Corbyn & PMQs

Mick Hall @ Organized Rage writes that:

For Corbyn PMQ's is a way to reset the agenda away from neoliberal reaction into something which favors ordinary citizens

Is it any wonder we have lost faith in parliament when MPs behave like rabid dogs during PMQs.

Once again the mainstream media is pouring it's usual bile and hate upon Jeremy Corbyn. This time it's because he refused during yesterday's PMQ to tackle the PM, Theresa May, on Brexit, preferring to concentrate on the Tory and Coalition government's appalling record on housing.

Apparently Owen Smith had issued a statement to the media prior to PMQ's, demanding the leader of the opposition lead with Brexit, as if Smith having betrayed Corbyn is in any position to make demands upon him. To describe Smith's behaviour as mischief making wouldn't do it justice.

Mainstream media response

John Rental writing in The Independent had this to say after reminding his readers of Smith's suggestion:

"You need a good opposition to bring out the best in government." His implication was clear, which just about says it all about where the loyalty of these hacks lies. Need I remind the Blairite Rental the job of the opposition is not to bring the best out of the government of the day.

The mainstream media don't get Corbyn and never will as they are stuck in the rut of a late 20th century mindset. They centre on who is up or down, who has won the latest round of PMQ's as if it were a sporting event. They see it as an extension of the Eton debating society in which smart mouthed louts exchange smartass responses in the hope of gaining a round of applause from their mates in the audience.

As far as Jeremy is concerned that is how PMQs used to be done. For Corbyn Labour it is much, much more. Jeremy sees it as a way to help reset the national agenda away from neoliberal reaction into something which favors the ordinary citizen.

If he had led with a Brexit question what would it have achieved? Even the dogs in the street know Mrs May would never give a straight answer. She's made that clear in countless interviews and public statements over the last two weeks. All he would have achieved is yet another chorus of "Brexit means Brexit." Which is how she replied during PMQ's to Angus Robertson, the SNP leader at Westminster.

Far from becoming the leader of the opposition as some silly scribe claimed, Angus was just another run of the mill politician who forgot the first rule of parliamentary debate: don't ask a question when you do not know the answer.

Corbyn has reset the national debate on Austerity. He did much the same over Zero hours contracts and on benefit cuts. He is now attempting to put the lack of affordable homes to the top of the agenda. That is why he used up all of his five questions on this subject.

The last question Corbyn put to Theresa May was about Women's Refuges facing the threat of closure due to the government's benefit cap. The Labour leader asked Mrs May to provide assurances that women’s refuges would not be subject to the cap.

Her response is worth quoting in full:

The right honourable gentleman raises a very important issue on the issue of domestic violence. Across this house we are doing all we can to stop these terrible crimes taking place and obviously to provide support to the victims and survivors of these crimes. That’s why we are working on exempting refuges from the cap, in relation to what he speaks about.

If anyone doubts the importance of her reply they should note the prime minister’s comments on the Local Housing Allowance cap was the first time she has mentioned it since she became Prime Minister.

Yesterday Corbyn succeeded in pushing this issue nearer to the front of the queue.

Job done!

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

1 comment to ''Corbyn & PMQs"

  1. Labour leadership result out tomorrow I believe. Apart from our closet Tory Boy Peter in here I suspect a Corbyn landslide would be very well received. Always enjoy reading Mick's articles. So many decent people in the UK and between Mick and the 30 Years since the Miners Strike group it is always great to get an insight.


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