Prescott's in charge. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
PMQ’s today. I am sorry: I was one of the people who criticised the ‘laddish’ behaviour of MP’s in the chamber before I arrived and now I am as bad as the rest.
There is something about the atmosphere. The chamber, despite looking huge on TV, is in fact only very small. We are all squashed together, it’s usually hot and MP’s are very fired up and ready to have a go at whoever they think is the creator of all problems. It is the one chance in the week when you can hold the Prime Minister directly accountable, only this week it was Two Jags and it was a riot.
William Hague was superb as always asking questions which were both important and relevant. He ran rings around the deputy Prime Minister; I actually felt sorry for JP – he looked confused at the questions, leaned back and asked the ministers around him what to do. Although this was all great sport and very, very funny this is the man who is in charge of the country today – not so funny.
After PMQ’s Alistair (MP NE Beds) and I had a meeting with Patricia Hewitt about Bedford Hospital. With consummate political skill she took all the credit on behalf of the Government for the investment that has gone into the NHS - and blamed Bedford hospital managers for the problems and redundancies faced by the Hospital. And we wonder why people are disenchanted with politicians? Given that the people living in Patricia Hewitt’s constituency receive a great deal more in funding for their NHS than people in Bedfordshire do for ours - after that meeting I’m one of them.