A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Obviously I’m biased but I thought Ed won it. He struck an appropriate note of seriousness and gravitas. He demonstrated a willingness to be bipartisan on Afghanistan and the tragic Linda Norgrove case. He showed seriousness about the deficit and welfare reform by saying he wanted to reform Disability Living Allowance and sickness benefit. And he chose to focus on a Middle England issue by concentrating on the way the Child Benefit cut will hit families with only one working parent. The forensic probing on this was great – particularly spelling out that the loss to a family on £33,000 after tax with 3 kids was £2,500, equivalent to 6p on income tax. In contrast Cameron was shrill, kept talking about the past rather than about Ed, and seemed in electioneering rather than statesman mode. He seemed rattled.


Blogger johnpaul said...

It looked as if Ed on hearing heckles stopped as he felt he wouldn't be heard in the rest of the chamber, What happens is that the microphones pick him up and the viewer doesn't hear the heckles ,he should carry on even if theres heckles as it looks better,

1:57 pm, October 13, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haven't seen it but a strong performance by Mister Ed would not surprise me. I wish though that he would support withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

2:53 pm, October 13, 2010

Blogger Jimmy said...

My expectations weren't high I'll admit but that was a very pleasant surprise. He has a courteous understated manner which I suspect the public will like. He also eschewed soundbites in favour of tightly focussed questions. PMs generally don't really answer questions of course but this way Cameron's evasions were more stark. One caveat though is that Cameron is no fool. Now he has the line and length as it were it will be interesting to see how he adjusts. He'll certainly need to be better prepared.

5:04 pm, October 13, 2010

Anonymous Julian Ware-Lane said...

My honest opinion was that it seemed honours even. Ed put in a solid if unspectacular performance. Call Me Dave was his usual self.

A good as start as could be expected.

I think I might be tempted, if I were in Ed's shies, to actually answer any question that Call Me Dave asks of him. I think he could start with "Well I thought this was PMQs, but since you want to know Labour's stance it is ...". A few of those should shut Call Me Dave up (and might make him actually answer the questions put to him).

9:34 pm, October 13, 2010

Anonymous Rich said...

He certainly made a very good point. A universal benefit
aimed at supporting all families will be means
tested. Worse still the ceiling the consevatives have set seems a little low.

The big problem for ed is how we cut the deficit. Still the big question is how much the financial should contribute in order to soften the impact of cuts and tax rises.

The average voter simply isn't prepared for the impact of these cuts. When people finally realise what these cuts mean they will be looking for an alternative.

11:01 pm, October 13, 2010

Blogger Merseymike said...

Very encouraging performance and a style which works well against Cameron. Brown always sounded as if he was hollering at Cameron. His approach is more thoughtful and I don't think that Cameron will be able to dodge questions without sounding shifty

12:21 am, October 14, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't see why Cameron should not be able to dodge questions for Blair and Brown succeeded in doing so for years. Indeed, I find it hard to remember any PM ever giving a straight answer. Even crooked ones are rare!

As to the effect of cuts on the electorate, best not to hold your breath. At the moment there seems to be a majority prepared to accept the necessity so, notions that the voters will swing one way or the other are largely prompted by desire rather than genuine prediction.

9:53 am, October 14, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can help cut the deficit by pulling out of Iraq, Afghanistan and scrapping Trident!

Raising taxes in Rich parasite scum areas like Hadley Wood, Brent cross and Richmond could save a lot of revenue.

We could sell the royal family off-yes privatise them!

5:00 pm, October 14, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9.53 AM

I think you will find that many people "accept the need for cuts" in an abstract sense that assumes (often through reading right-wing tabloid newspapers) that they will fall mainly on "others" less deserving than themselves.....

Quite a few could be in for a nasty shock!

12:36 am, October 15, 2010


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