Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Someone tell Gordon he can't do jokes, please

This week's PMQs weren't the painful mugging followed by stamping of last Wednesday, but they did illustrate one central point: Gordon Brown can't do humour. Now, some people can't, or can't very well and all of the advice on public speaking is that if you aren't funny then don't try to be. Unfortunately, none of Brown's coterie appears to have had the bottle to tell him that he won't be doing the Edinburgh fringe anytime soon. So, we had the sad sight of missed punchlines and repeated attempts to get the joke right. In a seaside pub he would have been pelted with food, but this was parliament and Labour MPs had clearly been told to act as more than last week's shocked bystanders, and so duly cheered no matter what came out of Brown's mouth.

There were two topics really, the superbug epidemic and the EU Reform Treaty. This last was on the eve of Gordon Brown's key meeting in Lisbon tomorrow, and put a pretty firm marker down on the issue. Unless the PM has an epiphany and decides that the matter deserves the referendum the Labour Party promised in their 2005 manifesto, then there will be a huge parliamentary row on this matter, on an issue that unites the Conservatives and splits Labour. Should be interesting.

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