Prime Minister's Questions - they used to be the weekly bear pit. Brown used them to bellow out lists like Stalinist beetroot and tractor statistics but otherwise avoided answering questions. Labour sycophants trotted out their planted questions. Nick Clegg was shouted down and treated dismissively by Brown.
The tone now is different. It is much less of a confrontational political punch up. Apart from Ian Davidson, a Glasgow Labour MP, who was stopped by the Speaker after making anti-Lib Dem comments best kept for the playground rather than Parliament, the questions on the whole were reasonable and appropriate. Notice also the difference in Cameron's response to questions compared to Brown's. The latter used to step forward with a huge file of stalinist statistics which would be rattled off like bullets from a sten gun. Cameron often stood at the dispatch box without notes.
Harriet Harman avoided screeching through her questions. And even the "socialist" Labour MP for Blyth, Ronnie Campbell, normally cherished for his entertainment value than his intellectual clout, put forward a reasonable question despite his barbed comment about Cameron's friends in the City (which overlooks Labour's friends in the same place).
So hopefully, PMQs in the future can develop as a useful tool for scrutinising the government rather than being a slanging match.
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