Yesterday's Prime Minister's Questions got a bit fierce and a bit confusing. What were they on about, exactly? Here, a little late, is my reading of what was said.
Cameron: ‘It’s another light green tie day for me: I’m crumpet, I am! But don’t go thinking I’m some kind of softy. I say the new Home Secretary’s rubbish! So there!
Blair: ‘You’ve been going on all week about a bunch of lifers being let out early. But that’s only because your lot passed the law that made it possible. Since our law came into force no one jailed for life has been let out. Banged up forever, they are! Hah!’
Cameron: ‘Heard about that paedo, have you? The one who got eighteen years and might be out in six? No point blaming the judge for it. He was only doing what your new law told him to!’
Blair: ‘That’s cobblers! He’d be out already if we hadn’t passed our new law. And you voted against it, just like you’ve voted against all our new laws that aren’t a lot of use but mean we can swagger about saying we’re tough on crime. We’re much, much better at it than you lot are! Look at me doing it now! See how red my face is? See this finger? See it jab?'
Cameron: ‘I’m going to ignore what you’ve just said and instead complain that under your law crooks get out of jail halfway through their sentences. And another thing: in fact, that paedo might still get a longer sentence and that would be because of our law, wouldn’t it?'
Blair: ‘I’m going to wriggle out of that one by repeating that we’re tough, tough, tough! Oooh, I just love saying it! Why, thanks to our law if you get sent down for four years or more you’ve no chance of getting out early! No chance! And while we’re at it let’s talk about locking up people who haven’t even been found guilty of anything! If you hadn’t stopped us we’d have been able to do it for much, much longer and we’d be doing it already! You talk the talk but you won’t walk the walk! Same thing with Asbos! You’re a pansy, mate!’
Cameron: ‘I still think the Home Secretary’s rubbish. Why don’t you kick his arse?’
Blair: ‘Actually, he’s got an idea for another new law! Everso tough, it’s going to be! If you don’t vote for it we’ll all know you’re a pansy, won’t we? So there yourself!'
Cameron: ‘I want people to believe that I care about health service nurses. A lot of them might get sacked because of cutbacks in the NHS and it’s all your fault.’
Blair: ‘I got a bit worked up back there, didn’t I? So now I’m going to act all calm and respectfully point out that we’ve put an awful lot of money into the NHS, which means we care about nurses more than you do.’
Cameron: ‘Pull the other one. Nurses are getting sacked all over the place! And that Hewitt woman said this was a good year! Make her apologise will you?
Blair: ‘One of the ways we’re nice to nurses and other health care workers is that we’re paying them better and protecting their pensions. As it happens that’s where all the bloody money’s gone, but I won’t half be for it if I look pissed off about that. So I won’t. I’ll just sit down quietly instead.’
PMQs END HERE