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    Thursday, 19 March 2009

    Schoolboy spat? This was more a knifing in the playground.

    It started out nice enough with an apology of sorts.  I, of course, use the term ‘apology’ in the loosest of senses.  I feared we may have a repeat of last week.  Unemployment, said Gordy, was “a matter of personal regret”.  He regards it as “one person, a second person…”.  I felt alarm rising.  Unemployment has hit two million.  We may be here for some time.  The pain of the usual list – our PM really does like to categorise everything into lists - caused only mild discomfort.  It was the life story that had me diving for cover.  We’ve all heard it, the Americans have now heard about it, no doubt the G20 will hear about it too.  ‘I came into politics because…’  Ahh!  Quick, duck!

    Things had kicked off.  Dave wanted Gordy to admit that his ‘best-placed’ claim was wrong.  Dave wanted a real apology, one containing the word ‘sorry’ or ‘wrong’, preferably in the same sentence as ‘I’.  “Admit it”, demanded Dave.  “No”, retorted Gordy, “the fact is…”.  Dave looked on unimpressed.  He wasn’t being pulled into any fights over lunch money for Gordy kept hurling projectiles of ‘1.3 billion’ and ’44 billion’ around and you can get a lot of turkey twizzlers for that.  1.3 billion what?  Bananas?  Careful, mustn’t get the Foreign Secretary overexcited.  Gordy, like all good teacher’s pets (haven’t we heard all about his school too?), decided that it would be best to ‘correct’ Dave.  The claw came out and began pounding the dispatch box.  Invest, invest invest, pound pound pound.  Snore snore snore if you ask me.  Maybe he was searching for the Trident launch button?  HMS Vanguard is in the Thames pointing at CCHQ as we speak.

    “More!” they cried.  “There’s plenty more!” roared Dave as he began to rise above the playground rabble.  This wasn’t Dave as we’ve seen him before, this was angry Dave.  “Let me correct him” he shouted, pointing his best prefect finger at Gordy.  The slicey hand had an outing, an attempt to slice through the layers of trivia.  It will take more than that.  I recommend that nuclear warhead.  Dave was shaking with anger and frustration.  The hand sliced, the finger pointed, and the soft soft Tory hair waggled.

    Gordy was clearly rattled by the hair waggling.  Even he knows it must be bad when the unshakable Tory sweep waggles.  Only the winds of change can waggle that and up until now Gordy has kept those draughts out.  “He’s wrong about”… stammered Gordy, and then we got a list.  Take cover!  Statistics about.  The ‘1.3 billion’ projectile was once again hurled around, as was ‘110 million’, ‘300,000’, ‘1 million’, ‘next month’, ‘six months’ and even the ‘Secretary of State for Work and Pensions’.  Purnell looked unsure at this.  Then again he always looks unsure.  Maybe he was unnerved at going out to play after double maths and finding the Prime Minister throwing penny chews in the playground.

    Dave however, was having none of this playground nonsense.  This wasn’t a lunchtime brawl.  This was war.  “We have just had the view from the bunker”.  Maybe Brown really is after that trident button?  Dave was growing angrier by the minute, unleashing not only angry-Dave, but sarcastic-Dave.  “Fred Goodwin, or, sorry, I should say Sir Fred Goodwin.”  Ouch!  The slap stung, the PM reeled, retreating behind the machine gun fire of facts and figures.  That ‘1.3 billion’ projectile once again sailed across the floor.  Super-Dave batted it back, straight into the lap of Dennis Skinner.  “I know that he wanted miners to join the government: well, now he was got one - Lord Myners.”  The projectile exploded; the playground cheered and jeered.  The Speaker suggested that Miss Snelgrove may need ‘a wee tablet from the doctor’.  Is the school nurse in on a Wednesday?  At this rate, we’ll need the St. John’s Ambulance.

    “Are not this Government just running around, like headless chickens?” asked Dave.  Do please take a minute to relish this mental image.  “Is not that combination of ineffectiveness and hyperactivity the worst combination of all?”  Hyperactivity?  Can’t be too careful with that these days.  Perhaps it's the Cabinet who need wee tablets from the doctor?

    Brown accused Dave of being “out on a limb”.  The only limb I see out is that to which Dave’s slicey hand is attached.  The Tory leader’s pained expression said it all as Brown searched his pockets, finding only his old ‘shadow shadow Chancellor’ remark.  The gang were gathering round now.  Brown was out of penny chews.  “Unprecedented means without precedent.  Global means that it affects the whole of the world.”  Dave did not take kindly to being patronised and, face stinging, the knife came out.  “What a complete phoney!”  The anger was real, the frustration audible, the emotion strong.  The knife was given a final twist: “the Prime Minister has led us to this point without a hint of an apology, and the British people will never forget it.”

    Wounded, Brown soldiered on, but the front bench seemed to be in a state of shock, indeed, they seemed positively shell-shocked.  Darling and Murphy looked as though they had been recently installed in Madame Tussaud’s.  The only thing that got a response was a question about college funding.  Purnell managed a brief smile, presumably because his memory of college is about as old as that of him putting on his socks this morning.  There were no smiles elsewhere.  The Tory front bench was sombre.  Their leader was not unscathed.  This was bloody.  This means war.

    1 comment:

    1. This is a really good PMQs sketch! I have linked to it as a recommended read, from my own 'blog.