I had the rare pleasure today of seeing Prime Minister’s Questions live on BBC Parliament, and more by luck than judgement I chanced on Ed Miliband’s first outing as Leader of the Opposition at PMQ’s.
People (as ever) will argue about who had the upper hand in this clash – I felt it was game set and match to Ed, but I heard others on the radio later saying exactly the opposite. Well that’s politics I guess – a matter of opinion,
What really hit me though is Ed’s style of delivery.
David Cameron bellows his answers, and makes theatrical wails and exclamations of mock hilarity, backed up with hearty guffaws and “hear hears” from his own benches. In recent history it would have been pretty much the same on the Labour side as well – in fact the pantomime nature of PMQs has been like this for as long as I can remember.
Ed’s different though. He delivers calmly, quietly, assuredly and without hesitation. You get the feeling that he’s not got any particular dislike for his opponents – just that he disagrees with them. You feel that he’s not so much interested in a theatrical show stopper, as showing up the Government’s theatrics; that he’s not worried about sound bites, but about making sure that his bites are soundly delivered at the ankles of the premier.
I found it very refreshing and enjoyable – see what you think :
- Live: Ed Miliband’s First PMQs (news.sky.com)
- How will Ed Miliband prepare for first PMQs (bbc.co.uk)
- Ed Miliband uses PMQ debut to attack child benefit reform (independent.co.uk)
- Miliband uses PMQs debut to attack Cameron over child benefit reforms (guardian.co.uk)
- PMQs: A good start for Ed Miliband| Michael White (guardian.co.uk)
- PMQs: Ed Miliband plays safe (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- Ed Miliband faces David Cameron for first time at prime minister’s questions (guardian.co.uk)
- Ed Miliband gets the better of Cameron in first PMQs (newstatesman.com)
- PMQs – just like an Oxbridge freshers’ week | John Harris (guardian.co.uk)
- Ed Miliband to face David Cameron at PMQ’s for first time (newstatesman.com)
This was David Miliband’s “thank you” email to supporters tonight – not sure if it went to all Labour members or just to those who voted for him – but here it is anyway for anyone who missed it : -
“ I wanted to write to you this evening to thank you for the phenomenal support you have given me, and the Party over the last few months.
I am so proud of the campaign we ran together, it is a testament to each of you that as we campaigned for Labour, we also campaigned to make a difference in our local communities.
I was proud also to see my brother take the stage today, the new leader of the Labour Party, and know you will join me in uniting with Ed to take on this divided coalition.
As Ed said today, we must now secure the opportunity for Labour to serve the country again; to make it a more prosperous, more equal, more fair society.