When David Cameron (DC) and Nick Clegg (Cleggy) first had their first press conference in the No. 10 garden last May, they urged the reporters there and the wider public that this is the new politics, “co-operation in the national interest.” which no one can deny is not a good thing. But, a new politics that breaks with the past is a politics that leaves behind the petty point scoring and squabbling of the House of Commons that has plagued most notably PMQs since the late 1960s and particularly since the 1980s.
This is something DC failed to demonstrate today in (Ed Miliband’s very first) PMQs as the Coalition’s new politics often very much looked, sounded and seemed like the old. After five years of complaining that his predecessors did NOT answer the vast majority of his questions, DC seemed very unable to answer Ed Miliband’s questions on Child Benefit. What seemed to happen in the end was DC questioning Miliband on his own policies to which quite rightly he didn’t answer to (to simple fact that this is Prime Ministers Questions) instead brilliantly replying “I may be new to this game, but if I remember rightly it’s my job to ask the questions.”.
Ed Miliband was at least trying to break this mould, let’s only hope the Coalition follows suit.