Thursday, February 07, 2008

Does Brown suffer from selective deafness?

I missed PMQ's yestedray as I was out, but when I read the sketch by Simon Carr this morning in the Indy I couldn't quite believe it was as he said it was, but now that I have checked Hansard and it's true. Nick Clegg asked Brown some questions and Brown's answers were ona completely different subject. A truly bizarre exchange of words.

Clegg asked what Brown meant when he talked about liberty given the DNA database and fingerprinting in school. Brown responded by saying "I take it that the right hon. Gentleman and the Liberal authorities support CCTV". Then Clegg said
Why has he consistently refused requests for more power to be given to the Information Commissioner? Why does he not do what is already done in Scotland and remove the DNA of innocent people from the database? Why will he not act immediately to stop the scandalous fingerprinting of our children at school?
What does Brown say? "People in this country are reassured by the presence of CCTV; I hope that the right hon. Gentleman is not proposing to remove it." Now I know that David Cameron has pointed out already that Brown appears incapable of answering a question. Is it just me or does he also seem incapable of hearing them as well?

He's a bit like one of those old people that has selective deafness. At no point did Nick Clegg even mention CCTV, yet Brown seems to think he did. The guy's weird.


judith said...

What you don't realise is that the PM is paying hommage (sic) to The Two Ronnies.

Remember that Mastermind sketch where Corbett was the expert in responding to the current question with the previous answer?

Well, OK, the PM hasn't quite finessed his comic timing yet, but PMQ's is the only chance he has to practice it.

And you should see his rendition of the Dead Parrot sketch - fan-dabby-doso.

Howard said...

Weird. You can say that again. I watched the whole saga and he was awful. The Speaker does nothing. Why no one complains is beyond me as he does not answer a single question. I am more convinced than ever that Brown has the same faults as Eden. Richards completely misses the point on Indy blog this morning.

Interesting article in the FT yesterday,

Mess, prime minister: From the shadows of his bunker emerges a battered Brown.

Link here:

asquith said...

I understand what he was doing, he was trying to prove that he is more authoritarian than Clegg, who is consequently a weakling. Which is wrong, obviously, but a number of people would probably be impressed. One thinks of Scum and Daily Hate Mail "readers".

Hopefully the voters are not as stupid and easily decieved as he thinks!

Lee Griffin said...

I'm completely disenfranchised with the PMQ system now, needs a total do over. But I wonder, am I missing something or is no-one able to compel Brown to actually answer a question? I know the speaker said the PM can answer a question in his own way, but surely answering a question such as "what colour are post boxes" with "bananas" shouldn't ever be acceptable and able to be contested?

Let someone else decide. said...

It really is time that the speaker did his job. Brown should be given a public Bollicking and made to answer the questions put to him.

The speaker is NOT supposed to protect MPs and Brown in particular, he should be protecting the public's interest.

At the moment, Brown is drawing his PM's wages under false pretences. How can he call himself the "Prime" minister when no one has elected him to office, will not answer questions put to him in Parliament and sets up Review after review in order to avoid making decisions?

Alex said...

Wierd, but since Clegg did mention surveillance, the mention of CCTV in the reply is not that far out. Sounds like Brown was flailing about for an answer.

More arresting was the comment from a government spin doctor that the £1.7 billion bailout paid to Metronet's banks was money that the government would have had to pay anyway at some point in the future ... omitting to mention that it would only have been payable if Metronet had actually done the work they had contracted to do. How stupid do they think we are?

Pete Chown said...

Does anyone know what rules apply to people who don't answer Parliamentary questions? Suppose Brown went further than he has, and just said, "I'm not answering that, get lost."

Is the only sanction that he could be held in contempt of the House? That wouldn't work in practice because passing the contempt motion would need a majority of all MPs. So are there any other options?

Anonymous said...

Weird and absolutely fucking useless.

saw the light marched with camo said...

I watched the whole thing. As an Ex-Lib Dem I'm always intrigued what the 'Third Man' is going to ask, obviously Broon isn't as intrigued.
I'm sitting there saying 'er...what about the fingerprint thing Heloow??'
Brown didn't even bother to trot out his arrogant 'Lib Dems can't do economic sums like what I can' crap.
I don't want to 'big up' my old Lib chums too much but they do have more local councillors in England than Labour. Brown's dismissive tone towards them is annoying even for a Tory such as I.
I don't think PMQs needs bullshit reform for reform's sake. I do however want a PM who has a tiny inkling as to what democracy is about, if only in very general terms.

Rickytshirt said...

He's like a little kid who doesn't want to play by the rules and the Speaker enjoys the fact that he can let him get away with it.

Why does PMQ's get so little coverage in news broadcasts? I seem to remember it featuring prominently during Fatch's reign despite there only being an audio track. I could be wrong, I was only young.

Must be cos Parliament's becoming more & more impotent as are we voters (thanks EU, you really are f'ing things up nicely for us!). Although that doesn't fully explain it as Westminster coverage is often squeezed out by very minor stories.

I think the reason for that is that news editors are scared of boring viewers away and so prefer to run with stories which have a more 'human angle'.

I wonder how many MP's got away with bogey munching in those days. Must be why the benches are green.

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid he may have learned the technique from Margaret Thatcher who was notorious for dingthe same in her later years as PM. But I daresay Dizzy and some of the readers of this blog may suffer from a selective memory.

dizzy said...

Excellent, a complete fucking idiot throwing out a tu quoque. I was 14 and I don't give a fuck what Thatcher did because even if she did it doesn't make Brown doing it right.

Anonymous said...

Didn't say what Brown was doing was right. It wasn't but politicians have been playing such games for a long time.

Rather than slavering over Thatcher at age 14 perhaps you should have been learning to read - didn't you ever read Orwell about using foreign words when there are perfectly good English ones to use instead.

As an aside isn't it interesting how many Tory bloggers were impressionable young boys when Thatcher was around.

dizzy said...

Err I wasn't slavering over Thatcher when I was 14, I was doing solvents and getting pissed. And it's latin.

Rickytshirt said...

'As an aside isn't it interesting how many Tory bloggers were impressionable young boys when Thatcher was around.'

It's amazing how many Labour bloggers there aren't.

genghiz the kahn said...

Brown is becoming more like Roger Irreverent from Viz...CCTV whibble, whibble.

Clegg looked absolutely amazed, if not furious, as it was the second week running that Broon hadn't bothered to answer his questions. Brown had been asked when stored Apache helicopters would be released for use, and replied with 'we are spending more and more on helicopters than ever before, whibble, whibble, whirr. The reply was basically rubbish, almost as bad as his 'inflation is 2% mantra.'

Little Black Sambo said...

Anon 13.21 If we are not to say "tu quoque" how should we say it in English? It is used because it is useful.

Anonymous said...

"Two wrongs don't make a right" or similar

Alex said...

"Tu quoque" is Latin for "you too". Heavens above, what do they teach young peope at school these days?

Truth Seeker said...

Incapable of answering a question is a joke, he seems to think it has become "Questions to the Hon Leader of the Opposition"
I am sick to death of his insistence of asking whether or not David Cameron agrees with him - of course he bloody doesn't and neither do the rest of us!

We all just wish he would piss off - but you can be sure he'll ask whether David Cameron agrees with his pissing off - to which h just might get a resounding yes!

Anonymous said...


I know perfectly well what the literal translation is - but if you do that then Dizzy's original statement becomes meaningless which in effect proves the point about not using foreign words.

If you believe in literal translations you might want to try translating War and Peace from Russian using Google translate or similar.

Anon 13:12

Anonymous said...

Do not feed the troll.