Even some Tories agree that, since Young Dave flounced out of 10 Downing Street after fouling up the EU referendum vote, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has had a markedly better time at the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions exchanges over the Dispatch Box. Theresa May routinely has the worst of those exchanges, and yesterday was no exception, with the embattled PM having an absolute mare.
Jezza not only had the better of the exchanges, he had a rabbit in the hat to finish off, as he revealed that many of those on their uppers as a result of Universal Credit delays have to shell out 55p a minute to phone up about their problems. Those with next to no money being bilked by the same state that the Tories claim is helping them. The PM floundered; Labour MPs bayed with delight. It was nothing short of a rout.
For those in our free and fearless press, and their new media hangers-on, who want their readers to believe the Tories are getting the better of these occasions, this represented a challenge. Ms May had lost comprehensively; there were no redeeming features in her performance. There was nothing to it - they had to talk well, but lie badly.
This line in serial and serious dishonesty was set by the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, who sneered “pundits are at risk of overstating Jezza’s new-found ‘proficiency’, which entirely consisted in just about managing to ask all of questions on the same half-tricky topic in the right order … Jez’s team knows he looks like that elderly weirdo round the corner who lives in a bedsit surrounded by hundreds of old telephone directories”. Says the team led by a weirdo lush.
Meanwhile, the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun avoided the subject altogether, pitching photos from PMQs but talking about something else. Their claim was “Jeremy Corbyn follows Theresa May in refusing to say he would back Brexit in a second EU referendum”, except Jezza didn’t say that. They got a quote from his spokesman.
But the biscuit was well and truly taken by the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not) at the Mail who pretended it never happened. “Prime Minister’s Question Time was dire. Neither Theresa May nor Jeremy Corbyn pulsates at the despatch box” he claimed with routine dishonesty, before suggesting that it had all been a bit boring. “Backbenchers, or at least those selected to speak yesterday, demonstrated little verve in subject matter or tone”.
That would explain why he has a go a Labour’s Heidi Alexander for “ranting” (this means she, too, did Ms May up like the proverbial kipper) later in his piece, then. All that noise in the chamber as Corbyn put one over on the PM was dismissed with “Spoken cliché was accompanied by formulaic pose and gesture, all to the back-noise of predictable rhubarb from partisan MPs”. Nothing to see here, Daily Mail readers.
Instead of telling his audience what really happened, Letts falls back on his prejudices, and whines about John Bercow. All that energy expended, by so many hacks and wannabes, just so they can all pretend that the leader of their preferred party didn’t get another shellacking yesterday at PMQs. Which she most definitely did.
When they have to lie to their readers, you know things are bad. Very bad indeed.