Tuesday, November 03, 2009

How PMQs works

Your humble Devil must admit to wondering how, precisely, the questions are chosen at PMQs—especially since so many seem not to be, in fact, questions but assorted back-benchers toadying to the government.

Luckily, Kerry McCarthy has explained it all for us (she does, occasionally, write some quite interesting stuff about the processes of the House).
Backbenchers (which includes all the Lib Dems except Clegg and all the Tories except the Shadow Cabinet) have to submit their question for PMQs by 12.30pm the Thursday before. They don't have to actually specify what question they want to ask, other than 'what engagements the PM has today'. Then it's down to pure luck, whether your question comes up in the shuffle conducted by the Table Office. I don't know how they do the shuffle but it is entirely random. This week, for example, there are five Lib Dems on the order paper as well as Stephen Pound, who was called by the Speaker at last week's PMQs, and Karen Buck, who has been down the bottom of the order paper twice in the three weeks that Parliament has been back. Maybe they'll get round to her this week; she just missed out last time.

She does go into a lot more analysis—using tomorrow's PMQs as an example—which is worth having a look at. Amongst other things, it might be worth noting who the toadies are so that you can be sure to ignore them from now on...

2 comments:

polaris said...

OK that's HOW the questions are picked, of more interest to me is the WHY. Why bother that is, PMQs seem to contribute little to serious debate - it is a procedural grandstanding opportunity; MPs metaphorically running around the chamber, arms outstretched making airyplane noises. Perhaps they should reintroduce swords?

Anonymous said...

One just hope that the Boy Dave Cameroony has 'Buge Hollocks'.. and 'Cojones' as well. Its time he totally laid into Gollums McDoom and his Fackwit Party of Pseudo-Marxist Morons. Dave is being far too timid... he has to get McClown absolutely rattled so he looses his temper, throws his paperwork around the Liar-bore Fron benches...shouts, screams and carrys on like the raving twunt he is...

One would like to see him, Pa Broone, Gurneyed away by Men in White Coats to a Funny Farm wher he can be fed Happy Pills all day long.... Whowa there!!

Who is going to be Dear Leader then... Lord Mendacious? Mr Millipede? Happless Hariidan?

Oh dear... maybe Pa Broone is better off being where he is, at least everyone know he's a Prize F*c'Tard on stilts...

Fred Tiddlypop, Port St Wenn, Kernow. Being of sound mind this day, 9th Nov 2009.