Brown’s first PMQs: The press verdict

Brown’s first PMQs: The press verdict

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The assembled ranks of parliamentary sketch writers had a field day with Gordon’s first PMQs and, it has to be said, the reviews won’t make comfortable reading inside Number 10.

Reproduced above is the start of Ann Treneman’s description in the Times of yesterday’s first PMQs for Gordon. She went on: “The event was a slow crash involving one vehicle only. This was no Tony Blair-style Formula One racing duel of burning tyres and screeching corners. Instead we watched as G. Brown, learner driver, crept down the road in an old Mini, constantly checkinig his mirror and grinding his gears with alarming frequency. His three-point turn had to be abandoned after 30 attempts.”

Elsewhere Simon Hoggart’s report in the Guardian appears under the headline Stuttering prime minister stumbles into Ming’s trap and observed: “At one point, sounding like a warped CD, he said: “Then, then, then, then we will not be able to agree on the way, the way, the way, the way, the way forward…”Miss, miss, miss, miss, Mister Speaker, miss, Mister Speaker …” I have never heard him stutter. Clearly there was some tremendous anxiety banked inside that mighty frame. There were other weird remarks..At one point he said: “The leader of the Opposition forgets that I’ve been in the job for five [sic] days …” It was meant to say: “Look, we’re realists, and I’ll get round to it,” but it sounded pleading, like Pooh Bear reminding us he was a bear of very little brain.”

In the Independent Simon Carr concluded: “Like a big bowl of porridge, he was depressingly pedestrian. But at least he didn’t lose his temper”.

Mike Smithson

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