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10 October 2008

Shouldn’t have gone to Iceland

David Cameron's lack of lustre in the Commons provoked a curious consensus in the blog plus the fina

By Paul Evans

Gordon’s Alive!

Consensus is now the order of the day in Westminster, and bloggers have been following suit – declaring Brown victor at the dispatch box, as PMQs returned this week. Labour councillor Bob Piper had a few nerves on Tuesday, and was hoping for a commanding performance from the dear leader to maintain his post-conference momentum:

“A good solid performance at PMQs will also stiffen the backbone and resolve of some of those backbenchers who like to get their names in the paper. A bad one… and who knows, this could be the shortest revival in living memory,” he fretted.

A re-invigorated prime minister did not disappoint, and put in an above-par account of himself, as Cameron seemed to provide him with a series of unchallenging set-ups to detail the government’s economic plans.

The unambigously-named Labour Boy brought Blair’s “clunking fist Brown” epithet back from the dead, and declared Wednesday a bad day for the Tory leader. With some glee, he adjudged that:

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“For anyone watching, the biggest problem for Cameron was the obvious delight his every word was greeted with by Labour MPs, who couldn’t believe their eyes and ears to see and hear a Conservative leader condemning city bonuses and demanding the government hold these city bosses to account.”

Even Tory Bear had to concede that the prime minister had performed well, but defended Cameron’s lacklustre performance, writing:

“There is a marked difference in Brown’s performance from the last PMQs before the summer but the only reason he got one over DC was the fact Dave wasn’t on the attack.”

Elsewhere, Iain Dale awarded the day to Nick Clegg, declaring his probing on the impact of the economic crisis on ordinary families to be “bang on the money”.

What have we learned this week?

“I’m glad the council have lost all their money in Iceland,” a woman at the Tesco checkout barked at me, while jabbing me quite hard in the ribs. “The bastards charge me £109 council tax – it’s a disgrace!” I passed on suggesting that this development was unlikely to reduce her burden, for fear of being further assaulted.

Some £540 million of council cash is deposited with collapsing Icelandic banks – and its future now seem nebulous Theo Blackwell wants a “full investigation” into how this came to be. Seems pretty obvious to me.

A short history of dodgy council investments was provided by Wat Tyler, who argued that we should “always treat councils like children”.

Across the Pond

Laughs all round this week, as at a Democrat rally in Tampa, vice presidential candidate Joe Biden was mistakenly introduced as John McCain. An amused Scott Crews quipped “…this is a sure sign that folks in Florida STILL haven’t figured out what’s going on with the election, and that more election hijinks and hanging chads are sure to follow from the Sunshine State”.

Videos of the Week

Youtubers found their own unique ways of welcoming Peter Mandelson back into the fold this week. Check out the hilarious Tillerpop songcast on ‘Peter Mandelson to the rescue’ – and this curiously pleasing offering from ‘bez23’.

Quote of the Week

“Brown sniffed blood when Cameron started to talk about “no rewards for failure” and focus on the City bonus culture. It may be a Steve Hilton-esque attempt to change the way the public view the Tories’ links to big business, but it allowed Brown (who was relishing the chance to be Chancellor once more) the opening for his killer line.”

Paul Waugh delivers in the verdict on PMQs.

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