Wednesday, 19 November 2008

PMQ's Reaction...

. I am becoming quite a regular viewer of PMQ's it has to be said. I was watching this week hoping things could barely be worse than last week or could they? James Graham was hoping that Liberal Democrats would be hoping to not to have to hold 'their heads in their hands'.

Opening exchanges about the value of sterling saw Brown try and be cheeky; quoting Margaret Thatcher in response to Conservative, Philip Dunne. Cameron opened by thanking Brown for the independent inquiry into the Baby P case; perhaps he is sensitive to the furore his attitude created last week and decided that a more magnanimous tone was in order.

He then proceeded to attack Brown on the economy and parrot what both Nick Clegg and Vince Cable have been doing; questioning whether the bank bail-out was working and whether measures should not be taken to ensure lending. Cameron asked if any measures were being planned and I wondered at this point what Clegg would find to ask; Brown said that 'fiscal expansion' would be necessary and tried to score points off the Conservative announcements on spending yesterday.

A bit of circular, partisan, ping-pong ensured. Clegg returned to the issue of the bail-out. He asked for concrete evidence the bail-out was working. Clegg also asked if he would consider loaning money to businesses in need directly. Overall, it was much better than last week; from our perspective Clegg attacked Brown on the right grounds but I was left with the slight impression that he had been slightly overshadowed by Cameron. I think this is the problem...we are struggling with our narrative and thus in the polls. Dave Allen has a good piece on this on Liberal Democrat Voice.

17 comments:

oranjepan said...

Of course Clegg is going to be overshadowed by Cameron when he doesn't have a despatch box to lean on, he has two inteventions to Cameron's six and must cede precedence by dint of being leader of the third party.

Taking all this into account the PHI100 ratings of PMQs can be read as Clegg punching well above his weight and improving.

It is hard to make a knockout blow when you're fighting against two opponents simultaneously, but neither is that our style - we try to be constructive in the midst of all the knockabout.

I know we are incredibly hard to please, but really, give credit where it is due!

Darrell G said...

Oranjepan,

Well I kind of did because I actually thought that he was a bit punchy but if I may I think what is happening is that people are frustrated that with the tax cuts issue our case doesnt seem to be getting across...or producing anything good in the polls

I thought he was constructive and I agree with his idea vis a vie lending so if the tone sounds a bit harsh to Clegg I hope I have corrected it here....:)

Oranjepan said...

Sometimes it seems like coming over all positive and constructive can leave one open to attack - especially at LDV!

Darrell G said...

Oranjepan,

Well, maybe but like i said I think what we are seeing is a reflection of frustration. And to be totally fair i've had similar things to what has been said there said to me by one local member in private so ye....I think it's mostly frustration plus a hostility to interventionism....

oranjepan said...

I'd like to caution you against ideological arguments, but I'm not sure you'd take much notice.

Sure they have their place, but every idea follows it's own logic, so it's quite easy to start finding irresolvable contradictions.

The answer is to either seek balance or focus on practicalities, otherwise it all dissolves into tit-for-tat bickering.

Darrell G said...

Oranjepan,

I am quite happy to listern but I assume you would give the same advice to people who throw around the term social democratic like an allegation of satanism??

Darrell G said...

Oranjepan,

Just further to that; I am happy to admit sometimes my responses are angular but the way things are put are often angular so I respond in kind...does that make sense??

:)

oranjepan said...

I don't take things personally, so don't worry 'bout that.

Indeed I do make the same point to the right-wingers, but I admit I choose a slightly less forthright method of putting it to them (different horses for different courses).

Y'see I'm quite happy to call myself a decentraliser - which means not always left, not always centre and not always right; it's somewhere where different approaches can be applied to different problems to get better results.

And I'm not going to dictate to anyone what those results should or must be, I just try to get others to recognise neither should they.

Maybe you should experiment with the tactics you use when arguing with your opponents and see if you get different responses...

Darrell G said...

Oranjepan,

I take your point but I tend to take as I find and I think if you go through the thread on LDV now you will see that I react differently to diffrent people. I dont think its too unfair of me to say some people are entrenched in their views and will never change...they tend to get a trenchent response..

Referring you back to the thread I think you will see particularly in my discourse with Tristan that I am more amenable. However, some peoples attitude is *I* dont want to do it so I shouldnt have too and I guess others shouldnt have too either...and i will name no names...

Darrell G said...

I was just say as a quick addendum to that; in the debate with Tristan I concretly justify my assertion my view of the ends that these politics lead too...

oranjepan said...

Well exactly.
When you encounter a hard-core ideologue like tristan I find it is pointless trying to talk ideology with them because they identify so closely with their fixed idea, so somehow there's got to be another way to outflank them or make peace before things get out of hand.
Charlotte on the other hand sounds like she is constantly developing her ideas and has more of a sense of this.
Well whatever, everybody is coonditioned by our own particular experiences and everybody has experienced different things in our lives. So I guess it shouldn;t be a surprise that we all have slightly different conceptions of the world and the way we'd like it to be, it's just that we can;t always be immediately aware of where people are coming from.
My liberalism comes from a hatred of being categorised and boxed-in, so it probably fits that I don't think there are any person-sized pigeonholes worth being tucked into.

Darrell G said...

Oranjepan,

Maybe it's a quirk of Charlottes personality but my preception of the two is totally the other way around....witness her latest piece which I find totally unsupportable due it's latent paronoia against leftists and it's invective...you say you dont like being boxed in but she boxes people like me in all the time...

Darrell G said...

Oranjepan,

Maybe it's a quirk of Charlottes personality but my preception of the two is totally the other way around....witness her latest piece which I find totally unsupportable due it's latent paronoia against leftists and it's invective...you say you dont like being boxed in but she boxes people like me in all the time...

Oranjepan said...

I think one thing you can definitely say about Charlotte is that she is quirky - I mean, she calls herself 'Ice Queen Hell Bitch Of Death' and yet she's a 'demmer - please, that must tell you something!

Darrell G said...

Oranjepan,

One thing I note about her personality is what I say above...her politics stem from a *I* dont want to do this place...maybe this is why her posts usually reflect no wider social concern...

oranjepan said...

maybe you're only looking skin-deep - sure she clearly has different concerns to you, but you and she aren't necessarily contradictory, just got to find the points of agreement and expand from there.

Darrell G said...

Oranjepan,

It boils down to something that was just being said in a different context...we are both strong characters...

We agree about smoking if that helps :) however, on the economy her ideologically dogmatic outlook which is to *automatically* damn any kind of state intervention rather hampers any kind of agreement doesnt it??