Weekly MPs' dogfight turns positively Pavlovian
Close your eyes and it's a dog's home. Open them, though, and it was the seat of British democracy. Funny bunch, politicians.
There has always been something fiercely partisan about Prime Minister's Questions. That's kind of the point. In recent weeks, however, the weekly dogfight has been positively Pavlovian.
Labour MPs have been conditioned to bark every time the words "energy bill freeze" are mentioned. The Tories yap on cue when "the economy" is whistled by their shepherd. The Liberals mainly growl, pleased of the economic bounce but anxious to make clear they would hunt alone if they could choose.
It explains the noise – more raucous than usual – and the current holding patterns of the parties. So Ed Miliband said the Prime Minister has gone from "Rambo to Bambi" after softening on tough action to make sure household energy bills fell when wholesale prices dropped. Mr Cameron was the "unofficial spokesman" for the energy companies, who should be called the "the Big Seven... the Prime Minister and the Big Six energy companies".
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The economy was mentioned seven times. Five occasions by the Prime Minister himself. Labour couldn't talk about it, he said, because "it is growing". "They have nothing to say and nothing to offer," the PM posited. "They are embarrassed that prediction after prediction was completely wrong."
Don't expect the dogs to return to the pound if energy bills are hurting households, but the economy is moving.