PMQs: Cameron is fooling the country

Cameron’s new attack line is fundamentally dishonest, but it worked reports our Political Editor Harry Cole

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Tories point to Labour's obvious faults but are they taking their own advice?
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Harry Cole
On 23 November 2011 13:49

With the Conservative Prime Minister buying land off his lobbyist neighbour for £140,000, cash, and the news breaking just as the clock was striking noon that in the last quarter eighty-nine percent of the Labour Party’s funding came from the trade unions, who will be striking next week, the dividing lines drew themselves for today’s Prime Minister’s Questions.

Though those expecting fireworks would have been sorely disappointment.

Any thoughts still lingering from the summer that the boy Ed was starting to get the hang of these weekly duels and the better of the Prime Minister have been well and truly dashed by a series of boring outings.

The Leader of the Opposition has taken to asking questions, such as today on youth unemployment, that he already knows the answer to. He's wasting the chance to actually hold the government to account.

Today was a test run for phrases that we will be hearing a lot of in the coming months. The Prime Minster was trying out lines about the ““people who got us into this mess in the first place”, presumably as a sounding board before next week’s Autumn statement. Ed’s new, “he’s out of touch” attacks, while clearly true, fell flat with his whinging delivery and toddler-stamping-foot tone.

No doubt we will be hearing a lot more from the Tories that “no single other mainstream party anywhere in Europe” thinks that the answer to this crisis is more debt. This is a powerful line that strikes at the heart of Miliband’s relationship with his brutish spendaholic Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, who has already pledged various billions in spending commitments, such as solving youth unemployment by simply putting hundreds of thousands of school leavers on the public payroll.

However the line is incorrect, there is another mainstream political party that thinks more debt is the answer, and they are even in government - in the UK. It’s more than a little ironic that Cameron is using the line when his government will increase our debt by 2015 from £950 billion to £1.4 trillion.

The Leader of the Opposition is either too dim to make this point, or totally comfortable with the notion. Either option renders him unfit for high office. 

Harry Cole is the UK Political Editor for The Commentator. He tweets at @MrHarryCole and is the News Editor of Guido Fawkes, Westminster's leading political website

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