Miliband led on unemployment and the economy at another rowdy session of PMQs. Apparently women’s unemployment is at its highest level since 1988 (question on cutting childcare tax credit) amongst other things. Bit of a ding-dong but nothing new.
In response. Cameron used a phrase I’ve heard from him before: “Every lost job is a tragedy for that family”. He outlined how many apprenticeships and university places had been introduced and said we have the biggest welfare-to work programme since the 30s. Regional growth funds, enterprise zones. Youth unemployment went up by 40% under last govt “when he was sitting in the Treasury and bankrupting our economy”. “It is right that we get on top of our debts and deficits”. “The whole credibility of other European countries is being questioned”. (Interesting that at least he acknowledges the eurozone is going down the swannee).
Cameron seemed noticeably angry with Miliband though that could have been because he had to raise his voice above the noise in the Chamber. Miliband commented that “the Chancellor of the Exchequer has lashed himself to the mast” which disrupted the House and had Labour b/benchers holding their sides in mirth. Osborne was not amused. (Update: Of all the segments Ch.4 could have chosen, they’ve decided this is the best one to lead their news bulletins – as they say,, ‘go figure’).
Miliband sounded more assured but he still can’t cut it; he’s like a chihuahua yapping and snapping at your ankles and is easy meat for Cameron who, whatever else might be said of him, is extremely well informed and always comes to PMQs well-prepared with facts and figures.
In answer to one MP’s question Cameron confirmed upgrading of trains and a possible contract for Bombardier.
Mary MacLeod = Theresa May look-a-like
Did your MP speak?
Alex Cunningham, Lab, Stockton North; Mary MacLeod, Con, Brentford & Isleworth; Kris Hopkins, Con, Keighley; Robert Flello, Lab, Stoke-on-Trent South; Sarah Wollaston, Con, Totnes; Angus MacNeil, SNP, Na h-Eileanan an Iar; Helen Grant, Con, Maidstone & The Weald; Paul Flynn, Lab, Newport West; Sir Peter Tapsell (Father of The House), Con, Louth & Horncastle; Natascha Engel, Lab, North East Derbyshire & Chair of the Backbench Business Committee, the one that says it’s too busy to discuss e-petitions; Alex Shelbrooke, Con, Elmet & Rothwell; Thomas Docherty, Lab, Dunfermline & West Fife; Gordon Birtwhistle, LibDem, Burnley; Mark Hendrick, Lab Co-op, Preston; David Rutley, Con, Macclesfield; David Simpson, DUP, Upper Bann; Pauline Latham, Con, Mid-Derbyshire; Chris Williamson, Lab, Derby North; Malcolm Bruce, LibDem, Gordon; Malcolm Wicks, Lab, Croydon North; Zac Goldsmith, Con, Richmond Park; Nic Dakin, Lab, Scunthorpe; Simon Kirby, Con, Brighton Kemptown; Nigel Dobbs, DUP Westminster Leader; Richard Harrington, Con, Watford.
“Incompetent Teesside Coroner”; Litvinenko murder; Planning & developers’ charter; numbers of police in front-line jobs; min.pricing & availability of alcohol; devolving oil revenue to Scotland; more women needed on Boards; reduction of inspections of care homes; a long, meandering question referencing Indian Nabobs, Sir Edmund Burke, Shaftesbury, Trades Union leaders and Lady Thatcher, eventually leading to bankers. Prosecute banks was the gist of it; developers building on greenbelt; a dig at Brown & Blair; extradition of fraudulent LibDem donor Michael Brown from Dominican Republic; Burnley Football Club; winter fuel allowance; unacceptable regulation of British businesses; implications for business of the Vickers Report; potential closure of Courtaulds, Bombardier, unemployment in Derbyshire; Bombardier & review of Siemens contract; raising tax threshold to £10k; riots in Croydon – borough undefended by police /reduction in police numbers; meet with NT, CPRE about defending England’s greenbelt against developers; disputed unemployment figures/NEETs; congratulating winners of an award for women/women in boardrooms; scandal of elected MPs who don’t take their seats yet take full allowances and short money (dig at Sinn Fein); murder & kidnap of British couple in Kenya.
VIDEOS TO FOLLOW