PMQs: Last week Miliband played the cancer card, this week it was rape

Ed Miliband scored a kind of victory this week, but only by reminding us all of Labour’s dubious stance on personal liberty

Harry Cole
On 22 June 2011 11:05

Another week and another host of subjects the Leader of the Opposition could choose from to smack the Prime Minister around the head with.

Outspoken generals worried about the spiralling costs of the Libya mission allowed Ed Miliband to play the serious statesman, declaring his love for the armed services, but he was never going to get one over on Cameron on this one.

Reserve funding would cover the costs, explained the Prime Minister, who added that given that Labour refused to have a spending review on defence for ten years, it seemed a little hollow that they are now demanding a second one in two years.

With Miliband managing the spectacular feat of getting the word “review” six times into a single sentence it seems he hasn’t got the statesman thing down to a tee just yet.

Round one went to Cameron, but Miliband had other plans.

He managed to split his questions, as he had planned to do last week before getting over-excited and thinking he was on to a winner by playing the cancer card.

The split, when deployed, can often take the heat out of the weekly duel,  but Miliband was ready to strike another low blow.

Cancer last week, rape this week. An unedifying desperation from Miliband sees him yet again scraping the moral barrel.

On the specifics of the DNA of rape suspects being kept on the state database even if they are not charged, we see yet again a dark glimpse at the stance of the Labour party on freedom, liberty and the role of state.

Miliband, cheered on by his cohorts, demanded that the Prime Minister scrap plans to have the DNA of innocent people destroyed.

Again using an emotive subject to unsettle the PM, and proving once more that he cannot score points in a fair fight, Miliband is not doing himself any favours with these short term blows that sometimes give him a points victory but also leave him with a gaping moral deficit.

Dealing with the backbenchers, Cameron managed to claw some points back, not least with his demolition of the overly ambitious Labour MP Luciana Berger.

However the head to head is what counts and Miliband looked pleased with himself.

His backbenchers loved it. But, as the dust settles, remember the truth of what you saw there today. Labour, the party of the state, have no respect for the rule of law or the notion of innocent until proven guilty. In the end, that will come back to haunt them.

Harry Cole is UK Politics Editor for The Commentator.  He is a writer and journalist and the news editor for the must-read Guido Fawkes blog.

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