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Should be very interesting, with Vince Cable in his first PMQs shootout. Cameron will ask a few at least about the EU Treaty. They WILL hurt Brown. Miliband made some cracking mistakes a week or so ago on the issue, being torn apart by Heathcote-Amory in Foreign Affairs Committee. I look forward to reading the minutes of his latest evidence session.

Gordon Brown really ought to have said targets are for public consumption.

When people look at Brown they think of a clucking cowardly chicken. A man who is scared to face the British people in a general election or a referendum.

Another DC win! Labour's constant barracking makes them look desperate- and makes Broon look even worse ( if he needs THAT amount of 'help' from the benches- oh dear). DC looks more distinguished than Broon at the moment- and by eck- a Jock wishing the England rugby team well. Needless to say, if the Jocks were doing well the sentiment there would be- 'what the f'k has it got to do with anybody from England?!?' Vince 'the Undertaker' Cable did ok, but who was that grinning numpty sitting behind him- what a prune!

Brown must have been quite nervous, his stutter was back again.

Brown's attempt at humour was shocking. He's no Tony Blair. Looking at that syrup in the photo is far funnier.

Where's this £6 billion figure come from. Plucked ut of the air I expect.

Where's he getting this 6 billion black hole nonesense from? That seems to be his answer to everything today so presumably it's the latest NL cunning plan!

If the Conservative Party had offered referendums on the SEA and TEU then I wouldn't mind Cameron asking questions on a referendum on the reform treaty. Why does the party insist on going on about this? It puts people off. Cameron should have answered Brown's question about keeping up the investment in the NHS as well as dropping pointless targets and giving the powers to the professionals.

pretty uninspiring stuff all round. DC wasn't great, but then neither was GB. Always a let-down after a cracking one previously. It's a good job no-one really cares what happens in it...

The government is ripe for attack over the NHS dentistry scandal. I feel this issue is one in which Labour are very vunerable. Labour don't care either, the LabourHome website was cracking jokes about the lack of NHS dentists, even implying that the whole thing was just a myth.

You're absolutely right Cleo,as all the polls in the press have shown nobody at all wants a referendum. Cameron was very stupid to mention it . Equally stupid were Gisela Stewart (Labour MP who sat on the original Constitutional Commitee) and Michael Connarty (chairman of Parliamentary commitee on the EU) who foolishly believe that the 'red lines' are not worth the paper they're written on.

"Cameron should have answered Brown's question about keeping up the investment in the NHS as well as dropping pointless targets and giving the powers to the professionals."

Cleo, this Prime Minister's questions, not leader of the opposition's questions.

Also I would point out that by addressing both the NHS and the EU David Cameron is sticking to the "And Theory" of balanced conservatism- a directon that is proving quite popular.

Someone do us all a favour and pass Trumper's number to Fabricant. And yes, another good day for DC.

I thought it was an easy Brown win.

He was good today and made Cameron look a bit flim-flammy. He had a counter-quote for everything Cameron said.

I wish a Tory MP would answer the accusation that Cleo makes about the SEA and TEU above 12:33.

Cleo, my understanding; the reason the party keeps going on about a referendum is that basically, Tony Blair killed the debate on the constitution (which is more than 90% the same as the new treaty) during the last election by promising a referendum. Using a crafty slight of hand Brown and his team believe they can get out of this PROMISE.

Someone really should take Brown aside and tell him that he's not funny. Even with jokes that are written down for him he just cannot pull them off. It wasn't quite the mauling of last week, but Brown still looks rattled, nervous and almost frustrated by his own mediocre ability at the dispatch box.

Another Cameron win. The Editor is spot on. Cameron made Brown look a weak man once again who can't be trusted.

A very deliberate tactic but one which I think will pay off, especially when Brown appears so desperate that he has to pluck figures from the air to claim we have a £6 billion whole in our plans.

Where on earth did he get this figure from?

This really smacks of desperation, I know I have said this, but it reminds me of the Non Doms argument, where the truth was the Government doesn't have the first idea.

It was another good PMQs.

I also need to ask for forgiveness as I felt a little sorry for the Lib Dems, but then I was always against cruelty on dumb animals.

Can't wait to next week.

Brown's attempts at humour are always going to fall flat. He has a lack of easy charm and a "killer" smile.
He has fallen back on Blair's tactic of trying to laugh off attacks but he does not have the where-with-all. One significant difference is that Blair was able to project a positive future when he rolled off the stats, but Brown always seems bogged down with the past.
I think the Labour Party benches will be relieved is wasn't last weeks car crash but the underlying weaknesses are still there. He is stuttering and not quite in control. When they fall back on Black Wednesday, you know the cupboard is bare. He doesn't seem to realise the public mood has changed and "investment" is not the magic word it once was.
Brown tried confident and cool today but D.C. did it better.

He tink D.C. eased

Cleo for heavens sake the question about the referendum is about trust and speaks very much to, undermine the very character of Gordon Brown.This is crucial and it does not put people off at all-why do you think it does ? please quote your evidence!!

It's strange that the Liberal leader (whoever it is at the time) always struggles to be heard above the noise of the chamber, but when Dennis Skinner gets up to make a pathetically partisan point, the house goes near silent in reverence. Can I ask that our side be a bit less respectful to this unpleasant dinosaur and give him the jeering he deserves.

I lost count of the number of times he verbally stumbled when trying to start his point, "I, I, I, I..."

It really makes you look back at the cool, calm and collected Tony Blair with an annoying amount of admiration for his skill.

Beating the very contentious £6 billion drum will not get Brown very far in the eyes of the public, nor will him accusing Cameron of liking lots of soundbytes!

"Where's this £6 billion figure come from. Plucked ut of the air I expect."

From the over payments of the Tax Credit system, only Brown forgot he created the Tax Credit system.

Ben Brogan's calling PMQ's today as a score draw!

I suspect the £6 billion figure will be dropped next week, in favour of the £7 billion black hole.

Seems to me like Brown has got Blair's scriptwriters back on the case.

"I thought it was an easy Brown win."

You've got to be kidding, or else you are an New Labour toady. Brown stuttered, gibbered, and he bombed with the jokes he tried, he called the Shadow Foreign Secretary the Foreign Secretary, he said he was trying to correct the problems of his and his own Governments actions, and retreated to making spurious claims about black holes in Conservative tax plans, which is a really tedious line of attack.

There is no way this was a Cameron win. Brown has opened up clear strategic lines of attack - £6bn black hole, no commitment to investment, PR over substance - and although his delivery is poor, he is in a strategically commanding position for the long term. Some day soon the leadership will realise that you can get so far on tactics - but strategy is what wins elections.

"I think the Labour Party benches will be relieved is wasn't last weeks car crash "

Northernhousewife, I think it was clear the Labour backbenches were instructed to make as much noise as they could to support the floundering Brown, but even though it came over contrived, and was deflated by Cameron pointing out it was Brown's PPS who was doing the shouting, it wasn't that much noise in light of the probable instructions there were under, and the failure of Brown last week.

Rob, you are entitled not to like Dennis Skinner. He is, however, an energetic constituency MP (I've had occasion to deal with him, so this is first hand personal knowledge) and rather more interesting than his public image might have led you to believe.

"Score draw" is what the Beeb said on the lunchtime news. The Daily Politics gave it as a Cameron Win on points.

Talking of score draws, what shirt will Mr Brown be wearing this Saturday if he bothers to attend this time?

Andrew O'Hagan, in the newspaper formerly known as the Torygraph, has it:

'Like me, he will want England to beat South Africa — and not only because South Africa has an even greater history of obnoxiousness than England — but in his heart the celebrations will pain him.'

Did I really just read that in the Telegraph? Yes. I did.


A person whose nationality is more repellent than the former apartheid regime.

I agree that today's PMQs were a clear win for Cameron and Brown bombed. (embarrassingly so - he really does make one appreciate Blair's skill). I think Cameron's approach was carefully measured to avoid any more charges of 'punch and judy'. Last week some press toady's (including Platell and Oborne) attacked him for being too aggressive. No-one could make that accusation today. Even so Cameron's points still hit home, and Brown was still floundering.

The £6B black hole is unfounded. He is dragging this out of the spin that nuLab civil servants came up with during our conference, which a reputable economic institution found to be completely wrong. He is adopting the old adage repeat a lie frequently enough and loud enough and people will start to believe you.

Cameron and the conservatives must now consider a long term strategy. Cameron's 'If he wants to ask me a question call an election' came across as very weak.

Remind the Prime Minister (as Haigh did with so much humour) that it is his job to ASK questions and Brown's job to answer them!

I agree with the point about Skinner. This champagne socialist should be shouted down as soon as the idiot stands up.

The Conservatives should also do what the Labour Party do and organise their members to ask planted questions, all on a similar theme for that week!

Brown is only happy when he is talking figures. He should be asked time and again about the National Debt he has created.

The question of Brown's trust is one that all Conservatives should craft into their questions. The Labour Party have proved that by repeating and repeating a lie (£6M blackhole is the latest) people will believe it. So keep on and on and on about his untrustworthiness.

Now is the time for all Conservative MP's to fight dirty.

I missed it, but cannot agree that less Punch and Judy is the way to go. Up here on Tyneside, people who I spoke to were much more impressed with Cameron last week than they had been for some time. Perhaps it was because of the extra passion and aggression.

"If the Conservative Party had offered referendums on the SEA and TEU then I wouldn't mind Cameron asking questions on a referendum on the reform treaty."

If the Conservative Party had made a manifesto commitment to hold referenda on those treaties, then you would have a point.

£6bn black hole... what a farce! Looking back over all Brown's budgets how many times has he had to adjust his borrowing figures upwards by well in excess of £6bn? In Brownian economics £6bn is a rounding error, or 1 IT project cost overrun, or the amount wasted in benefit overpayment and fraud.

Instead of worrying about Labour's tired old spin about some non-existent £6 billion black-hole.

Shouldn't we be asking how it is that the Government has allowed a £4billion black hole in its public spending plans for 2008 and further blackholes in the public spending plans in future years (totalling £12 or £16 billion)?

My understanding is that our public borrowing now is close to that of the USA (£35 billion?). As the USA is 5 times bigger in population terms how can this be?

It's about time we hammer Brown on his profligacy. He is borrowing hand over fist and we are not getting any benefit from it.

On another point I think DC has won PMQ's again. The media seem to be focussing on the EU Treaty and the trust issue again.

Cameron's attack concerning the referendum would have been a thousand times more effective if Brown had not had Ken Clarke's bon mots to fall back on. Is it too much to hope that Clarke, who holds a position as Chairman of the Democracy Commission, might care to toe the Party line on this matter or at least shut up?

I suggest an organised fundraising event based the question of what the "Black Hole" will be at the next P.M.Qs - a bit like "Name the Teddy" or "Guess the number of sweeties in the jar".
I'd like to pencil myself in for £9 billio -as a guess, not a financial pledge.

I think it's time we attacked Brown's borrowing, black holes and cycle shifting at PMQ's and attack this £6 billion black hole statment (which I presume is their £3 billion IHT cost doubled)

Cameron on Europe again? This is getting boring. There are so many other issues the public are concerned about like mass migration the lack of NHS dentists etc. I hope he doesn't touch on Europe again next week.

The Sun and The Times and The Telegraph are not bored with Europe and even if they were, it is a serious issue for Britain and this is a critical time. It is also an embarrassing issue for Brown.
I think they are reasons a plenty no.601

Is ITV news Libby Wiener (sp?) a known New Labour bumlicker? Her report on PMQ's and hospital acquired infections has left me gobsmacked. She said that David Cameron had made 'strong allegations', and that there was alot of 'politics' around, but the Government would see this as a 'health issue'. Perhaps someone should politely inform her that the Government RUNS the Health Service. She then made a comment to the effect that the Tories could be seen as equally to blame because they privatised hospital cleaning services when they were in power. Only one problem with that deary; they havent BEEN in power FOR 10 YEARS. Even Gordon Brown wasn't desperate/stupid enough to make that stunning observation during PMQ's. Bloody Cretin.

One more thing, is Fabricant wearing that thing on his head as a joke or some kind of ironic statement? He surely can't believe it resembles actual hair in any way.

Simon R: it's artificially fabricanted.

A bit like the supposed £4bn black hole that Brown claims to have found.

£6bn Londoner!

Gordon Brown claimed in PMQs that targets had led to a decline in deaths from heart disease.
I have put up on my blog a link to the statistics that show that the current trend in cardiac deaths started in the 1970s, and the relevant graphs show absolutely no effect of the Labour government on trends. How can he get away with saying that?

Thank you Rachel. I've added a link to your post from CH's frontpage, too.

Cleo if you are put off by the Conservative Party, why don't you go somewhere else??

I saw a score draw. Brown MUST get his speaking sorted out. As others have said, he kept stumbling. Camerons aside regarding the PPS wasnt quite the bitch-slap he gave Hilary Armstrong way back.

Vince Cable didnt do it for me. His joke "We are both happilly married men" I thought was terrible and the laughter was at him, not with him. He should thank his lucky stars he wont be leader on December 17th...

Ann Treneman in today's Times on P.M.Qs - really worth a read. Very funny.

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