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sofiakenny
13 May 20 11:43
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By:
----you-have-to-laugh---
When: 13 May 20 11:49
Will clown turn up?
By:
----you-have-to-laugh---
When: 13 May 20 12:08
No answers, again.
By:
----you-have-to-laugh---
When: 13 May 20 12:11
Number of deaths coming down


Deffo a tag line


Folk coming back to life?
By:
sofiakenny
When: 13 May 20 12:23
Doubles down on 200000 tests by the month end...gonna be some very very postmen!Laugh
By:
sofiakenny
When: 13 May 20 12:23
very very busy..doh!
By:
salmon spray
When: 13 May 20 12:37
This set-up really suits Starmer. More like a coutroom than the normal braying Commons.
Doesn't suit Boris at all as his evasive bumbling is much more obvious bs than when he has the Hooray Henrys behind him.
By:
sofiakenny
When: 13 May 20 12:49
This virus is extremely dangerous to older people.waffle waffle waffle.
By:
Angoose
When: 13 May 20 13:26
Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Sir Keir Starmer was widely expected to outperform Boris Johnson at PMQs, and in their first encounter last week he duly managed to do so with aplomb. On their second outing you would have expected No 10 to have given some thought to how to mount a more effective response. But there was not much evidence of this, and Johnson was duly skittled.

One problem for Johnson was that some of the usual tactics just don’t work at Zoom PMQs. A outright untruth can win you temporary reprieve in the House of Commons if 300 MPs are cheering you on and it is going to take people a while to work out that you’re mistaken or lying, but Johnson does not have the wall of sound protection he used to enjoy, and denying the existence of a document that Labour were able to circulate within seconds  was just an elementary error. Starmer is not infallible, and there are ways of beating him in an argument. But suggesting that Starmer (the archetypal “swot”, as the PM would put it) is wrong on a point of fact - how naive can you get?
By:
Angoose
When: 13 May 20 13:29
robert shrimsley
@robertshrimsley

Top PMQs tip for Boris: if Keir Starmer says government guidance said something, best to work on the assumption that it did.
By:
Angoose
When: 13 May 20 13:32
Perhaps he'd simply forgotten to stay alert Crazy
By:
Angoose
When: 13 May 20 13:34
By:
----you-have-to-laugh---
When: 13 May 20 13:38
Johnson just hasn't got a clue

Answering question he thought he had been asked earlier

Not a good look
By:
politicspunter
When: 13 May 20 13:41
If any independent person was watching this charade, nine out of ten of them would identify Starmer as PM.
By:
----you-have-to-laugh---
When: 13 May 20 15:16
I wouldn't rate Johnson as high as that
By:
unitedbiscuits
When: 13 May 20 16:17
Agree with all the above, and salmon spray puts it into a nutshell:

This set-up really suits Starmer. More like a coutroom than the normal braying Commons.
Doesn't suit Boris at all as his evasive bumbling is much more obvious bs than when he has the Hooray Henrys behind him.


Leader Of The House Jacob Rees Mogg wants MPs to fill the commons chamber asap. At first, that puzzled, seeming so out of step with Govt by impunity, but PMQs exposes the need on Johnson's side.
By:
Angoose
When: 13 May 20 16:34
The loneliness of high office. Sad



PS - Note that he was unable to STAY ALERT to the helpful seating indicators. Sad
By:
----you-have-to-laugh---
When: 13 May 20 16:41


There there Boris my love, its soon forgotten
By:
unitedbiscuits
When: 13 May 20 16:57
Where's Laura?

I'll speak to no-one before noon and only Laura afterwards.
By:
unitedbiscuits
When: 13 May 20 22:15
Just watched news play a Johnson "bullet point" at PMQs.

Not a great look with little Matt Hancock as the wingman!
By:
Angoose
When: 14 May 20 04:30
John Crace https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/may/13/boris-johnson-resorts-to-bluster-under-keir-starmer-cross-examination

On Monday Boris Johnson was singing the praises of “good old-fashioned British common sense”. A higher order of common sense than French or German common sense, naturally. So it’s unfortunate that this is the very quality he seems to singularly lack. Because you’d have thought the one thing Boris might have learned from his first time up against Keir Starmer at prime minister’s questions last week was that it would be a help to come properly prepared.

But Boris has never done preparation for anything. It’s not in his nature. Preparation is for girly swots. He is a tabula rasa who treats every day as a new beginning. One free from the consequences of any past actions. He is the macho blagger who has always been able to wing it, fuelled by a few gags and some hasty last-minute revision.

Something that might have been good enough, when backed up by a full chamber of braying Tory MPs, to see off Jeremy Corbyn, but that is proving hopelessly inadequate against a top QC in a near-silent courtroom. Things are now so bad that every time Boris opens his mouth, he only encourages the jury to convict him and the judge to increase his sentence.

It’s also possible that Starmer has made the same mistake as many people in severely overestimating Boris’s intelligence. That the long words and the Latin phrases simply cover up the fact the prime minister isn’t particularly bright: after all, it takes a very special type of cleverness to keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

But then old habits die hard for the leader of the opposition too. He has learned from his time at the bar that there’s no such thing as having too much evidence against a defendant, so he was taking nothing for granted by coming to the Commons somewhat over-prepared.

Give it time and Boris may well cut to the chase and just plead guilty in advance to save him the torture of answering six questions, but we’re not there yet, so Starmer opened his folder and asked the court to consider Exhibit A. Care homes. Was it not true that the government had been far too slow to act to protect the most vulnerable members of society? Absolutely not, Boris insisted. No country had done more to protect the elderly. What better protection could anyone get than being killed?

Hmm. That was weird, Starmer said, because in Exhibit B he had a surgeon quoted in the Daily Telegraph – citing the newspaper that up till now had been only too happy to print any old rubbish the prime minister writes was a cruel twist of the knife – saying that the government hadn’t changed its advice on releasing untested patients into care homes until mid-March.

That’s not just true, Boris blustered, sounding guiltier by the second. Even though it was true. Though to accuse the prime minister of lying is to commit a philosophical category error. As Boris has no clue what advice his government has and hasn’t given, he can’t knowingly be untruthful. Nor, given his career track record, show any signs of being able to differentiate between truth and lies. Rather he just recites the answer that he wants to be true and hopes to make it so by willpower alone. And to be fair, it’s a tactic that’s worked often enough in the past.

Starmer moved on to the Office for National Statistics figures for deaths in care homes. Their report suggested there had been an excess death figure of 18,000 people, yet the government was certain that only 8,000 of them had died of the coronavirus. So what did he think the other 10,000 had died of? Boris shrugged. It was a huge mystery. Perhaps some were dying of happiness. Or of over-exertion in the gym during lockdown? Or perhaps they were dying of disappointment that the UK still had not technically left the EU?

“I’m baffled,” said Starmer. Baffled is QC speak for ‘Now I’ve got you nailed, you filthy lying toerag’. Baffled that the government had stopped using the international death rate comparison at the Downing Street press conference, having done so continuously for the past seven weeks.

Boris blustered yet again. It turns out that a prime minister who was supposed to be such a great communicator can now barely talk in joined-up sentences. He has regressed to the pre-verbal stage. “Um … er … ah,” he mumbled.

There was little left of the prime minister but a sodden mess by the time Keir had finished with him, though the SNP’s Ian Blackford was happy to make a few ripples of his own in the pool of blubbery sweat previously known as Boris.

All that Johnson could say in his defence was that his was a roadmap of consensus – the consensus being that he hadn’t bothered to consult Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It appears he was surprised to learn there were so many people in London who needed to use public transport.

In other times it might have been uplifting for the opposition benches to see the prime minister so comprehensively dismantled. But there was little cheering or a sense of satisfaction, because in a time of crisis you rather hope the country would have a leader in whom you could believe.

Someone you could trust to make at least some of the right decisions. But we have Boris. Incompetent, unprepared, selfish, lazy, amoral, and just not that bright. And no matter how many times Starmer batters him with an indefensible charge sheet at PMQs, Boris will remain prime minister for the duration.
By:
geordie1956
When: 14 May 20 09:52
From Paul Waugh - HuffPost UK

It’s been coming for some time, but today Keir Starmer finally served notice on Boris Johnson that he really does mean business. Devoting all six of his PMQs to the UK’s awful death toll in care homes from Covid-19, the Labour leader showed a flash of steel that ought to worry even this 80-strong majority government

Ever since he was elected, some on the Left of his party have accused Starmer of being too soft on Johnson, too evenly toned, too lawyerly. After his first PMQs, there was even a Momentum-style meme that the word ‘forensic’ was overused, and somehow a badge of shame. Anything that was seen as even an implicit attack on Jeremy Corbyn was to be ridiculed, even if it had Johnson squirming.

But no-drama-Starmer showed last week, and even more this week, that he can mix it up, throwing combinations of punches to keep his opponent on the parliamentary ropes. Left hooks (on austerity) and right hooks (on the dignity of the WW2 patriots) were today supplemented by uppercuts on the growing scandal of the care home death rate.

Putting the opposition into ‘constructive opposition’, Starmer showed a chameleon-like ability to shift easily from loyal public servant, offering support in the national interest, to ruthlessly focused critic. Yes, it was his prosecutorial (you could even call it ‘forensic’) nous that unearthed the pre-March 12 government guidance to care homes. But it was the raw politics of competence that was most on display. No wonder Jacob Rees-Mogg wants the protective wall of cheering Tory MPs to return as soon as possible.

The key line - “it remains very unlikely that people receiving care in a care home or the community will become infected” - certainly sounded woefully complacent. It was a killer quote, in every sense of the word. Johnson blurted out that “it wasn’t true” and even later tried to accuse Starmer of being misleading, when in fact he had indeed quoted the advice accurately.

Deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries tried to defend the guidance but her argument (that there was no “sustained community transmission” at the time) didn’t feel like it would hold up in the court of public opinion. Just as damaging was the cardiologist cited by Starmer, who said the NHS discharged known and unknown cases of Covid into care homes without enough testing or PPE.

With elderly patients in hospital dubbed ‘bed blockers’ for far too long, the political upsides for Labour in fighting for a key voter group are obvious. Much more importantly, if Starmer can somehow help develop a consensus on a national care service, something of real value could still come out of this awful pandemic

The PM tried to use PMQs to hail a new £600m injection of cash into social care. But even this appeared more like an admission of error than a present to be received by a grateful nation. When Robert Jenrick told the No.10 press conference that the package would ensure care homes got “the best infection control, access to testing, the right protective equipment”, many will have wondered why all those were lacking in the first place.

Similarly, Jenrick’s talk of “the new discharge policies” to ensure residents only arrive or leave “once we know that they are free from Covid-19” begged the question why the ‘new’ policies had taken this long.

As I’ve written before, only a fool would write off Johnson’s ability to defy political gravity. The Telegraph’s leak of the Treasury’s economic response to the crisis underlines that Johnsonomics means higher levels of debt over the long term, far from the austerity of the Osborne era. Freezes on public sector pay were ruled out today, but tax hikes were not.

Yet even on the economic response, Starmer can claim plenty of credit for pushing the government to make the right (Left) choices. The furlough scheme and its extension, the extra state backed loans for business, the self-employed scheme (which began today with big numbers, and surely soon to be extended too), are all the products of ‘constructive’ Opposition pressure, just as more PPE and testing are

The real danger for Johnson is that a global recession, particularly if the US is hard hit, could rip away every sticking plaster he has so far applied to our wounded economy. Given that Labour was blamed by the Tories in 2010 for a global financial crisis, the irony of a role reversal won’t be lost on some. There’s often talk among ministers of ‘balancing’ health and wealth in the lockdown exit plan, yet mass unemployment on top of mass deaths would truly be the worst of both worlds

Meanwhile, a YouGov poll has put Starmer ahead of Johnson on a net rating of +23 for the first time. After barely four weeks in the job, and with lots of people still in the ‘don’t know’ camp, that’s not a bad achievement. It’s a reminder too that there is one big job loss that Starmer may ultimately be happy to see out of this Covid crisis: the prime minister’s.
By:
Foinavon
When: 14 May 20 12:32
Sir Forensic Keir, (from whom all wisdom flows), is continuity Blair without the mateyness.
The radical lefties are going to be disappointed whoever wins the next election.
He would, however, take us a few steps further towards the goals of borderless globalism, green peacefulness and of welcoming all peoples from oppressed lands to vote for more of the same.
By:
----you-have-to-laugh---
When: 14 May 20 12:48
Forensic, lol

He hasn't even warmed up
By:
Whisperingdeath
When: 14 May 20 12:48
I think we are happy with the Socialists in charge for nowWink

Just can't wait for a wave of nationalisation's and milking the Rich ( meaning making them pay their fair share! )
By:
unitedbiscuits
When: 15 May 20 10:56
A senior Number 10 insider denied Mr Johnson was peturbed by his most recent encounter with the Labour leader. "Keir Starmer is the one who rattled," the person* said.

* Dom Cummings.
By:
sofiakenny
When: 15 May 20 11:56
We all know that Bojo is a bumbling self serving  balloon but still has undoubted charm..Cummings however hides himself away even more effectively than his boss...me no likey Cummings.
By:
politicspunter
When: 15 May 20 12:02
Tory support surging in Scotland.
By:
politicspunter
When: 15 May 20 12:03
Apparently SNP too centrist for new Tory supporters.
By:
Angoose
When: 15 May 20 12:08
Interesting, I wonder if the SNP are suffering in the pools for a similar reason that the Tories are suffering nationally ?
i.e. the party holding the parcel when the national crisis strikes will inevitably be blamed
By:
markzzz
When: 15 May 20 13:47

May 15, 2020 -- 11:56AM, sofiakenny wrote:


We all know that Bojo is a bumbling self serving

By:
markzzz
When: 15 May 20 13:51
Hmmm. There seems to have been a malfunction there. What I attempted to post was.

No we don't.

He is highly intelligent and extremely adept at political manoeuvering. The position he hold lays testament to that.

To anticipate part of a response, high intelligence does not necessarily make a good politician (many examples of this, Michael Foot being the first to spring to mind).
By:
politicspunter
When: 15 May 20 14:01
Michael Foot was a truly excellent politician, an incredibly intelligent man. Great politicians are present in all parties from the past.
By:
markzzz
When: 15 May 20 14:09
...... But he was completely rejected by the electorate. I fully agree that he was very astute and had excellent ideas, but if you can't take the electorate along with you that does no good at all in politics.
By:
politicspunter
When: 15 May 20 14:16
As he was an MP from 1945-1983, many of those years in a cabinet role, I think he was the opposite of "completely rejected" by the electorate.
By:
markzzz
When: 15 May 20 14:18
I think having an abysmal GE record is rejection, but happy to amicably disagree on this.
By:
politicspunter
When: 15 May 20 14:23
If you are referring to the one election (1983) he was Labour leader (a role he took on very reluctantly), you will find that the Labour and SDP alliance combined vote (53%) was far higher than the Conservatives. If the SDP had not split the Labour vote in multiple constituencies, a different result was certainly possible.
By:
Angoose
When: 15 May 20 14:28
LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Britain’s parliament on Wednesday that his government moved swiftly to protect the country’s vulnerable care homes. Under increasing pressure to defend his record on fighting Covid-19, he said: “We brought in the lockdown in care homes ahead of the general lockdown.”

An examination by Reuters of the guidance issued to care homes, as well as interviews with three care home providers, has provided no evidence that any such early lockdown was ordered.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-britain-carehomes/exclusive-review-contradicts-boris-johnson-on-claims-he-ordered-early-lockdown-at-uk-care-homes-idUSKBN22R1O2

No doubt it will all be included within the forthcoming public inquiry.
By:
markzzz
When: 15 May 20 14:29
A similar explanation could be made for 80-90% of elections. The fact is he ran on a manifesto which Gerald Kaufman called the longest suicide note in history, and got a result pretty much unrivaled until Corbyn in 2019. Also, laying a wreath at the cenotaph whilst being dressed like a tramp didn't help him in the public eye.

I can easily commend him as a politician, but not as a party leader.

I will rest there lest it becomes an argument rather than a debate, please feel free to have the last word.
By:
politicspunter
When: 15 May 20 14:31
Describing him as a tramp is a poor show. I wish we had more politicians today of his intellect and commitment to his beliefs.
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