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PMQ's

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  • 26-06-2019 7:35pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,459 ✭✭✭


    Hi,
    Just a general wondering, at PMQ's the opposition ask some question of the day but more often than not the question from the government bench is an easy question like, does the PM agree that we are doing great, will the PM agree to look into this or that.


    My question:
    Does the government whip ring around to get friendly gov. MP's to ask easy questions to give the PM a break from awardk issues?
    or,
    Are these gov. MP's asking questions just so that their local paper will note it or similar?


    Basically I don't see the point of the easy questions? I know the speaker picks the questions from a pool of submitted ones.


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 525 ✭✭✭Jupiter Mulligan


    jogdish wrote: »

    My question:

    Does the government whip ring around to get friendly gov. MP's to ask easy questions to give the PM a break from issues?

    or,

    Are these gov. MP's asking questions just so that their local paper will note it or similar?

    But why would a government MP want to ask his or her leader an awkward question in public? There's not much to be gained from publicly embarrassing one's leader!

    If a government MP is lucky enough to be drawn in the PMQ lottery then, as you surmise, they normally ask something of relevance to their constituency in the hopes that it is picked up by local media.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,459 ✭✭✭jogdish


    But why would a government MP want to ask his or her leader an awkward question in public? There's not much to be gained from publicly embarrassing one's leader!


    But some of the question are literally just do you agree this good think is good...I cannot understand why anyone would bother to even submit such a question.


  • Registered Users Posts: 264 ✭✭Petyr Baelish


    jogdish wrote: »
    But some of the question are literally just do you agree this good think is good...I cannot understand why anyone would bother to even submit such a question.

    Politicians like to take credit for things. If he or she asks about a new school or hospital that they know will be coming down the line anyway, they can take credit for it with the locals when it does. They also just need to get their faces known, like with election posters.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,356 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    The convention is that questions are called alternately from opposition and government benches.

    The questions on the government side are mostly plants. The government instructs a willing backbencher to ask about something that the government wants to talk about. Often there's a degree of co-operation - say the MP for Wapping Potteries has been lobbying for years for a bypass road for Little Sodding, and the government has finally decided to fund it; the MP is encouraged to ask a question about a bypass for Little Sodding, and the funding is announced in the answer. Both the MP and the government benefit from this. Or the government may want to say something critical of the oppositions stance on some matter, so they get a backbench MP to ask about it.

    Sometimes it's just a time-waster. There's limited time for PM Questions, so the more time the PM spends answering friendly questions from his own backbenchers, the less time the opposition get to savage him. So sometimes there'll be a "padding" question - "Does my right honourable friend the Prime Minister agree that he is, beyond question, the wisest and greatest Briton of his generation - indeed, perhaps, of any generation?" And the PM will spend some minutes blushingly conceding that, yes, perhaps there is a grain of truth in this assessment.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 525 ✭✭✭Jupiter Mulligan


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    The convention is that questions are called alternately from opposition and government benches.

    The questions on the government side are mostly plants. The government instructs a willing backbencher to ask about something that the government wants to talk about. Often there's a degree of co-operation - say the MP for Wapping Potteries has been lobbying for years for a bypass road for Little Sodding, and the government has finally decided to fund it; the MP is encouraged to ask a question about a bypass for Little Sodding, and the funding is announced in the answer. Both the MP and the government benefit from this. Or the government may want to say something critical of the oppositions stance on some matter, so they get a backbench MP to ask about it.

    Sometimes it's just a time-waster. There's limited time for PM Questions, so the more time the PM spends answering friendly questions from his own backbenchers, the less time the opposition get to savage him. So sometimes there'll be a "padding" question - "Does my right honourable friend the Prime Minister agree that he is, beyond question, the wisest and greatest Briton of his generation - indeed, perhaps, of any generation?" And the PM will spend some minutes blushingly conceding that, yes, perhaps there is a grain of truth in this assessment.

    Or a Liverpool Tory MP (are there any?) might invite the PM to join with him/her in congratulating Jurgen Klopp and the Mighty Reds for their superb victory in the European Cup.

    I was in the House for PMQs back in the Thatcher era - great experience - and most of the questions from her side of the house were along the lines "when does the PM plan to visit <name of constituency>?" or "would the PM agree with me that the railway station in <rural constituency> should be re-opened to passenger traffic immediately?"

    Meantime, on the other side of the House, Neil Kinnock was asking her about the Falklands war.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 68,505 ✭✭✭✭L1011


    Liverpool hasn't elected a Tory for about 60 years!


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