Mrs May vs Mr Corbyn in last pre-election PMQs

April 27, 2017 Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , UK




Hazel Speed

This was the most bizarre and incongruous event.

The usual opening comments were made by both sides, but on this occasion appreciations given – Mr Corbyn to Members of the House who were retiring, but then he thanked the Speaker, Mr Bercow for ‘reaching out to the wider world.’ Mr Bercow squirmed in his seat, just giving a slight nod of his head.

The reader may recall the historical phrase – The Speaker should ‘have eyes to see and ears to hear only save permission of the House’ (English Civil War) – Mr Corbyn’s remark obviously related to when The Speaker broke that rule and made his views known about any proposed visit by President Trump. Who, incidentally accepted this first invitation so one wonders if that is why he has not accepted another formal State Visit yet.

Noticeably, where Mrs May added her thanks to those retiring from the House, wisely made no reference concerning The Speaker. She did thank the Staff however, who looked after everyone, which was nice and perhaps a subtle further acknowledgment to the late PC Keith Palmer.

Then the usual Parliamentary debate or ding-dong of verbal exchanges commenced between Mrs May, Government benches, and Mr Corbyn of the Opposition benches.

One could be forgiven in thinking that a quick boxing match would be more pragmatic, especially as they already had an in-house rowdy jeering crowd as usual. It was last day of school as well.

Mr Corbyn does have one member on his front bench, it has to be said, whose nodding head, verbal roaring and taunts were quite distracting visually.

To be fair, both sides scored points today. Mr Corbyn reverted to outlining contents from letters he had received – people worried about their circumstances. He did not, sadly, say how he would help them specifically if he were elected to form a new Government but reverted to generalities, then crafted the rhetoric like sharpening a pencil to a fine point before passing on the sharp edge to The Prime Minister.

There is little point in raising ‘real life’ questions if he is not prepared to answer them as if he could help. The whole exercise then becomes wasted and is no more than a political bed-time story.

Mr Corbyn did not answer Mrs May’s comment that he and his colleagues (Shadow Chancellor), had determined that MI5 should be scrapped, he would disarm the Police and do away with the nuclear deterrent. Big mistake for him not to respond in some way, presuming he could of course.

Mrs May meanwhile made three remarks which surprised me. I believe an SNP MP raised a question on a very sensitive issue regarding help required for a person who had difficulty completing a DWP form relating to a person who was pregnant through rape and that she was on benefits.

I was shocked at the inference of Mrs May’s reply (and I stand corrected if I misunderstood) but whilst she conceded the sensitivity of the issue they had gone into all the requirements relating to forms, etc, but at the end of the day, if people wish to go to work they have choices to make. Does that infer what I think it does?

Another MP (whose identity I could not determine as the MP spoke from the same grouping of MPs where Lib-democrats, SNP, etc, were seated) referred to a person who was stricken with a serious medical event and consequently was late to sign for an important benefit related matter, with their benefit consequently and unavoidably being affected, what could she do? The issue was fudged and generalised by The Prime Minister.

In regard to both those questions Mrs May should have invited the MPs in question to write to her and/or a Ministerial colleague to enable them to consider the cases privately. It is no good campaigning to be re-elected, saying that her Party cares whilst seeking a mandate for Brexit, only then to show that she doesn’t.

All throughout today’s exchanges, Mrs May continually peppered her comments with good wishes to various MPs who were retiring after decades of service in the House and to Constituencies.

She referred to Sir Eric Pickles as her chum but the camera caught her ‘tell’ (what she really thought about one other MP as he gave a farewell comment before his question, as did they all), there were so many retiring though it became more like a running joke, as each one stood up like a Sunday School prize giving.

Then she said something else that took me by surprise. Mr Corbyn asked what she would be doing about the WASPI women who were born in 1950s and suffered losses and delays to their Pensions (and the writer hereby also adds ‘carers’ pensions associated thereto by default – ref. previous article thereon).

Mrs May replied by saying plans have already been put in place regarding that matter. (Note: Many will no doubt be writing to their MPs instantly upon hearing that comment as it seems to be a new stance).

Mrs May was challenged as to why she would not appear in a television debate with Mr Cobyn and others. The Prime Minister said she is involved in debate with the Leader of the Opposition every week in the House already.

Mrs May then reiterated that strong stable leadership and economy is required for the Country to be strong. Brexit was therefore the key factor for The Prime Minister.

Mr Corbyn, however, dwelt more on day to day issues but sadly over which he seems to have no control. A point echoed once again by another MP that this mess existed because of an ineffectual Opposition Party.

Mrs May pronounced that Mr Corbyn was just not up to the job of Prime Minister. He retorted – the Government just look after the rich.

They may just both be right.










Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing stages of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short: She has also written an E-novel, ‘Just Suppose…!‘ which is available via the attached link.

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