On Tuesday I wrote that "Parliament isn’t just a place to score political points". Yet some Labour MPs obviously disagree. One might have hoped that during a financial crisis members would want to use Treasury Questions as an opportunity to represent the concerns of their constituents, but apparently not.
To his credit, the Speaker was having none of it, and George Osborne was reportedly moved to thank him.
In the spirit of political balance (sort of) I have accompanied each of the following passages with a little bit of light-hearted, good-natured personal abuse. I have no doubt that these MPs will appreciate it.
Lyn Brown got the ball rolling:
"Lyn Brown (West Ham) (Lab): I congratulate the Chancellor on the recapitalisation of banks, which has been admired and copied throughout the world, but was that task helped by the leaking of confidential documents by the Bank of England and by the hon. Gentleman on the Opposition Front Bench on “The Andrew Marr Show”? What does the Chancellor think of his opposite number’s judgment? [Interruption.]
What does the Chancellor think of you Lyn? I bet he thinks you’re stupid. ‘Stupid Lynne Browne’ he probably calls you, deliberately spelling your name incorrectly in his head.
Karen Buck was positively menacing:
"Ms Buck: Mr Speaker, I wonder whether it might be possible for you to accept a note signed by everyone on the Labour Benches, because for the next 18 months we all intend to do little else other than attack the shadow Chancellor. [ Interruption. ]
Mr. Speaker: Order. A genuine attack is one thing, but a personal attack on anyone’s integrity will be stopped. I just put that on the record, but I know that the hon. Lady will not indulge in any personal attacks on anyone.
Do you really have a note to that effect, signed by all Labour MPs Karen? Or did you lie in Parliament? Or was it all a hilarious joke? P.S. I bet Alistair Darling thinks you’re stupid too.
Anne Snelgrove resorted to class warfare:
"Anne Snelgrove (South Swindon) (Lab): Is it bad judgment to oppose Government action to protect small savers’ money in banks and building societies, or just another example of social justice from the perspective of the Bullingdon club?
Snelly, as justice demands she is called from now on, purports to be: "South Swindon’s voice in Westminster, not Westminster’s voice in South Swindon". Evidently South Swindon’s voice is shrill and petulant. I suggest avoiding the place at all costs, which is a shame, as Swindon has much to recommend it as a holiday destination.
Dennis Skinner inevitably piped up as well:
"Mr. Dennis Skinner (Bolsover) (Lab): Is the Chancellor aware that it makes a lot more sense to borrow money to create jobs and to help small businesses rather than spending the whole summer cadging money for the Tory party to shore up its finances?
Hi Dennis. What’s it like to share Tony Benn’s most ludicrous views but have none of his charm?
There we are. Equilibrium has been restored.