Wednesday 21 January 2009

Fighting over Ken

It was a matter of when, not if, Ken Clarke would become the subject of squabbling banter between the front benches.

Sure enough at the first opportunity Gordon Brown waded in with a stinging attack that must’ve left George Osborne’s stomach turning.

Cameron now had the benefit of a “shadow shadow chancellor”, he said pointing with slathering glee at the Rushcliffe MP.

“F*****g hell,” a hack next to me exclaimed.

Clarke had earlier been cheered when he walked in the house, but now they turned to jeers from the Labour benches.

There is no coming back from a jibe that rings true – that Clarke’s presence is a snub to Osborne – but Cameron did what he could.

I have to tell him the difference between this former chancellor and that former chancellor,” he said air-fingering.

“This one left a golden legacy and that one wrecked it.” Cue loud cheers.

As the debate heated up MPs started to get over-excited – waving their arms around and dancing on their bottoms like small children.

Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon had his fingers over his mouth and his knee jerked up and down like he was dandling a hyper-active child.

The PM, not willing to leave the argument, came back a minute later with the European card.

If I were him I would have concentrated on Osborne a bit more – that was far more embarrassing.

He could have saved Europe till later, but he was never one for good timing in these things.

"The shadow business secretary called the Conservative European policy crackpot, dodgy, absurd,” he said.

“I know they’re trying to find a way of fitting together now, but they don’t agree with each other’s view on Europe and on many other things.”

There is another PMQs before Clarke gets to speak in business questions, I just wonder if Brown’s lines of attack have any more mileage.

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