Thomas Legg! the Fear at the Name Was Gorgeous to Behold
Byline: QUENTIN LETTS Yesterday in Parliament
WRONG wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong wognr wrgno wrnog wrgon wrogn zzzzzz. That was about the level of Prime Minister's Questions yesterday.
For the second week in succession, Gordon Brown used the word 14 times. He no longer has the energy or inclination to explain why the Opposition is mistaken in its views. He just asserts that David Cameron has boobed. Erred. Strayed. End of story. No need for the Government to change its policy.
Mr Cameron, having encountered this tactic last week, had a new wheeze of his own. He started saying Mr Brown was wrong. Oh no! Not him, too! Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, etc. On and on it went, or rather, wrong and wrong. Wrong, right, wrong, right. Like a sergeant major's bark on the parade ground.
What do they expect these lines of parliamentary argument to produce? Does Mr Brown, after telling Mr Cameron he is wrong, expect the Tory leader to wring his hands and tell the House, 'Oh no, he says I'm wrong, so that's the end of the matter, I give up'? Can only one person ever be right? And who judges wrong and right, anyway? In some ways it is Ed Balls's fault. He has long been a champion of the 'we took a decision and it was the right thing to do' school of debate. Yesterday Education Secretary Balls sat on the Government front bench, nodding furiously when Mr Brown used the word 'wrong' and shaking his head when Mr Cameron used the word 'right'.
On the Tory benches, meanwhile, they were all busy doing the exact opposite. You can soon go mad watching this sort of carry-on.
Even when Mr Brown knew he had been wrong, he would not say so. The Territorial Army cuts, for instance. 'Having looked at all the issues,' he began. That was how he explained the reversal of policy.
Chloe Smith, the new Tory MP from Norfolk, had lost her prized place just behind David Cameron. Yesterday she was perched right at the back of the House. Miss Smith, about whose dark, short hair there is a hint of Mr Spock's daughter, must listen to PMQs and wonder exactly on which planet she has landed. …