Wednesday, June 16, 2010

LibDem concern over PMQs lock-out

I had two different but connected moments today; the first is actually having the time to watch PMQs live (well, streamed over the net) and the other was meeting a local LibDem worthy on the way home from work who also watched the weekly parliamentary contest.

I hadn't realised when watching (we have now had 3 PMQs since the election) but my LibDem friend pointed out how much this event is now back to a Lab-Con battle and how the voice of the LibDems has been phased out. I doubt it will, but if the clashes make the news they will be without the voice of the LibDems; they have no spokesperson waving their flag - Cameron's 30 seconds on the news will meet Harman's (or whoever) 30 seconds with no LibDem. I never thought Clegg was a great PMQs performer as Leader, although Cable showed what could be done with just 2 questions and a few minutes of primetime news. Now this has all gone.

I pointed out to my LibDem friend that their MPs had as much chance of catching the Speakers eye as anybody else. Aside from getting a lecture on the mathematics which suggested this wasn't true (it did make sense afterwards) I was told that LibDem backbenchers would never line up alongside Cameron and Harman on the news.

I left thinking all thise was very true; I note that new LibDem Deputy Simon Hughes has promised to keep the party distintive. I wonder how they can do this without PMQs?

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