Wednesday, May 09, 2007

High quality debate - the main event

Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs) are the most televised bit of parliamentary activity, not because great policies are debated and determined, purely because it is the spectacle of verbal jousting between the party leaders and the contest of who will win as the champion of the acid barb.
The last PMQs before Blair announces his departure timetable saw Cameron not question the future of the country but to attack the government calling it "the government of the living dead" while Blair responded to Letwin's assessment of the post Marxist world with "That will be Groucho", obviously a few economics lessons wasted there then.

The great problem is that the media focus upon the small element of parliamentary debates gives the perception of the House of Commons as a schoolyard where verbal bullying is the order of the day and nothing of any importance happens; good soap opera, poor politics. A shame as not all politics is like this, important things such as Council Tax and Climate Change were debated earlier this morning, but apart from the anoraks who watch the parliament channel (mine has a hood by the way) this goes unseen. So politicians look silly, and act like children at times, and the media gives the spectacle air-time, the audience looks on, tuts and maybe talk about the real issues.

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