A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Brown's PMQs debut

Gordon Brown is no actor, so he was never going to be remotely like Blair at the dispatch box. His first PMQs was interesting. He didn't rely on the great folder, the binder full of answers to anticipated as well as tabled questions. This was used by Blair, who would flick through it nervously to see if the right sticky label was pointing to the answer he needed. John Major and Margaret Thatcher used the same system. However, Brown had a couple of sheets of plain A4 to read. If the answers weren't there, he batted them off from his memory. The A4 sheets were resting on two green books. These books raised the dispatch box higher, so his trade mark delivery of moving his left hand around in crab-like motions was unimpeded.

He looked a tad nervous, but then who wouldn't on their first outing in such an arena as the Prime Minister. I thought he was a bit studious, a bit evasive, but generally straightforward. Thank goodness he stopped Blair's nonsense of harping back to the Tories' time in office when he was stuck for something to say.

Cameron did OK. Ming Campbell has suddenly found a way of asking six questions. Ask three instead of one in each of your two allotted questions. Nice ploy, and it worked. Brown answered all six. However, the Speaker, who was on jovial form, appeared not to realise. Those bewigged men sitting in front of him will have alerted him to this.

Brown has got off to a steady start, but I guess his propensity to grumpiness will soon come out and Dave and Ming will see their chance, as will the SNP and Plaid Cymru stalwarts. Surprisingly, George Galloway makes no effort to raise his profile. Now he could be a spark to liven the Brown gloom!


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