What might be on the menu at the Westminster Diner this lunchtime as MPs assemble for the weekly bunfight? Will the EU feature, either over the referendum debate, or because of Ukraine? Perhaps the NHS will get a look-in. Maybe there will be more banker bashing. Whatever Harriet Harman chucks at Corporal Clegg, the Deputy PM will say that the other lot did a lot worse.
Who was it who said the BBC was where you got repeats? Strewth. Clegg was full of them. Whatever the question from the Labour benches, he fell back on the same set of counters: Fred Goodwin, selling out to the bankers, NHS worse under them but Very Wonderful under us, spare bedrooms out of control (you’ve got to keep an eye on those dastardly spare bedrooms, y’know) and sweethearts.
Sweethearts? But the Deputy PM is a happily married man, isn’t he? Well, of course, but this is Labour bashing we’re talking about. The rotten lefties did all these sweetheart deals! There was a quarter of a billion pounds worth of them! And that’s a lot of money, especially when you say it very loudly and very slowly, adding a kick at the other lot over Mid Staffs NHS Trust at the end.
So what has Ms Harman got to say about that, then? She stuck to her course despite some serious barracking [Order! The principals will be heard while at the Dispatch Box!] and that was to pick away at Lib Dems saying one thing – like “aren’t the Tories totally poo” – before giving in to them. Bedroom tax thrown one way, returned with interest and Fred Goodwin the other.
And Clegg was not out of the woods when she’d had her six: Kevin Brennan and Lilian Greenwood (not organised, was it, Labour folks?) taunted poor Nick with reminders of the Clifton (that’s the one in Nottingham) council by-election. Labour won, and the Lib Dems were beaten by the Buss Pass Elvis candidate. You ain’t nothing but a lap dog! Clegg was momentarily All Shook Up.
But there was no Crying In The Chapel (that’s enough Elvis song titles – Ed) and back went Clegg to his sweetheart deal counter. At least there was no succession of Tory MPs sending down their softball grovel “questions” this week. But apart from Clegg getting a little hoarse towards the end – there must be a joke there for the serious Lib Dem bashers – that was about that.
Was there any point in them turning up? Oh I dunno, gets the juices running before heading for the reassuringly subsidised eateries, no doubt. Mustn’t grumble!