And so Will Quince MP was picked out of the lucky hat to put a question to Theresa May at PMQ’s today.
“Yo Girl. Will you be joining me on the mean streets of Shrub End for some last minute campaigning?”
I refer my Right Hon friend to the answer I gave earlier: strong and bloody stable, etc.
Yeah yeah – PMQ’s is at best a pantomime, but more than often it is a bloody farce.
It’s always a little odd when a backbencher is called upon to hold their own Leader to account.
But it’s the showcase and the prestige that pushes the buttons.
Irrespective of party colours, you get a glow when you see ‘Colchester’ appear at the bottom of the screen.
It’s like watching the national weather forecast and seeing Ipswich not appearing, but SUNNY COLCH instead.
And so what was the substance of Quince’s Q?
— Will Quince MP (@willquince) September 4, 2017
Having teased his constituents on Twitter earlier in the week, we tried to in vain to crowdsource a Q.
— Colchester Chronicle (@ColchChronic) September 4, 2017
In the end Quince went with the issue of homelessness.
We weren’t expecting that…
PMQ’s is more about highlighting an issue, rather than genuine scrutiny of how the government is going about its business.
For the record, the MP for Colchester asked the PM:
“One person sleeping rough is one too many. Our party’s manifesto set out to end rough sleeping by the end of this Parliament. Given the important role that charities play in this task, will the Prime Minister join me in paying tribute to the excellent charity Crisis, which is marking its 50th anniversary?”
GREAT work in highlighting the work of Crisis.
— Crisis (@crisis_uk) September 6, 2017
We will reserve judgement on the merits of mentioning the Tory manifesto pledge and whether anything contained within will actually be carried out.
The PM replied:
“First, may I pay tribute to my hon. Friend, because I know this is an issue he cares about deeply and he co-chairs the all-party group on ending homelessness. He rightly says that we did have a commitment on reducing rough sleeping, with the aim to halve it by 2022 and eliminate it altogether by 2027, and £550 million has already been allocated until 2020 to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.
I am also happy to join him in paying tribute to Crisis, as it marks its 50th anniversary. Over those 50 years, it has been doing a very important job, and I will be hosting a reception for Crisis to mark its 50th anniversary in Downing Street later today.”
You couldn’t get a more vanilla response if you had handed the PM a Mr Whippy and asked her to rap her reply to the tune of Ice, Ice Baby.
But it’s all good.
It was an interesting choice of question from Quince. There was almost a passive aggressive fist shake back at the CBC Cabinet.
With the GO4 Cafe in the town centre recently closing, and the LibLabIndie Cabinet pursuing a policy of pushing homelessness out of the town centre, you can see where Quince was coming from.
Homelessness in Colchester won’t be eradicated by a single Q at PMQ’s; it won’t disappear with a CBC policy of social cleansing, either.
Time for some real questions and answers?