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Following Prime Minister’s Questions at the end of July, it cannot be denied that any issue, no matter how big or small, is nothing but the crux of a political back and forth between the government and the opposition. The News of the World phone hacking scandal was at the centre of the House of Commons, and the majority of the questions focused on David Cameron’s appointment of Andy Coulson and his liaisons with Rebekah Brookes and Rupert and James Murdoch.
The Labour backbenchers decided to barely probe the issue of the carefree and underhanded nature with which News International treated the Millie Dowler case, and instead were there purely to try and unsettle the Prime Minister. However, as Cameron has argued his innocence so much over the last week with regards to Coulson, there was little more to say on that issue.
Labour should have used the opportunity to send some serious questions across the house about Cameron’s leadership of the country, as the confidence in the Conservative leader seems to be at an all-time low. With economists predicting a double-dip recession and with more cuts on the way, not to mention the economic turmoil on the continent, it looks almost certain that Labour will win the next election when it arises, even with the inferior Miliband at the helm of the party.
Cameron may not have endeared himself to the majority of Labour supporters by echoing Margaret Thatcher’s infamous “I’m enjoying this” quote, yet it cannot be denied that aside from this possible slip up, he was on top form across the 136 questions put to him by Parliament. The notable silence from Ed Miliband from across the house can only further prove the comfort the Prime Minister had with the repetition, and although he did not answer many questions with the elaborate detail the electorate might have liked, Cameron did himself no harm, proving that at the very least he is relatively at ease with some of the pressure that comes with the job. I would expect to see a rise in confidence from the public, although I’m sure many would disagree with me.
That Wednesday was supposed to be a rest day for politicians, being the last day before their six-week hiatus, which some may argue has come at the best time possible for David Cameron and the coalition government. The next few weeks will definitely be interesting to watch, with calls for Rupert Murdoch to step down as the CEO of News Corporation and the resignations of Coulson and Brookes. Without the action of Left vs. Right, Labour vs. Conservative in Parliament to keep an eye on, the actions of Murdoch et al. will be even further scrutinised by (most of) the unbiased media.
Personally, having watched the majority of the debate on BBC Parliament, I felt it was going round in circles, with so few different questions. I was pleased to see that the 136th and final question turned the issue back on to Ed Miliband’s election as Labour leader, asking whether the select committee would be investigating the transparency of the Trade Union leaders’ relationships with News International. However, this was yet another example of political point scoring and, love it or hate it, it is here to stay.