Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Cameron vs. Dorries

I have just caught up with a rather flat PMQs in which the most bizarre sight was that of David Cameron slapping down a backbench Tory MP, Bedfordshire's Nadine Dorries.

I have blogged before that I sometimes feel Mr Cameron isn't very parliamentary; his now semi-regular slips aren't "offensive" (as some claim) or "sexist" (calm down, dear) but don't represent a very statesmanlike approach to the House of Commons.

Today, Mr Cameron I feel did overstep the mark and stuck a toe into some very murky waters. Dorries asked the PM a typically straight forward question on LibDem influence over Free Schools, NHS and abortion laws and asked him to tell DPM Nick Clegg who the boss is. That question probably summarised the way a lot of Conservative MPs, activists and members feel. David Cameron - to be fair on him trying to speak over a loud House of Commons - then suggested Ms Dorries was "frustrated". The look on his face suggested he didn't take Dorries, her question or her concern very seriously. Unable to say anymore, he then said he'd give up on it and sat down. Mr Cameron made little to no attempt to answer her question and chose to smirk rather than engage.

Where does this end - does the PM get to choose which questions he answers or doesn't? Even if he isn't very clear or detailed in the answer, he ought to give one. To not do so shows very little respect for an elected MP.

What makes it worse is that David Cameron is bigger than this. He never has any trouble dealing with Labour Leader Ed Miliband so why he feels the need to treat a backbench Tory MP at the lowest rung of the parliamentary ladder so brutally and with such discourtesy is beyond me.

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