Had to be in the Chamber today, to watch Ed Miliband's debut. Couldn't understand why so many people thought he would be a flop. I didn't. To me, he's always seemed a good performer (in a sixth form debater sort of way). He's sharp and personable, and I've warned that we must take him seriously. Mind you, if he can't make his mark in the current climate, he's a banana.
This is the image that came to my mind. A young Pakistani bowler, unknown and untested, opening the bowling against David Gower at his sublime peak, on a wicked pitch under heavy cloud - ball moving both ways and lifting. The first few overs are interesting to watch - before David gradually gets his eye in, taking control. The question, as it was on the day that 'the Unions' awarded him the captaincy, is whether he just flatters to deceive, or turns out to be a Wacqar Younis or an Imran Khan. Though I cannot claim to be an impartial observer, it was great to see a decent contest. the young newcomer did OK. I will not be missing PMQs for the next few weeks.
What also struck me is the degree of disconnect between 'cause' and 'blame' in modern politics. Labour completely wreck the economy, leading to the people putting a replacement Government in place to clear up the mess - reducing public expenditure and in doing so, providing ammunition for Labour to fire at us. Its brass neck of a very high order. And how the culprits cheered. No good moan aboput it. That's politics. Price of being in Government I suppose - being on the receiving end of gunfire. So happens that today, I feel that, along with others, I made a real difference. Makes it all worthwhile.