Today I caught Prime Ministers Question period in the UK parliament. It was an interesting event. Tony Blair, sometime British Prime Minister, is away in Australasia and the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, took his place. David Cameron, leader of the official opposition, is also away, so a former leader, William Hague, took his place.
Both are Yorkshiremen from Rotherham. Both are seasoned performers. Hauge is widely regarded as the best speaker in the house. Prescott, a bruiser, is well known to have a serious problems in mangling the language (English, we think).
It was a great show - probably the best comedy on television today. Here are some examples (thanks to the BBC):
John Prescott: "The Tories have been going through leaders so fast they have started at the beginning again". (Hauge was 4 leaders ago)
William Hague: "He is over 65 yet he did not pay council tax at all. What was so special about election year that pensioners needed £200 council tax help just for that year?"
John Prescott: "The Tories are so green they are recycling their leaders".
And there was more
William Hague: "There was so little English in that answer, President Chirac would have been happy with it".
John Prescott: (On the prime minister's retirement timetable) "That's for me to know and him to guess at".
And here's another one from my blue bookWilliam Hague: "At least I got through that campaign (2001 election) without hitting anybody". (Prescott thumped a man who threw an egg at him - Prescott was widely admored at the time for being a real man not a girly boy).
John Prescott: "I thought we had finished with Punch and Judy politics. I know I will be called Mr Punch, what does that leave him as?"
William Hague: "The prime minister has fled the country before the police turn up". (A reference to the scandal surrounding the loans for peerages deal, which has now turned into a corruption case).
It was great fun. Bet we wont see this kind of stuff next week when the Canadian parliament opens again after a break for election, corruption and moving the chairs about.