ropes, be it because of the cancelled election, the lost data discs, or the abolition of the 10p tax rate – has Cameron been able to sidle up to PMQs and effectively deliver his sneering coup de grace.
Staying with that 10p tax rate though, I did find it bizarre for David Cameron to have said during his ‘fession on the Today programme that
I was very angry last week because I thought it was the week when actually we found out something about this Prime Minister…which is that that budget 2 years ago was a complete con.
Did it really take until last week for the penny to drop and for Cameron to actually become angry about something that any old fool spotted on the day of the budget itself, over a year ago? I can understand – although I can’t condone – Labour MPs being in denial over the details of the 10p debacle, but what’s Cameron’s excuse? And while he freely accuses Brown of dither and indecision, if it really has taken this long for a simple fact to sink into Cameron’s consciousness then I feel his only real rival is Homer Simpson.