Thursday, 9 December 2010

PMQs 8 December 2010

A cross-post from Goodnight Vienna of Prime Minister's Questions from yesterday.  As the Labour leader's questions all related to tuition fees - the debate is currently underway in the HoC - some readers may be interested.  Videos of the session are available here.

Cameron paid tribute to Private  John Howard of 3rd Battalion Paratoop Regiment who lost his life in Afghanistan this week.  He also mentioned the two wounded, currently in Camp Bastion hospital, and "doing well".

Miliband's questions were all about tuition fees  - was it right that English students will have to pay "the highest fees in any university system in the industrialised world?"  He played on the LibDems being split four ways and the dissent of David Davies (Haltemprice & Howden).

He did better this week, probably stung by the Buzz Lightweight tag,  but he'll have to come up with lines less stilted than " a week really is a long time in politics - not waving but drowning."   (Yes, really.  One sentence, two cliches).  His backbenchers loved it all and his performance may be enough to keep his critics quiet for a while.  Let's hope he included enough soundbites for the BBC rolling news.  Credit to him for not rolling over under Cameron's previous onslaughts.

Cameron, flanked by Clegg and Cable, looked uncomfortable, red & flushed, in places.  He countered that fees were lower than in the USA, that a choice had to be made - to expand universities, see them well-funded.   He pointed out that graduates would only pay if successful, ie after earning £21,000 pa.  Once again he said that the coalition had been left an unsustainable situation - the Labour govt and Labour Party had commissioned and backed the Browne Review. 

The 'highlight' for me was the brief Cameron/ Jack Dromey exchange.  Will Mr Harriet Harman ever be able to live down the fact that the all-women shortlist in the constituency was suspended so that he could stand? Cameron suggested Dromey should dress more apppropriately in future.

Did your MP ask a question?

Mark Menzies, Con, Fylde;  Chris Kelly, Con, Dudley South; Angus MacNeil, SNP, Na h-Eileanan an Iar; Malcom Bruce, LibDem, Gordon; David Crausby, Lab, Bolton North East; AnnaSoubry, Con, Broxtowe;  Kelly McCarthy, Lab, Bristol East;  Stewart Jackson, Con, Peterborough;  Emma Reynolds, LB, Wolverhampton North East; Michael Ellis, Con, Northampton North;  Ian Mearns, Lab, Gateshead;  Anne Main, Con, St Albans;  Gregory Campbell, DUP, East Londonderry;  RichardOttaway, Con, Croydon South; David Hanson, Labour, Delyn; George Eustice, Con, Camborne & Redruth;   Nigel Dodds, DUP Westminster leader;  Karen Lumley, Con, Redditch;   George Howarth, Labour, Knowsley;  Ian Swales,  LibDem, Redcar;   Jack Dromey, Lab, Birmingham Erdington;  DonFoster, LibDem, Bath;   Stella Creasy, Lab Co-op;  JeremyLefroy, Con, Stafford; Gregg McClymont,  Lab, Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East.

Matters raised:

UAVs being manufactured in his constituency invitation to visit;  remand in custody/bail conditions, spending cuts to VSO work; 138% increase in energy prices;  being good neighbours to the elderly;  choice of music from the Smiths; the OECD attainment levels;  cuts to Wolverhampton Uni;  Health & Safety legislation;  funding cuts to tourist industry in North East;  binge drinking & knife crime;  additional resources for N.Ireland - funding for security services;  withdrawal of troops in 2011 - which allies did he discuss it with;  broken pledges (child trust fund/tuition fees); transport regeneration for Camborne & Redruth;  FIFA/LibDem attack;  Armed Forces/Military Covenant;  death of two workers in Knowsley; better facilities for schools in Redcar; Clegg/tuition fees;  relocation of MoD sites;  school sportsd funding;  private endowments to universities;  preparations for bad weather in Scotland.


Demetrius said...

Many questions, few real answers. Does nobody realise that there has been a "bubble" in higher education as well as other things?

subrosa said...

I think many of us do Demetrius, although some still don't see it.

Posturing at its best I suppose. Or worst.

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