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Stewart McDonald MP @StewartMcDonald
, 9 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
A few thoughts on yesterday’s events in the Commons: It is as mad as it looks. The government is literally living vote-to-vote, with whips scuttling around between divisions to find out how *their own MPs* plan to vote in divisions that are minutes away. Strong and stable? No.
The start of the withdrawal debate should have been a big parliamentary moment - it was, but didn’t feel like it. Normally at these moments (air strikes in Syria, Dec ‘15) you can feel the weight of the decision we are being asked to take as MPs (mostly) sit in silence for the PM
Yesterday the PM struggled to get the attention of the Commons - largely her own side - as the drama of the three defeats rippled across the benches behind her. The same when Corbyn got to his feet, where there was more attn to the fact he didn’t allow...
One of his own MPs to intervene on him (eventually he did) than what he had to say. Tory MPs visibly not interested in the Labour front-bench view - again, felt like a cheap moment in Parliament not a weighty and thoughtful decision.
Boris spectacularly failed to get a coherent rhythm or message, with most of the attacks coming from his own side. The cameras won’t show *a lot* of angry head shaking from MPs on his own side as much as on the opposition side. Totally fluffed it with the usual pub bore stuff.
By the time we got to Ian Blackford, huge chunks of the Tory benches chose to leave as the third party leader stood up - again, that (in my short experience) doesn’t happen at the so-called big parliamentary moments. Party leaders normally listened to courteously.
There are five days of this debate in total, with the vote on Tuesday. It has got off to a terribly poor, underwhelming and downright disrespectful start. It would’ve been better to postpone its beginning by (at least) one day to allow the drama of a hat trick of defeats subside.
When it’s said that this is the biggest issue that the UK and it’s citizens have faced in a generation, it is absolutely right. However you wouldn’t know it if you walked around the Commons. The tribal drama of politics is what is consuming Parliament, not the substance. Broken.
Day 2 begins after PMQs...
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