The blood boils. With an early evening cup of tea I watched Prime Minister’s Questions, seeking my usual dose of political theatre, hoping to glean a few hints between the lines of the questions, answers and raucous cheering and jeering. It’s usually an eye-roller, but today it was an eye-bulging, vascular ruining, aneurysm inducing affair. The leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband, is not fit for purpose, and that’s a very restrained assessment.
I’m loathe to repeat my general criticism of the Labour leader, I’ve already done so enough, but he drags me back in time and time again. The void of ideas, the steady stream of attack on government and the hypocrisy of his machinations in relation to his party’s time in government are bad enough, but he has sought new means by which to make tatters of the prestige of Westminster. I would advise you to watch this Wednesday’s edition and see if you don’t agree.
Being generously gracious, the coalition is not having the best time of things. It’s approaching shambolic territory really, and this is well understood by everyone. Criticism of this ill-matched union is well-deserved, as even their lingering claims of progress are being drowned out by the obstacles and regressions. Improved employment and increased exports aren’t enough to distract from huge benefit and public sector cuts, against a backdrop of an otherwise lame economy.
Cameron is visibly under fire. He looks tired, embattled, fearful of the whispers of a leadership challenge. The Conservative Party surely realises how utterly self-defeating this would be and yet I have a brewing dread based on their previously suicidal political blunders, not limited to becoming embroiled in social issues and the ever looming European question. Solidarity is beginning to waver and the struggles of government are plain to see.
So I say this of Mr. Miliband. If there is nothing he can do other than gesticulate like a precocious infant while riling up the Commons with petulant and entirely disrespectful rhetoric of precisely zero value, he should resign. Today was the end of my tolerance for his pathetic brand. Immediately to his left sits Harriet Harman, an infinitely better prospect for the party thanks in part to her maturity and experience, but also much more.
She at least is dynamic. Forget this talk of Teresa May taking over the Conservatives, unless Thatcher 2.0 is your thing, Harman should be the next female leader in British politics. And the sooner the better. God help us all if the dismal antics of Miliband and Balls are actually appealing to anyone, as their dereliction to the whole meaning of opposition spells doom for their potential in government.
I have no doubt Harman can dish out the salty Commons jibes with the best of them, and indeed has in her capacity as deputy under Brown. The difference between her and her two colleagues is that when offering criticism she also tends to offer alternatives. Not always fully formed, it must be said, but then I’ve never even demanded that of the increasingly symbiotic abomination that is the Labour leader and shadow chancellor. Just more than playground sarcasm.
Miliband was shockingly awful today. I can only hope people were paying attention. If they liked what they saw, they shouldn’t, because in every nasal taunt and scoffing assault were the signs of his total inadequacy. On their own it would usually only amount to the typical buffoonery of Prime Minister’s Questions, but coupled with his negligence and vapidity it’s an insult. Socialist ideas man? Thinker? Intellectual? My left nut. Prove it.