Political Promise

The Final PMQ Showdown of the 05-10 Parliament

In Uncategorized on April 9, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Yesterday in Parliament, the final gathering for Prime Ministers Question Time ensued with the same theatricals, the same uproar and outrage, and the same uninhibited adversarial politics as ever. However, this week’s PMQ was particularly intense as the final one before the live leader’s debate, which by stark contrast will consist of hushed audiences, and the same strict structure as seen in the Chancellor’s debate. So this in mind, and the campaign in full swing, the three main parties went all out in the final PMQ to criticise each other’s policies.

Cameron made his attacks on Brown in three main areas: the economy, pensions, and security (with the obvious National Insurance increase of 1% being at the forefront of his debate.) Cameron issued his most derisive hit at Brown by continuing his run of name dropping, as he mentioned how even Paul Walsh, Labour’s business advisor, was behind the Conservatives in terms of National Insurance plans. According to Cameron, he and ‘half of Britain’ are now supporting the Conservatives plans to deal with the deficit. Not only was Brown under fire for his ‘tax on jobs,’ but the evocative allegation that Brown is ‘robbing pensioners,’ was also a key one in Cameron’s agenda. One of the final blows was targeted at the armed forces and the lack of funding for helicopters, with demands from soldiers apparently falling on the ‘deaf ears’ of Labour.

However, it wasn’t only Cameron throwing the lexical punches as Brown used the phrase first issued by Cameron himself towards Blair, ‘to think he was the future once,’ to condemn Cameron directly. But other than vacuously describing the Tories as the ‘same old conservatives’ and batting back Conservative criticisms by reversing their allegations and firing them back (saying that it is in fact the halting of a National Insurance increase that would jeopardise recovery rather than vice versa), Brown lacked the checkpoints of policy critique held by the Tories in this Question Time.

With the two main parties at each other’s throats, the only thing for Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg to do was to attack them simultaneously. And that he did. He accused the two parties of ‘colluding’ over the cleaning up of politics, and making no attempts to sort out the corrupt hotbed that is Parliament. His repetition of ‘look at them, look at them’ urged the electorate to play a game of spot the difference and was followed by the abrupt assertion that ‘you’ve failed.’ This bluntness echoes the rest of the Lib Dem campaign, which is an attack on the ‘Labservatives’ and their leader ‘Gorvid Camerown.’ Although highly evocative, the Lib Dems are just dabbling in the same theatricals as the ‘Labservatives.’

What the public are hoping for in the live televised debate is for the party leaders and their policies to be laid bare. As intriguing as these jibes are, substance is what the electorate are yearning for, as in the end that is the only thing that can really separate the three main parties from becoming the ‘Libourservatives’

Nicole Berry


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