I’ve always thought that Cameron, like his role model Tony Blair, was pretty good at PMQs. Not even the most ardent supporter of Gordon Brown would claim that he regularly wiped the floor with Cameron, and in truth, always having the last word, the PM should be in command of the situation.
But over the last couple of weeks before the Easter break he did look vulnerable. Not just to Miliband, but generally. I think his weakness is partially because he is being poorly briefed, but mostly it seems to be down to not having a full grasp of the issues, particularly around the NHS reforms.
A few weeks ago when asked by Ed Miliband about the implications of EU competition rules on Lansley’s planned changes, Cameron stared hopelessly into the middle distance, as if Miliband had suddenly asked a question in Cantonese, and then proceeded to answer an entirely different question altogether.
Today, rattled by Miliband’s question on why 98% of nurses had given Lansley the black spot… he did it again, blushing with embarrassment as he admitted they needed to take the workforce with them. Later, when pressed on the subject he got redder and redder in the face, embarked on a confused ramble about an ex-Labour MP who was a GP and who we were told thought clinicians were deliriously happy with Lansley’s plans, before wittering on about the NHS in Wales in answer to every question asked of him… and concluding with his patronising Michael Winner impersonation.
Perhaps the lad should take a few moments during the ‘listening period’ on the NHS Bill to brief himself on the subject a bit, and do a bit of listening.