After getting continuously angry at both the state of politicians in our country and the lack of political education, I decided to start a weekly segment on what happened at Prime Minister’s Questions, *referred to now on as PMQs, which is a weekly session (usually on a Wednesday) where the Prime Minister takes questions from Members of Parliament, and more often than not engages in some playground-esque fighting with the leader of the opposition. Remember when David Cameron told Jez to out on a proper suit? Just another example of the finery making decisions for the rest of us.
To be fair, the daily politics did a brief segment after PMQs had aired about the psychology of the whole thing, and the use of questions from constituents by Jeremy Corbyn to add a more serious tone to the whole thing, and it has kind of worked, Jez does seem like a leader who is less likely to join in with the ribbing, but that theory seems to have collapsed on itself a little bit in recent weeks.
So what did they talk about this week? That’s if they were even able to talk at all. If you’ve watched PMQs at all in your life you’ll be familiar with the shouting you can hear from the front and back benches, politicians seem completely unable to control themselves when they enter the chamber, shouting their opinions left, right and centre, even provoking Speaker Bercow to halt the proceedings, and discipline the MPs in a very Headmaster sort of way, claiming he would keep them there until the session was over, no matter how long it took. David Cameron even had the audacity to call out the opposition over shouting (not that I’m sticking up for them, but at a time where they were actually pretty quiet) when both before and after this his own party were acting like rabid animals. This behaviour is really nothing new, but how much longer can we as the public really condone it? You’d be forgiven for mistaking those involved for some lads who just got a bit of freedom in their public boarding school and sneaked in a few WKDs after hours.
But moving on to what should matter more than screaming at each other.
Justice for the 96.
The recent inquest into the Hillsborough tragedy has found it to be an unlawful killing, one which was caused by lack of police and ambulance intervention, something all members of the house seemed to agree on. This is a massive weight off the shoulders off all involved, and now the focus is on bringing those involved in the fighting this verdict to justice. Jez did shed light on bringing those involved in the lies, the smear campaigns and the cover-ups to justice, prompting not a secure answer from DC but an acknowledgement all the same. The Hillsborough event is the largest football/stadium related tragedy in British history and continues to be remembered and suffered from Liverpool supporters and football fans alike, but the labelling of Liverpool fans as ‘hooligans’ and shifting the blame from police to the fans themselves, specifically from tabloid newspaper the sun, is one that created widespread anger and hatred, which only now has the opportunity for the air to be cleared.
Some TV rhetoric here, DC obviously trying to show how ‘down’ he is with the kids, claiming that Jez just keeps repeating himself and that although he enjoys a repeat he doesn’t want it in the house (har har) leaving Jez himself to retort with ‘sometimes a repeat gets more views than the original’ (taking some lessons in shade there Jez?) The policy in question is the reorganisation of state schools into academies. With DC claims will give power to the teachers and the parents opposed to bureaucracy, but in doing this is also creating academy trusts, which gives more power to the local council, which DC claims is bad for schools? (come again?) Also, in response to Jez’s evidence that many counties and school officials and headmasters don’t like the plans and that it’s created widespread criticism, the only positive quote DC can produce is by a member of the academy trust itself. Way to fool us of the PR behind it Dav, we sure believe you now.
The talk of education also came back to the economy (as it always does) and DC claims that a stronger economy under the conservatives means that they can put money into reorganising education and make these academies great. But why not put the money into the schools and themselves? The fear labour has is that it could force schools that are already outstanding and are doing a good job to change when no one wants it to. Jez even asked when DC was going to start listening to his public. I think we’ve all been asking that question since 2010.
In case you haven’t heard, the bill to let 3000 unaccompanied children into the UK and be housed/fostered was rejected by the House of Lords the other day. I don’t know how he thought he was going to spin this into a positive, but he tried ultimately by claiming that the children were safe in European countries already and that they didn’t need our help. ‘But what about the 10,000 children that have gone missing whilst claiming refugee status in Europe?’ asks more than one MP. Good question. 3000 children would barely change our current status when it comes to migrants. They’re defenceless and need a home, how can anyone feel that it would be a bad decision? Is it not a similar situation to the second world war and the policy of evacuation, or Jewish children fleeing their homes in order to try and find safety? According to DC, that’s too far of a statement to make, but I don’t think it’s far enough. Show some humanity. Find more information on the bill here.
On the subject of Nazi sentiment.
Labour whip and MP Naz Shah was recently called out for racist and quite frankly unacceptable comments she made in which she referred to herself as an anti-zionist. David Cameron and other members of the house used the last part of PMQs to put pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to remove her as the Whip, a sentiment I actually agree with him on. She recently issued an apology, in which she wholeheartedly apologises for her statements and her actions and believes herself to have been wrong, Jeremy Corbyn issued a statement in which he also claims she no longer believes these views, but other labour politicians including the shadow chancellor himself John McDonnell, have released sentiment about racist beliefs at any point being completely intolerable, and backing calls for Shah to be suspended from the party. It may be a difficult situation, but the sentiment is one I agree with. No matter how long ago or how meaningful the apology, racism should not be tolerated in any way and Corbyn should make an example of this (I mean come on, it’s a post-lemonade world people!) The added pressure this afternoon will most likely lead to her resignation from her position as the Whip, and perhaps even an MP, but only time will tell.
Aside from that there were a few mentions of the steel crisis, the doctors strike, more money (mo probs) and a lot of MPs acting like animals, and unless I zoned out half way through (which is possible) I didn’t catch Jez asking DC a question that had been sent in from the public, which is his signature move. But hey, let’s see what happens next week, it seems Jez is upgrading his sass levels, which should make for an interesting few months in the lead up to the London mayoral election and of course the EU referendum. Stay tuned.