So how did the party leaders square up at Prime Minister's Questions today? Well, we'll, well, who would have expected Ming's unrehearsed joke about the door to Brown's Downing Street being a trap door! It was all the more enjoyable as it was so unexpected. Ming always does better when he leads on foreign affairs and especially Iraq. Today it was a tour de force of foreign and domestic but the theme was change. And as we all know, we do not have a change of government as Brown would have us believe, but simply a reshuffle, a few retirements and a few promotions. The style may be a bit different without Showman Blair there and with Comrade Chairman Brown having filled the void, but this government under the new PM is a continuation of the old one.
For Brown, his first PMQ was a competent performance. He wobbled a bit on whether or not certain groups promoting extreme and violent actions should be banned. And the appearance of the old bruiser John Reid almost looked as though Brown was needing a helping hand. So nothing spectacular, just competent. No sign of a clunking fist, a rather violent metaphor from the former Prime Minister (and so at odds with his alleged desire to crack down on crime and violence).
And what of Cameron? Well, I have to confess another competent performance. The problem is however he needs to do much better. He needs an early knockout blow. Yes, he laid a few punches, but nothing that sent Brown reeling.
So as far as Brown and Cameron go, a draw. And after all that, it won't change a jot what people think out in the country.
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