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Was that an apology from Blair over Iraq, I heard?!

No Chris. Just a statement that the armed forces deserved loyalty whether people support the war or not.

Cameron not giving Blair a chance to crow about Quentin Who.

Tribute being given in question five. Will he use his sixth question?

Ah, my mistake.

Or did I lose count?

Fantastic, gracious question from Cameron in congratulating him. Blair saying how courteous Cameron has been.

Wonderful, just wonderful.

Cameron did very well there. Well chosen questions which didn't allow Blair a TV clip attacking him.

Is CMD sitting on Q6 to quote Judas's description of Gordon Brown (quoted on CH yesterday) lest some reference to him be made today?

Brilliant by DC.

Totally made it dull, avoided the defection, and was very courteous.

Mike Smithson at politicalbetting agrees

"I thought Cameron played a blinder at what could have been a very difficult final Blair’s PMQs. The questions he chose and his tone a manner prevented Blair from exploiting the Davies defection."

Very good from Cameron. Very human.

Not exactly exciting, but a very smart decision by Cameron.

You can almost sense the frustration and tension on the Labour benches that there's been no opportunity for Tony to rip into us. Brilliant!

Blair has never dropped the ball at PMQs. He is a brilliant performer. Labour will miss him.

Brilliant by Blair 'Not bothered with that one'

Yes very funny by Blair, he has good comic timing - the waiting before the answer came was great too.

The more Blair shines, the less Brown appeals. Go for it Tony!

Uh-oh. Nick Winterton's bringing up Europe.

Here's Blair's chance.

Blair didn't take the opportunity - must be demob happy now.

Well he didn't really take it! Odd...

Another highly amusing reply by Blair. Give the devil his due!

They could sell this on DVD (i know I mark myself out as a hopeless anorak)

Yes Andrew, very good. I liked his "au revoir, auf wiedersehen and arrivederci" response to Nicholas Winterton just now too.

Probably my favourite performance by Blair, he seems real. Cameron handled it as well as he could.

Of course good old Nick Winterton is quite correct but Blair's reposte was pure gold! As far as his last PMQ's go it was far too 'clubby'. The parties are far too close nowadays for it to have real 'atmosphere'. The lady's last PMQ's was a 'tour de force', Bliar's an 'informal chat-showesque' performance. Des O'Connor should have been in the Speaker's Chair.

I'm sorry but am I the only one who felt a bit queasy at the love fest? I'd rather have Maggie than Blair any day.

I switched to BBC Parliament.

Most affecting. Cameron waving the Tories to their feet. Very, very good by Blair, by Cameron, by the Tories in general.

How insignificant Quentin Davies must feel.

Simon, Bill, I think it shows our party has a much more genorsity of spirit than the Labour Party. That won't do us any harm I don't think.

I thought that was a farce from first still last. In some ways it's good that most people do not watch PMQ's, if they realised what our parliamentarians do with this time they would I think be appalled.
I am sorry but I cannot feel any generosity whatsoever to Tony Blair who successful politician that he is is also a thoroughly bad man.

[email protected]:40pm- having a 'genorosity of spirit' does not mean NOT having to highlight the FAILIURES of ten years of Labour rule. Compare and contrast the two final PMQ's of Thatcher and Bliar. Where oh where was the battle of ideas between Conservative and Labour? The House of Commons is beginning to resemble the Carlton! Waiters on service will follow!

Great photo! Did you take it?

Sam took it, Ay up. He's a very talented young man - or so he keeps telling me!

I don't think goign on the attack would have done us any good today. Tony Blair's fabricated statistics and Tory bashing would be beemed around the world. Cameron played it superbly imo.

You are sounding like a bad loser, Malcolm

To the one who complains about "clubbyness", don't you remember on Mrs T's last outing how she joked with the Beast of Bolsover over becoming governor of the European Bank? So even with all the bitterness and greater divisiveness of those days, there was room for pleasantries (albeit that one had a barb for her own europhiles).

Having said that, the Nicholas Winterton question - and reposte - were spendid. Blair did not just say au revoir but also the same thing in three or four other continental european languages.

The sad perspective is that despite his back-handed tribute to the House, he has done so much in his time to undermine it. Whereas Mrs T fell because she was trying to defend it.

Cameron was right to get his troops to join the standing ovation, although the five second pause before they did so was appropriate. The traditionalist in me regrets that they clapped - couldn't someone have provided a good supply of order papers to be thrown in the air!

Perhaps Comstock, but I'm right and I suspect you know it.

Sad to say, but Blair was superb.

C'mon Malcolm - sometimes it's right that humanity triumphs over partisanship.

Why was David Liddington sat uncomfortably in between Cameron and Davis? It looked daft. Was he that desperate to be 'in shot' on Blair's final PMQs?

I thought better of you Malcolm. Blair is not "a bad man". He lacked judgement in many vital areas, achieved much less than he'd like to think, had little sense or understanding of history, but bad, no.

But as for that Brown...

Sorry - but what on earth were Tories doing giving Blair a standing ovation???

This is the man who:
1. Took us into an illegal war in Iraq, with no plan for reconstruction
2. Created a culture of spin and deceit at the heart of Government
3. Treated Parliament with disdain.

He is not a great leader and seeing DC wave his troops to their feet (while they were quite rightly staying put) shows a massive lack of judgment. I feel quite strongly about this :-)

Blair's closing statement was very moving, and he made a nice insight about the nobility of high politics.

The skill of the Labour side has just slumped. Thankfully.

Nothing partisan about it all. I believe he has debased politics in this country and his tribute to our armed forces many of whom lie dead and maimed entirely on his account made me want to spit. Perhaps it is a failing in my humanity but the only thing that gladdens my heart about Blair is that he's finally gone.

Cameron did superbly at nullifying any chance for Blair to mention Davies, and looked conscientious by asking - as he should have done - about flood defence.

I think Davies's constituency in Lincolnshire is far more interested in tide water than his pitiful defection.

As for Tony. Yes, it was amusing how he batted off the religion question by the Lib Dem, but it would have been more so without the knowledge that he's been batting off questions without answering them at PMQs for 10 years now.

In some ways it's good that most people do not watch PMQ's, if they realised what our parliamentarians do with this time they would I think be appalled.

My 17 year old daughter watched for a while and then couldn't stand any more. She was incensed by the childish behaviour.
We are at war, our leaders are selling our democracy down the river and reneging on promises made to get elected (The arrogance of the au revoir comment showed total contempt for the electorate) yet MPs continue to behave like a bunch of spoilt public schoolboys on a freebie.

Shame on them.

Ok Malcolm :-)

Cameron was masterful. Blair is the story today but, by calling on his troops to give the PM a standing ovation, DC has ensured that he will appear on tonight's news in a positive, generous and non-partisan light.

And the best of it is that the essential decency of the genture is authentic to DC's character. Unlike Brown, he's not a petty man.

Fantastic photo, is Sam a trained photographer?

Much as I would have liked to have seen Cameron going in harder it is clear that Quentin made that impossible. To have got through today without that odious little toad being mentioned by Blair had to be the main aim and we succeeded.

Brown and his new best mate Quentin must have been seething.

Interesting that Cameron had to encourage Tory MPs to stand and join in the applause.

Andrew - David L was sat there because he had just finished Northern Ireland Questions. He is our Shadow SoS for Northern Ireland

"Interesting that Cameron had to encourage Tory MPs to stand and join in the applause."

It was probably the best outcome.

The reluctance shows the Tories aren't in thrall to Blair, but then the applause shows Cameron and the Tories are bigger men than a lot on the other side.

Jennifer.. he shouldn't have encouraged them.

He was just getting caught up in the moment.

I agree he did well in his questions; but can anyone on this board suggest one thing that Blair did that deserved a standing ovation???

Apart from Northern Ireland. Oh, and Bosnia.

Apart from Northern Ireland and Bosnia, can anyone...

Oh, a stable economy.

Apart from Northern Ireland, Bosnia, a stable economy... etc etc etc...

what on earth were Tories doing giving Blair a standing ovation???
I feel quite strongly about this

Oh come off it, I can't believe the petty, mean-spirited nastiness of some of the comments on here.

Malcolm and the other whingers: imagine the pictures on the news if the Tory benches were all sitting on their hands while the entire Govt side PLUS the Lib Dems, Ulster Unionists etc were all on their feet applauding. It would have looked ungenerous in the extreme and reflected extremely badly on us.

No doubt about it, Blair was one in a million.

John Reid is being interviewed on Sky and is discussing how he consoled a tearful Margaret Beckett at the end of PMQs.

The naughty Sky interviewer suggested that it might be because she was about to lose her own job!

Well said Malcolm and Deborah. I entirely agree. What some might call Tory magnanimity/graciousness/good manners can also
be read as indicative of the Tory weakness that has missed or not even attacked so many open goals since Labour have been in power. Labour are cawing about the nauseous standing ovation. Maggie did more for this country than
Blair but then the Cameroons wouldn't get that.

Blair was a nice guy but an average PM. As much as I dislike his leadership in the past ten years, you can't dispute that he continually had Britain's best interests at heart.

As Liberal Tory says, it would have looked petty, small and miserable not to have applauded with everyone else.

Blair's in the past now. We can afford to be polite.

The real enemy now is Brown...

I think Labour will miss Blair alot. Did you see Cherie say to the journos We wont miss you at all... I suspect the feeling with the British public may be mutual. Such a difference from Norma Major and Dennis Thatcher.

Cherie Blair = Nightmare.

Well said, Deborah.

Do you want to know why we lost three general elections on the trot? Because the British people thought we were a bunch of sour, nasty sods, as exemplified by a few of the mean-spirited comments on this thread.

And do you want to know why we're going to win the next general election? Because our leader today is the embodiment of grace and generosity as he has just proved at PMQs.

Re Blair and "you can't dispute that he continually had Britain's best interests at heart".

I assume that is why he has deliberately weakened parliament, and why we will have to pay even more to the EU, we have ceded more powers to the EU, we launched a flawed war against Iraq whilst underfunding and overstretching our forces, we are a far less free society and less safe society today than we were ten years ago.

A dignified and emotional occasion was spoiled by Gordon Brown fidgeting and faffing nervously throughout and even picking his nose at one point.

What a disgusting specimen the man is.

Bill, I'm not saying he WAS right, I'm saying I think he THOUGHT he was right!

The public do have a large soft spot for Blair, whatever his negatives. It is good that they will see our MP's measured respect on the news tonight.

Similarly the public are very sceptical of Brown, let's see how today compares to his first PMQs, I expect a much tougher Dave then.

How long must Brown have been waiting for this moment!

Blair's probably slow walking now to keep Gordon waiting.

"I expect a much tougher Dave then."

He will have to be. Unlike Blair who's got a bit of a soft spot for Cameron, Brown hates him with a passion and will try to crush him like an ant from the start.

Cameron needs to done the hard hat and wade in next Wednesday.

In the middle of the Davies saga yesterday it was hard to imagine that it wouldn't be a talking point today. I'm glad that's turned out to be the case.

Was Davies even there?

The forthcoming reshuffle will be absolutely fascinating. I expect alot of pay back for those loyal Brownites sho stuck with GB over the last decade.

Edison, yeah.

"I expect alot of pay back for those loyal Brownites sho stuck with GB over the last decade."

Wonder if there will be anything for those loyal Brownites who waited to see which way the wind was blowing before advertising their loyalty?

Happy Traditionalist,"And the best of it is that the essential decency of the gesture is authentic to DC's character. Unlike Brown, he's not a petty man."

I think that is an astute comment which will become much more evident as we move into the Brown era, it is also why I do not think that the public will warm to Brown as a PM.

I wonder what odds we have of the first national broadcast journalist to still call Brown Chancellor. It has to happen this afternoon at some point.

What on earth was Richard Younger-Ross on about?

Jonathan Sheppard - Nick Robinson just did on BBC News 24.

What people don't seem to realise is that Cameron was just indicating that it was time to get up and go to lunch. Some of the backbenchers were asleep and may not have otherwise known.

And do you want to know why we're going to win the next general election? Because our leader today is the embodiment of grace and generosity as he has just proved at PMQs.

Rubbish! On that assessment we should have kept IDS. He was ten times the gentleman that Cameron is. Headbangers and Delusional are Dave's middle names.

Cameron had only two alternatives; to look rude, or to look weak. He chose the latter.

The fact that Blair has been systematically wrecking this country over the past ten years would of course be lost on 'Heir to Blair'

Don't forget that Mr Pollyanna Cameron has now spent the best part of two years telling us how wonderful it is to live in Blair's Britain and why we shouldn't knock it.

He should not be surprised, therefore, when the electorate decide - as decide they will - to keep what he plainly regards as a winning team.

Trad T

I take it you voted for Davis in the leadership election...?

Yes I did

Thanks for that, just wanted to double-check. I admire your commitment to Labour-bashing, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with on Cameron. Unfortunately, outside the Westminster village life is rather different. I don't think claiming to be 'heir to blair' is quite the best epithet, but in being fresh, youthful and appealing to floating voters, he's certainly in the same mould.

As for policies, I'd be interested to know what people think which post-war elections were won on specific policy commitments, rather than letting Governments lose them?

Powellite: not knockout winning lines, but the promise to confront the unions would have helped in '79, and arguably the, er, unfortunate tax bombshell argument contributed in '92. Probably Wilson's fatuous 'social contract' assisted Labour in '74 mk II.

Little hazy on memory, but the Tory housebuilding commitment in the early 1950s was a significant factor in keeping out Attlee, if not unseating him. You could say that at the very least Labour's promises of a welfare state were a factor in '45.

Good knowledge, thanks William.

Whilst people may be dissatisfied with the lack of 'substance' from Cameron, I would caution against thinking that adopting heavyweight policies would be the clincher. From what I can see, people don't vote on specific policy substance, they vote more on impressions. Besides, there's no overriding national crisis to address at the moment along the lines of 45 or 79, despite what some people might claim. Unfortunately, we're not fighting the battles of the 70s and 80s again, so harking back to the clear divisions in politics of then is maybe not the most sensible thing to try to do.

Glad I've got that off my chest...

I also always thought IDS had impeccable manners and grace. Bullingdon Boy has struck me as petulant from the outset of his leadership.

Did Cameron want to emphasize that he is the "Heir to Blair" by giving him an unprecedented standing ovation? I thought he wanted the world to forget Osborne's labelling.

Maybe DC did get it right as far as his questions were concerned (not giving Bliar a chance to crow about QD, etc), but I thought his action in gesturing to the Tories to join in the standing ovation was entirely wrong - if only because such behaviour is contrary to Parliamentary traditions; but then, after the ravages of a decade of Bliar, are we surprised? No previous PM has done so much damage to our constitution generally and the two Houses of Parliament in particular (which is just one reason why the Tories ought not to have joined in the ovation!).

As for whether or not Bliar is a "bad man", he probably isn't - he's not IMmoral, he's totally Amoral. He doesn't have a principled bone in his body. Bloody good riddance to him - though Brown is unlikely to be any better.

So Tony Blair has gone at last. Why did we have to endure the sickening sight of a standing ovation for him on his last appearance as Prime Minister in the Commons ? Worse still, why did the Conservative MPs join in (at David Cameron’s bidding) ? Is it any wonder that so many of the public are tired of politicians who do not mean what they say ? Is there really ANYONE on the Conservative benches who admires Blair’s “achievements”, whatever they are supposed to be ?
A final question (for the moment) did any of the Conservative MPs have the courage to do the right thing and sit in stony silence during the applause in the Commons ?

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