David Cameron
had an assured style, although it looked like he decided to ask his last two questions straight after his first four out of annoyance at Tony Blair’s fourth answer. He used all six questions on Home Office issues:

  • Tackling knife crime
  • No forced amalgamation
    on police forces until a review is complete
  • Establish a seperate border police force
  • Shouldn’t have
    abolished embarkation controls
  • If it’s all
    going so well why is the home office being reformed so much
  • "9 years, 54
    pieces of criminal legislation – isn’t it the fact that the prime minister has
    no-one to blame other than himself"

The loud Labour benches contested DCs assertion that they had abolished embarkation controls, so much so that the Speaker intervened with this statement:

wrong doesn’t deny the right of a Member to speak – it would mean very few Members would be able to speak!”

Tony Blair answered with lots of
clenched fists and jabbing fingers – he didn’t seem particularly rattled but he mixed up his words a
few times
, most notably with this Freudian slip:

"They attack us
in public for not being toff enough".

Campbell asked if TB could recall a time
when there was so much acrimony between the Home Office, the police, and the
judiciary – TB simply pointed to the LibDem
voting record. Perhaps assuming that TB would do this, MC replied that he would
be happy to defend his record and asked if TB could defend what he was doing
now compared to what he said in opposition. It was another not-awful
performance but there were several background cries of “bring back Kennedy”.

Backbench questions generally sang to the tune of the party topics.
Some questions of interest included:

  • Labour’s Dan Norris asked what the Government was doing to promote the role of fathers in the family.
  • Vince Cable
    said a policy of longer prison sentences was incoherent as prisons were full.
  • David Heath, another LibDem, asked a better
    question about review recommendations, such as those after the Dunblane
    and Kings Cross tragedies, not being implemented.
  • Michael Ancram asked if it was time to withdraw troops from Iraq
  • Bob Wareing, the sole Old Labour warrior today, attacked privatisation in the NHS.
  • Tory Peter Bone,
    an infamous Sven Goran-Eriksson look-a-like, asked if TB had anything to learn from Sven’s terminal leadership.

Deputy Editor