Storms, flooding and other weather related misery may well be on the agenda for the latest instalment of PMQs, as Young Dave and Mil The Younger once more try to wrest the best soundbite out of their weekly face off. The Tories have the added opportunity to blame the tube strike on Labour. And look out for someone to say something about the UK’s involvement in the Amritsar business.
Who will give Cameron the key to a good Labour bashing? Richard Ottaway is that Hon Member. London is a 24/7 city. How dare those ghastly unions and their economic vandalism get in its way? Dave loves this: he unreservedly condemns the tube strike. And the bloke opposite should do the same. I mean, only 3% of fares are now in cash transactions.
But Miliband has come with his set of questions, and by golly he’s going to stick with them, so yah boo! And he declares that the lead topic is floods, so there. Cameron and his pals are too slow. Dave says we will fight them on the floodplains, we will fight them in the drainage ditches, we will fight them in the sluice gates, and it’s all down to our jolly wonderful economic management.
Miliband switches to representation of women and pay equality. This is the cue for it to get really rowdy. Order! The Hon Member is an incorrigible delinquent! Order! Calm yourselves! Order! Don’t damage your systems by exploding so early in the day! Speaker Bercow is enjoying this a bit too much, isn’t he? Dead right he is, and next in his sights is “Oiky” Gove himself.
Mr Gove! Mr Gove! You are an over-excitable fellow! Write out a thousand lines! [Laughter]. Meanwhile Mil The Younger batters away at the equality question. What about the pay gap? Dave’s getting testy. And then out comes the catch-all Tory response: yes, yes, yes, but THATCHER! [Hear! Hear!] And the other lot haven’t said anything about that jolly rotten strike!
Isn there anything of any relevance? Ben Bradshaw, Anne Marie Morris and Andrew George form a cross-party coalition to urge action over the severing of the rail link to the south west at Dawlish (again). Dave is going to chair a COBRA meeting this afternoon, which may not bring restoration of sea wall, track and services any closer. I suspect Network Rail know what they need to do.
Meanwhile there is time for a little levity as Bill Cash enquires as to the health of the EU referendum dead parrot, but mixes it up with Blackadder. Dave comes to the rescue with a comment on the parrot’s beautiful plumage, and then blames the parrot’s demise on the jolly rotten lot opposite. And then he even kicks the Lib Dems. There’s coalition unity for you.
Thus we see another wonderful advertisement for democracy in action. Or not.