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The NEW PMQT - what do we think?

(14 Posts)
Isitmebut Wed 16-Sep-15 16:18:23

If memory serves PMQT used to be 1 hour every week - do we need to extend it from 30 minutes again?

My first thought is if Mr Corbyn is going to read out 'a Mr Sydney Cheesewhiff from Cheshires' type question and then add some politics to it for each of his 6 questions, very few other MPs will get a look, never mind a question in.

I thought the Speakers attempts over the last parliament to get more back-bench MP questions in was also meant to widen the subject base - and surely if they were individually elected to represent the people they are fully capable of asking a representative question local or national - without the need to put a name label on them them.

TheSpectator Wed 16-Sep-15 17:47:12

I agree. Really looking forward to questions 7-12 out of 40k next week - not.

museumum Wed 16-Sep-15 17:52:39

I enjoyed it.
It was setting out the new opposition leaders priorities - it won't be the same each week.

claig Wed 16-Sep-15 17:54:09

'If memory serves PMQT used to be 1 hour every week - do we need to extend it from 30 minutes again?'

Was this in 1867?

It used to be 15 minutes twice a week under Thatcher. Blair changed it to once a week for 30 minutes.

It is no good. Corbyn is supposed to be a leader who decides priorities and has facts and resources available in order to ask probing questions. He asked nothing about the refugee crisis and concentrated on tax credits and mental health instead.

He is supposed to be a leader, not a follower of questions from Betty Batty from Bognor Regis

claig Wed 16-Sep-15 17:56:32

And how do we know he is not making the emails from Angela up?

Bolograph Wed 16-Sep-15 18:08:35

Perhaps Simon Bates could take over PMQ, with the music from "Our Tune" in the background.

There's a reason why most bores people who call phone ins don't ask good questions, because it's actually rather hard. And Corbyn didn't lay a glove on Cameron, because the trick of forensic questioning is the sharp second follow up, which he simply didn't have. Cameron will be very, very happy with this: his ideal PMQ is a soporific drag through some soft ones, because he has the other six days of the week to get on the telly with his agenda and PMQs is only news when he's under pressure. As Corbyn seemingly can't put him under pressure, and is only asking the dullest of dull questions with stock answers, it's been completely neutralised. Cameron can set the media weather on the other six days, while Corbyn gets back to the business of being impotent in futile opposition.

claig Wed 16-Sep-15 19:16:21

Exactly Bolograph , well said.

It is an abdication of leadership and if Corbyn goes on like this he will end up a national laughing stock with campaign posters about questions from Paul, Claire, Angela and Mike (all probably Labour party activists living in Islington).

Don't ask Corbyn, he'll have to confer with Paul and Angela first.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Wed 16-Sep-15 19:39:15

He is making it too easy for Cameron.

A democracy needs a strong opposition. I want an opposition leader who adds something to the debate. I could write you an algorithm to take a bunch of emails and give you the top 6 trending topics. I don't need Corbo for that.

He should know what people care about already anyway, what with having been an MP since 1983.

The email stuff was a lame and lazy gimmick.

Bolograph Wed 16-Sep-15 21:29:41

"Marie" was on PM this evening.

She was the definition of the London echo chamber. Apparently asking about rents is a penetrating political assault which had the Conservative front bench looking worried and frightened. Yes, Marie, you keep telling yourself that. Back in the real world, Cameron didn't so much wipe the floor with Corbyn as gently brush him off, like an over-affectionate pet.

mateysmum Wed 16-Sep-15 21:40:34

Whilst it would be nice to see less of the ya, boo, hiss of PMQ"s, this was just as if JC was feeding Cameron lines to restate Tory policy. PMQ is the main opportunity for the leader of the opposition to directly challenge and pin down the PM. JC singularly failed to do this, despite there being a number of current issues that he could have exploited.
By all means he can take email input from the public., a good idea, but his job is to distill this and ask pointed questions and challenging follow ups, not act as a local radio host talking to a local councillor.

Bolograph Wed 16-Sep-15 22:06:09

not act as a local radio host talking to a local councillor.

Actually, it's worse than that. Local radio hosts are sometimes quite smart, and local councillors are perhaps not the deepest talent pool in our political system. In my city the cabinet members are pretty articulate, but it gets incoherent fairly quickly, and there are plenty of councillors who struggle to assemble a sentence. Watching scrutiny committees is not edifying. Most of the participants would be fairly rapidly exposed as out of their depth by one of the drive-time local radio presenters who fancy themselves as tribunes of the people.

Cameron has many failings like being a heartless, manipulative scheming Tory fucker but he is neither stupid nor inarticulate. Corbyn is used to talking to audiences that agree with him, and when he rails against American imperialism or Conservative welfare cuts he is posturing in front of his undiscerning claque rather than debating with smart people with opposing views.

There's no evidence that he is either a forensic questioner or an orator, and driving his interlocutors into a revealing inconsistency is simply beyond him. Cameron knows that the public doesn't like the "Flashman" public school debating tricks, and knows that some questioners push him into that; Corbyn simply can't. Cameron will remain calm, fluent and reasonable: Corbyn will chuck him feed lines, and every one will end with Cameron having a chance to present Tory policy and sound reasonable.

Isitmebut Wed 16-Sep-15 23:21:54

claig ... thank you comrade, its not often my memory lets me down; I had thought PMQT when condensed to one sesh was halved, but two quarters became one half hour as you say, go figure - my fractions were always rubbish.

Corbyn is letting Cameron off the hook, yet his supporters hail this format as a victory.

It might have worked from May 2010 for a few years, but since then, Labour who would have followed the French economic model lost the economic and other arguments - and the UK's record on many things looks better than it did before May 2010 e.g the rise in real earnings, when Labour had nothing to offer but 'carry on regardless' - and god only knows how much debt we'd be in now.

Corbyn might get by with his anti capitalist etc mantras but come the General Election there will be forensic analysis of his plans which can only mean much higher national debt and business/personal taxes - with him offering the electorate the promise that he can spend/tax the UK to prosperity - which outside his faithful, is a tough platform to win on.

Isitmebut Tue 29-Sep-15 14:40:31

God help us ... Judging by Corbyn's Conference first leader speech, when Saudi Arabian human rights apparently deserve a mention and the PM's immediate attention - he'll be reading out emails/questions from the Ahmeds in Riyadh.

StitchesBurstinBath Tue 29-Sep-15 16:29:31

Maybe God is helping us- given the improbable emergence of Jeremy Corbyn to the near universal incredulity of the media. The man could indeed be a miracle. Also his initials too.

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