Steve Beasant

Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Great Grimsby and Councillor for the East Marsh Learn more

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PMQs: Wouldn’t you also crack under this sort of pressure?

by Steve Beasant on 25 May, 2012

The following article written by Paul Walter is great article, and just proves how much some Labour politicians are (in particular Ed Balls) – the article was published today on the Liberal Democrat Voice Website.

Here are some quotes from Ed Balls MP from past Prime Minister’s Questions:

No No No No No No No No No No


Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes


Down Down Down Down Down Down Down Down Down


Up Up Up Up Up Up Up Up Up Up

All this mono-syllabic heckling has gone on amidst a variety of facial squirms and gurns and even the exhibition of a wide portfolio of hand signals which have had puzzled observers searching umpiring manuals. This is what David Cameron sees opposite him, week after week, as he tries to answer questions about hundreds of different subjects.

Ed Balls is not an idiot. If he was, he wouldn’t have got under David Cameron’s skin in such a clever way.

It was in answering a question from Lib Dem Stephen Williams that the Prime Minister got on the wrong side of Erskine May:

Stephen Williams (Bristol West) (LD): The coalition Government have restored order and stability to the public finances, and have therefore won us international confidence. Is not now the right time to put renewed effort and vigour into returning growth to the economy, by the Government facilitating and guaranteeing investment in housing and infrastructure?

The Prime Minister: The hon. Gentleman is entirely right. I am sure that he welcomes the enterprise zone in Bristol and the support for the animation and television industries. What we need to do, both in Britain and in Europe, is to combine the fiscal deficit reduction that has given us the low interest rates with an active monetary policy, structural reforms to make us competitive, and innovative ways of using our hard-won credibility—[ Interruption. ] Which we would not have if we listened to the muttering idiot sitting opposite me—[ Interruption. ]

Mr Speaker: Order. [ Interruption. ] Order. I am very worried about the health of the Minister of State, Department of Health, the right hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr Burns), who is so overexcited that he might suffer a relapse. I am a compassionate chap, so I do not want that to happen.

The Prime Minister will please withdraw the word “idiot”. It is unparliamentary. A simple withdrawal will suffice. We are grateful.

The Prime Minister: Of course; I will replace it with, “The man who left us this enormous deficit and this financial crisis.”

The other Lib Dem question of the session came from Julian Huppert:

Dr Julian Huppert (Cambridge) (LD): Britain has an excellent track record in scientific research and development, despite historically low levels of funding. For this to continue, and to continue to drive so much economic growth, sustained funding is required. Can the Prime Minister assure me that this will be delivered in this Parliament and the next comprehensive spending review?

The Prime Minister: Obviously, I cannot bind the hands of the next comprehensive spending review, but in this spending review we made an important decision to protect the science budget. It would have been an easy target for reductions, and perhaps we could have spent the money on politically more attractive things, but we decided to take the long-term view and to save the science budget because it is a key part of Britain’s future.

* Paul Walter is Monday Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, a LibDem activist in Newbury, Berkshire and blogs at Liberal Burblings

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