OPINION: David Cameron at PMQs is Flashman, but John Bercow is Uriah Heep



I’ve just been looking at today’s Westminster PMQs, because the media word I keep on seeing about the weekly bunfight as I scan the day’s events (I’ve been busy in the real world all day) is ‘ugly’.

It’s as good a word as one could choose under the circumstances, because there is no sight more ugly than a bully in full flight. And that was Cameron today: full-on School Bully Flashman, beating the crap out of Corbyn Major of the Fourth Remove.

I have less and less time for Jeremy Corbyn as time goes on, but the thing one needs to grasp about Cameldung is that – when it comes to the British Constitution – he is an insouciant vandal, pummelling the purpose of PMQs to death with the same sort of baseball bat applied to the Greek head in recent years.

Spookily, I was surprised to then find this MSM analysis chiming with mine:


The Guardian? The Independent? The Mirror? Wrong: The Daily Telegraph.

The idea of the weekly exchange is that the Oppo leader gets six goes at holding Power to account, and the PM in power has to give said Oppo leader answers that might satisfy a prosecuting counsel in an important case…where the jury is the British legislature. A case, for example, of murder.

Based on today’s PMQs, the Prime Minister just got away with murder.

As one might expect, the Telegraph blames the Labour leader for Cameron’s escape – but that really is moving the goalposts without prior notice. Jeremy Corbyn is constitutionally entitled to an answer….not the twisting of every question to point-scoring by the PM. That, dear reader, is Power refusing to accept accountability.

This is a shot of David Cameron doing just that today:


I wonder: is there an open-minded, reasonable Brit anywhere in the World who finds that study attractive? I doubt it.

Descriptions of the British Prime Minister above might include visceral, nasty, superior, yelling, and yes….ugly.

Is there any one person to blame for this gross abuse of procedure? Overall, no: but in the immediate term, yes: the Speaker and arch-pompous pillock John Bercow.

It is well within the Speaker’s remit (given the brazen question-evasion of Dodgy Dave today) for him to have intervened on all six occasions, and stated the following:

“Order, order….the Prime Minister must answer the Opposition leader’s question.”

Constitutionally, either PMQs is about the First Among Equals giving substantive answers to questions of which he has had ample notice, or it isn’t. The problem we have is that it very clearly isn’t: David Cameron is become the Orwellian Pig, telling us all pigs are equal – but some are more equal than others. As with his ridiculous side-by-side assertion of three years ago that he “wants a level playing field”, but “has no problem with people being given a leg up”, the Prime Minister is once again asserting his right to play games with a distracted and uninformed electorate.

The Speaker is there to stop him and others of similar ilk from doing that. Bercow is falling short in his key role – as set out by Bagehot – of defending the democratic legislature against the untrammelled power of the Executive. Either he must raise his game and rise to the historical occasion; or John Bercow should be told, “In the name of God, go”.

Connected at The Slog: How corporate cronyism has invaded the HS2 fiasco/

33 thoughts on “OPINION: David Cameron at PMQs is Flashman, but John Bercow is Uriah Heep

  1. Excellent, although I disagree with you on Jeremy.

    Jeremy Corbyn is THE man in my eyes…

    He gives Cameron the rope, then quietly sits back and let’s him put it around his own neck. I think he absolutely refuses to become a mirror image of what he sees in front of him..and I think he knows the public are sick to death of The Bullying B*stards of Bulllingdon.

    I’ve seen Corbyn in action with journalists and he takes no shrift, for sure…but I find him to be a very caring, compassionate man who is determined to do the best he can for The People, bringing back compassion and support to a country which has had its very Soul stripped and thrown to The Tory Wolves by The Tory Leaders.

    The Divine Right of Tories is coming to an end..and they won’t go without becoming uglier and uglier, the more desperate they become.

    Apparently, the CPS has now given the police forces around the country to start Bringing In The Crooks who have, for WAY too long, been posing as Politicians…so hopefully, they’ll all be trading in their Savile Row suits for the designer label of HMPrisons.

    By the way, Corbyn’s father, a lawyer, used to represent the homeless for nothing, which I thought you might approve of most heartily, as you might also like the fact that Jeremy’s out there talking to lawyers, urging them to be compassionate..and has said he’ll return Legal Aid if he becomes leader, regarding this as hugely important….http://www.legalcheek.com/2015/11/if-you-can-stick-at-it-jeremy-corbyn-urges-students-to-reject-commercial-law-and-pursue-legal-aid-dreams/

    Bercow you have spot on…He makes me have the overwhelming urge to hit something. I find him utterly pompous and a right pain in the arse….I’m sure he’d not like me either.

    The whole shouting, screaming, screeching, jeering, abusive behaviour is utterly vile and deeply embarrassing. Why on earth this isn’t stopped in this day and age, I’ve no idea.

    Give me 5 minutes as Speaker and I’d soon have ’em sorted out! ;0)

    As to Cameron, you so do NOT want to know what I’d do to him, being a WASPI woman whose life he’s imploding so, SO deeply, but suffice to say, when Legal Aid is restored, I’m going to take that bastard down, down, DEEPER and DOWN for what he’s done to me, to so many others…Osborne too..and IDS…

    Lock ’em up, the whole darn LOT of ’em and let’s get Jeremy in there. Shame Mhairi Black can’t join him too, for then we’d have TWO really honest, caring politicians, who are both TRUE CHIEFS, fighting for Their People.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Good piece, but if the newspapers meant any of it they would have said it before the general election. They have been ordered to make mild criticisms of their stooge so that the contempt for David Cameron that all right-thinking people feel doesn’t boil over (as it should) to the people who put him there.
    That is also why they keep lambasting Corbyn, despite what I thought was an extremely dignified and competent performance at PMQs today – they don’t want anyone outside the establishment to start benefiting from Cameron’s unpopularity. And they have to keep labelling Corbyn ‘extremist’ to try to fool people into believing the Tories are not extreme. In fact, I suspect the reality is dawning on the Tory puppetmasters that there are many people like myself who have never voted Labour before but will vote for Corbyn’s Labour Party if he remains in post. That’s why Cameron was starting to feel the pressure today.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. As far as Westminster is concerned, all the great debates about political philosophy are in the past. The current shallowness is enough to raise anyone’s blood pressure – just as it lowers everyone’s expectations. The corporatisation of our political system has left a stain on our democracy and burdened us with an impoverishment of riches.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. You’re voicing and catching the deep shift of public opinion very well in this post, JD. Both previous replies (thanks to you both) add detail and depth to your analysis, and it might well be worth asking ourselves “If even the Torygraph finds this contemptuous dismissive patronising attitude to PMQs offensive, what about the general public?

    The cover-up over Hillsborough in the 90s engendered a similar approach from the Tory front bench, of bullying, lies, and contempt, but this time around it won’t wash – note the way that in the wake of the vindication of Liverpool, we see from many quarters public concern about other contemptuous lies surfacing like human remains from the swamp, the “battle” (ambush!) at Orgreave, for example….same officers, same police solicitor. Perhaps even there will be some back-reference to the “battle” (another penned-n ambush) o0f the Beanfield. Personally, I’ve started to wonder whether the use of the police as government stormtroopers in the 80s onward, and the excesses of Special Branch undercover in the same cause. led to the attitudinal corruption of an entire generation of the police. And I haven’t even mentioned the Met!

    Willy-nilly, the public narrative of the past decades is coming into question, and it’s looking uglier by the day. Mrs. Thatcher’s stridently one-sided conviction politics (e.g. introducing “rubbishing” as a verb for PMQ tactics, proclaiming “the enemy within”, “there is no such thing as society” , “there is no alternative” etc etc ad nauseam) poisoned our body politic, and Blairism was merely a much slicker, smoother version of more of the same when the chips were down, as many Brits realised after 2003 and the War on Terror.

    Politics and politicians in Britain, the USA, and the EU, are finding their support dissolving and the old certainties dissolving into disrepute.


    Liked by 4 people

  5. Lucky Dave Cameron’s trademark inexperience ( and his advisers) shone today at question time when he came out swinging like a man primed to attack is best form of defence.
    Khan 1/12
    Goldsmith 6/1
    Cameron should read more Thatcher. ”You can’t BUCK THE MARKET”


  6. Whilst I was indifferent to Miliband junior, the treatment being meted out to Corbyn makes me more and more determined to vote for him. I guess it’s that British thing of siding with the underdog and also going for a genuine departure from the grim neo-liberal consensus that has been toxifying the political discourse for the last forty years.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Another thought occurs to me is that Cameron may be under very intense pressure and that is causing him to lash out so intemperately. It is certainly behaviour consistent with his Flashman persona, perhaps he will shortly self-destruct…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If our PM can’t be civil and statesmanlike at all times regardless of pressure he should not be PM. I gave up listening to PMQ and the Scottish equivalent years ago, I find the dollied up questions, the juvenile jokes, the rudeness, the lack of any semblance of maturity, the expediency and the total absence of substance nauseating. The only positive aspect is it provides a window for he world to see just how impoverished UK politics is, how low it has sunk. The mother of all parliaments? Don’t make me laugh.

    Liked by 6 people

  9. Ample witness here spoken through commenters who are experiencing what TTIP will bring to Europe – unless the upwelling of grass-roots democratic force can prevent it temporarily. It will only be temporary: the kind of democracy the US and UK represents is not the kind that lets people express an opinion of their own.

    Around here, if you have the courage to express an opinion around here, some British man is going to find it objectionable – and therefore fair game to troll. That only puts trolls, bankers and Cameron in the same room, chatting happily about nothing at all. Because if they mentioned anything specific – and the more important something becomes, the more specific it is – it might break the spell of their fellowship in untruth. This is the orwellian world where lies are truth: the problem for a troll, or Mr Cameron for that matter, is that they are unable to perceive it.

    Mr Ward gives ample evidence of the above in the post, quoting the length of time Cameron gave to important issues… whatever her faults might be, Merkel gives a lot more time to speaking about such things, both in and out of the Bundestag. The media may treat her like Corbyn, but we know what the media are paid to do.

    Bemused speaks of the ‘Mother of Parliaments’, obviously they missed my comment from yesterday about mummification!

    If a person lacks the confidence to express themselves and I speak generally here of the kind of person who is exemplified in the troll, will find it difficult to deal with situations that demand that they be specific. When the Conservative Front Bench is made up of ‘trolls’ (to coin a term) is it any suprise that they have a problem with someone like Corbyn who will stand up for himself and what he believes in. Corbyn, for all his faults, represents what democracy is.

    Which is why the press are lambasting him in the way trolls lambast the people they find objectionable.

    If Mr Cameron in specific and the House of Parliament in general (with one or two rare exceptions such as Jeremy Corbyn and the now retired Martin Slater of Reading West) were to engage in true democracy, they would stop shouting and start to listen. But then, PMQs might become something that people switched their radios on to hear – rather than switching them off.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I too can no longer stand PMQ’s. It is a bear pit. So much time is wasted and Bercow seems to have no grip on it at all. An example. Whenever there is an opening statement by the PM over something such as the .death of a soldier, why is the PM closely followed by so many other MPs and Party leaders keen to associate themselves with the PM’s views. Surely it should be the Speaker to make these comments on behalf of the whole house!

    Slightly off topic but with regard to the Brexit discussions. If a principal plank of the Exit campaign is the retention or reacquisition of “Sovereignty” why is the loss of control inherent in the TTIP agreement being tacitly accepted?

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I think the public is sick of PMQs. My Wednesday morning routine of 2 hours of walking football and getting home to watch PMQs is my highlight of the week. I have lost count of the abuse that Corbyn gets and that goes unpunished by the speaker. I reckon Corbyn should ask 6 pointless questions along the lines of “how’s your mum’s roses?” because very few questions are ever answered. I actually thought this most recent PMQs was the best I had seen Corbyn perform……I really like what he stands for.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I am now certain that there are two Ambrose Evans-Pritchards. They might be twins, they might just look like each other and just happen to have the same name. It’s not unheard of: my Hungarian friend from uni failed school miserably. Some teachers knew him as “John” some of them knew him as “Peter” – so his exam results were divided between the two of them… when it came to the ‘O’ levels, things began to sort themselves out. Luckily for him.

    But as JW opines, there is a similar situation at the offices of the Telegraph in London. Two men with the same name causing no confusion at all… only the things they write are as different as chalk is from cheese. The only strange thing is that none of the editorial staff have noticed this.

    Yesterday’s masterpiece is a case in point. It speaks of how TTIP needs to die if it should affect British democracy.


    It’s as if AEP (well, his darker twin at least) has fallen off his rocker. His economically minded ‘other half’ must be wondering what is going on a the Telegraph… but he probably reads the Pink ‘Un with his breakfast, so never gets to see ;-)

    Liked by 1 person

    USE IT…!!!!

    http ://europa.eu/whoiswho/public/index.cfm?fuseaction=idea.hierarchy&nodeID=275348&lang=en
    Find department, then click on internet link

    to get this twerp…
    http ://ec.europa.eu/commission/2014-2019/president

    Have fun…..like I do EVERY DAY when they get my 10 cannon broadside….


  14. @Gemma

    Pritchard seeks to impress with his patrician use of language and his ability to recognise a logical fallacy, but spoils the effect by equivocating – to please his employers, presumably. The result is synergism in reverse: the whole is less than the sum of the parts.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Nil desperandum. At least Bercow has told off Therese Coffey for using her phone-in the chamber!


  16. about TTIP

    I watched an interview between Charlie Rose and the American chief negotiator for TPP one Michael Greene

    Rose asked – what is TPP all about
    Greene replied – It’s about protecting America’s Intellectual property
    It is not about trade
    It is about protecting the Balance Sheet
    It is about protecting the Intangible Aseets on the Balance Sheet

    I’m watching Geoge Galloway and his guest Dr Bob Gill
    Gill says that the person who got the NHS included into the TTIP negotiations is Simon Stevens , when he was running United Healthcare in the US and, who is currently CEO of NHS England

    Bob Gill is a left wing talking head for Remain, who wants to reform the 4th Reich from within, and cannot understand why the Brexiteers are not using the NHS privatising issue. Neither can I.

    I was watching Barcelno against Arsenal a few years ago and with a minute left Barca have a free kick just outside the penalty box.
    Ronald Koeman is staning two steps away and David Seaman is lining up the wall on the left hand side and Seaman moves over to the right and the ITV commentator Briam Moore starts repeatedly shouting “He’s going to chip it, he’s going to chip it”. Koemen takes two steps forward and chips it over the wall into a big hole between the posts…game over.

    They are going to privatise the NHS

    Liked by 1 person

  17. When steam is assailed by hot air, the issue necessarily becomes clouded; Cameron and his ilk have long warmed to this. The politics of distraction have never been more shameless in their inadequacy – in that respect, at least, climate change is both an indisputable reality and a very considerable danger.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The six questions all lumped into one is the act of the UK goverment renaging on all its promises that actually made it elected many times. We will never have a Democracy in the UK without the truth and we will never have accountability because if you have commited a crime you do not admit your guilt do you –>>> Looks at the politicians.

    @Bertie Bear

    The US trade agreement happens when you have an economy that does not add up except through fraud and you must extract in your favour as much as you can from others. It targets consumers globally it is the only way to support the global US corporations. The NHS falls under the US medical and pharmaceutical corporations the local on the ground mechanism of doctors pushing their wares not the doctors.

    If you are not going to print you have to rob others …

    Liked by 1 person

  19. @Hiero.

    Climate change is always happening: the earth has been swinging in & out of ice ages for millennia. No problemo.
    What is at issue is man-made global warming caused by industrial production of Carbon Dioxide gas, CO2.
    This is not happening.
    RSS & UAH satellite data & radiosonde baloon datasets show no warming now for almost 19 years, while increasing CO2 output has had the effect of vastly improving crops & the natural biosphere, ie greening the earth, totally beneficial.
    The Agendas behind the climate scam are de-industrialisation & depopulation.

    UN Agenda 21 is the United Nations plan for the 21st century, which is de-industrialisation, depopulation & a world totalitarian govt dressed up as environmentalism.
    Look up agenda 21 for dummies.

    Go to http://www.wattsupwiththat.com & put “no warming for 18 years 8 months” in the search box.
    You should get Lord Monckton’s articles.

    John Doran.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. @ JW.
    Excellent, thanks. Cameron, the Orwellian pig, hehe.

    I think of Parliament as a Punch & Judy show, a distraction designed to con us into thinking we have a democracy.
    Punch allegedly represents the workers, while Judy purportedly stands up for the bosses, what nonsense.
    Both actually serve their Globalist Bankster Corporate (GBC) masters.

    The GBC representative in parliament is the Remembrancer. He has seats in both the Commons & Lords, sits beside Bercow, a staff of 6 lawyers, budget of £5.3 million, as of May, 2013, & scrutinises every piece of UK legislation.
    This is part of why, unlike Iceland, UK Banksters have suffered zero comebacks from the global disaster they caused in 2008, while the poor are taxed on their bedrooms, & the lunacy of austerity is imposed on Western economies to ensure that economic recovery is impossible.


    An article showing the remembrancer pictured beside the globalist dope Gordon Brown.

    John Doran.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Good article from PCR on Zerohedge this morning.


    The Canadian experience under NAFTA could be summarised by this quote from the lawyer of Ethyl Corp who produced the neurotoxin petrol addititive MMT which the Canadian government attempted to ban:

    “It wouldn’t matter if a substance was liquid plutonium destined for a child’s breakfast cereal. If the government bans a product and a U.S.-based company loses profits, the company can claim damages under NAFTA.”

    We can be sure the corporations have refined their evil in subsequent years. While the mainstream is arguing about AGW, TTIP and its associated ‘Trade Agreements’ will force Monsanto’s unwanted G.M.O.s on Europe, and dismantle any environmental protection that interferes with corporate profits, while at the same time dismembering the public weald, including the NHS. Why is there no potential general strike over these proposals? Where is the outrage? Why did our ancestors bother putting their lives on the line for the semblance of democracy that they managed to wrest from the elites in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries?

    Corporate dictatorship is about to be enshrined in English and European law and our treasonous political elites are bought and sold.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. The world is quickly falling into total dystopia! men/woman without real moral conviction,all failing to do there duty to there nations since getting rid of national sovereignty leaves you in a position of morally of serving yourself or humanity?!
    Cameron and his ilk serve only themselves,hence the dystopia!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I disagree. I don’t think PMQs is a punch and judy show anymore. If it were just a show then the media and establishment politicians in Parliament would be perfectly happy for Corbyn to succeed. As it is they’re trying through fair means and foul to crush him.
    Indeed, the whole narrative that we see a lot in the papers today that ‘they’re both as bad as each other’ is another tactic by the elite to discourage people from believing in real change and to suggest the whole system is rotten. It’s a scorched-earth to try to distract people from elements of the system that are rotten to the core – especially the Conservative Party and the mainstream media.
    In fact, I think the system can sometimes throw up genuine wild cards, and Corbyn is one. What we’re seeing now is a smear campaign to snuff out this flicker of hope. Which is why everyone, whatever your previous affiliations, should vote Labour today for the sake of democracy in Britain.


  24. Great topic, succinctly started & eloquently supported & expanded to my mind,to my eyes & mind at least. Warmed my heart more than a tad. thank you to all.

    I’m also concerned too. Wile the realisation of the lack of equity & the increasing flow towards the critical mass of a weight of opinion for change is becoming evident, there is always a chance that the move to correct wrongs can overshot & create other inequitable situations. It’s the stuff “Famine & Feast” is made of.

    Righting a historic wrong is a far easier task than projecting the correct direction to take into the unknown. It’s not Cool heads that are needed, but balanced & rational minds, a little focused passion always helps too.

    Liked by 1 person

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