The Plastic Hippo

October 21, 2015

Prime Minister`s Answers

Order order

Order order

It would be erroneous to suggest that the strange universe occupied by David Cameron is governed on the basis of duplicity, distraction, disinformation and downright lies. These leadership qualities so brilliantly manifested by the Prime Minister are not, as some have suggested, second nature to the Right Honourable member of parliament for Witney, but are in fact his default position on just about everything known, unknown, secret or even in plain sight.

On the rare occasions when he is directly challenged by a supine media regarding some truly disturbing allegations, he is heard to comment that “a full denial has been made” even though no denial has been made. When pressed on a particularly tricky issue, he says “I have already answered that question” resulting in a Monty Python “no you didn`t – yes I did – you didn`t – yes I did – no, you did not – I most certainly did” hard hitting political interview. Up until fairly recently, his response to being challenged across the commons dispatch box was to turn red in the face and shout a lot so we can only imagine the depths of his disappointment now that Prime Minister`s Questions have been transformed into something approaching the possibility of rational debate.

Setting aside the state of English rugby, the burgeoning growth of professional British controversialists and the entire output of Channel 5, PMQs must be the most embarrassing example that any society should deliberately broadcast to an incredulous world. Remember how we would laugh at clips of bizarre Japanese game shows? Quite how Japanese viewers or just about any other global audience react to seeing portly middle-aged men shrieking abuse at each other or conveying agreement by braying like sheep is anyone`s guess. One wonders if there are any other democratic parliaments where elected representatives openly laugh at reports of redundancy, poverty, desperation, chronic disability and suicide.

Since his election as Leader of the Opposition, spoilt-sport Jeremy Corbyn has stated that he wishes to change the confrontational nature of PMQs to a “kinder”, more civilised set of exchanges never experienced in the dormitories of Eton after light out. He might be a naive fool or an evil mastermind, but Corbyn`s tactic of reading out questions from the public has wrong-footed Cameron. The PM can no longer ignore the question and ask a question of his own that ends with a snide comment and a sly wink to his hysterical backbenchers. You might think that Mr Speaker would remind him that PMQs is actually called “Questions to the Prime Minister” and not “Shouting Questions from the Prime Minister to avoid answering Questions to the Prime Minister”. Cameron needs to think again and after a few poor showings, his scriptwriters recently made redundant from “The Thick of It” will offer him two strategies.

Firstly, he could carry on as before and ignore the question by attacking the questioner. The full might of GCHQ could be brought to bear to find out exactly who these bloody people are who keep emailing Jeremy Corbyn. Thus the exchange might be as follows;
“Michelle, a single mother from Folkestone, emails to ask how she and her children can avoid starving to death after the removal of Working Tax Credits.”
“The same old unpatriotic unlimited borrowing nonsense from the benches opposite. If Michelle is so destitute, why did she go on holiday to Benidorm in 1995 and why did she use tax-payers money to buy a Billy Bragg CD with a credit card? She has never voted Conservative and we know because I`ve seen her last three ballot papers.”
Darren, a steelworker from Lanarkshire wants to know why heavily subsidised and inferior imported steel makes economic sense. The government, he says, should invest in British industry and put in place a management structure that understands how things are made rather than the room service tariff charged by hotels in the Cayman Islands.”
“Under the last Labour government, the Right Honourable gentleman went out of his way to insult the government and people of Communist China. We on this side of the house will do everything we can to nurture the fragile economy of that backward nation and his dismissal of hard-working Chinese families is nothing short of a threat to national security. Perhaps Darren should migrate to China if he thinks he is good at making steel?”
“Tanni, a wheelchair user from Cardiff asks why her Disability Living Allowance, later downgraded to Personal Independence Payment, was withdrawn after she was not allowed to use the lift for Health and Safety reasons at an ATOS disability assessment arranged on the top floor of the HSBC building at Canary Wharf.”
“It is the policy of the DWP not to discuss individual cases except when people dying of cancer are proven to be malingerers by the Daily Mail. I have it on very good authority that Tanni is an accomplished athlete and so is not actually disabled. Is this the kind of fraudster that the Leader of the Opposition wishes to fund with a life of luxury?”
“Malala, a teenager from Birmingham emails to ask why the government consider her to be a terrorist.”
“Mr Speaker, that man opposite said that the death of Osama bin Laden was a tragedy and he even attended a Hezbollah training camp and addressed murderous terrorists as friends. I will not take lectures from the Labour Party about causing division, resentment, inequality and hatred. If he is so concerned about terrorism, why doesn`t he learn the words to the National Anthem?”

This approach, of course, will not work for Cameron. With PR experience, he knows that he is on safer ground by insulting the entire electorate rather than individual members of the public. The second option open to him is to plant a few emails of his own. His responses to questions might go;
“Rupert, formerly of Wapping, would like to know how long the British public will tolerate a fat bloke from West Bromwich asking stupid questions about some minor offenses that took place years ago and why the fat bloke from West Bromwich keeps trying to spoil the reputation of a wholesome family newspaper. I have had thousands of emails supporting this view from Rebekah who is from Chipping Norton.”

“Boris, from a secret island volcano in the Thames estuary, said;
Err…ah…yes…what do you want me to say? Err…E pluribus unum…Novus ordo seclorum…poor people…yes…poor people…what about poor people?”

“Gideon, not his real name, is concerned about the terrible plight of merchant bankers, hedge-fund managers and commodity brokers who are risking everything to escape the horrors of the Serious Fraud Office by crossing dangerous oceans on Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Who, he asks, will care for their children?”

“This is from Toby, a Free School governor who asks if the Leader of the Opposition is more than just a traitor but is, in fact, a traitor who smells of wee.”

It is wrong to suggest that the strange universe occupied by David Cameron is governed on the basis of duplicity, distraction, disinformation and downright lies. Any suggestion of this is therefore void as a logical argument because fact and speculation are mutually incompatible.

The fact is, we are watching the state and human decency disappear before our very eyes.

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