MPs rarely get much sympathy but spare a thought for them over the coming days. They've got to spend the next week debating a Queen's Speech which has been widely branded pretty tedious, lacking any measures they can really sell to voters.
Speaker John Bercow kicked of round two of the coalition proceedings with a reminder about parliamentary privilege, warning that the right of MPs to say what they like in the Commons would be under scrutiny in the coming months. This sounded like a reminder to Lib Dem MP John Hemming to stop naming footballers mentioned on Twitter. Unfortunately Hemming was not present.
Tory Nadim Zahawi, the young, thrusting MP charged with formally moving the debate, hinted that the coalition was far from united on Lords reform, and in that we weren't disappointed. Lib Dem Malcolm Bruce spoke second and pointed out that their comments were enhanced by virtue of them being elected. The Tories suddenly lost their sense of humour and began increasingly chattering among themselves, bored.
Ed Miliband Rose To Give Labour's Response To The Queen's Speech
Ed Miliband was less happy than you'd expect him to be, given he'd just trounced both coalition parties in recent elections. His jokes were crap. "In less that two years he's gone from David Cameron to David Brent," he said of the PM, which not even Labour MPs found remotely funny.
Cameron sat through the whole thing alternating between glowering at Miliband in near disbelief and chatting to George Osborne two places to his left. He'd just found out that Abu Qatada had failed to get his appeal heard by the European Courts, so wasn't too bothered by Miliband, although Tory backbenchers were annoyed enough by the Labour leader to want to constantly butt in.
Louise Mensch Was One Of Those Who Fought To Intervene On Ed Miliband
The Labour leader targeted a lack of measures to reform executive pay in the Queen's Speech. "If you can't show your employees that you're worth it, you shouldn't be getting the salary," said Ed, whereupon immediately Tories called him to resign.
Miliband asked on Lords reform: "How did it get into the speech?" Given neither Cameron nor Osborne nor Clegg will admit it's a priority, Miliband found it a struggle to see why the Queen had to read it out. Tories were less willing to intervene on that.
Ed also castigated Cameron for failing to bring forward a Bill on the register of lobbyists. "This isn't just a Westminster story because it shows whose side he's on," Miliband insisted, even though it really, really is a Westminster story, just like seemingly everything being discussed in British politics these days.
David Cameron Spent Much Of The Debate Glowering At Ed Miliband
Cameron didn't offer much in response to Miliband except to point out that Labour hasn't even bothered to cost their economic figures yet. He resisted calls for a referendum on Lords reform before the Bill finished its way through Parliament, saying that sort of thing had been done in the past by "unsavory regimes" in other countries.
Cameron also said that the costs of a "stand alone" referendum would be high - clearly leaving the option open of holding one at the same time as some other election. So we can safely say there's still everything to play for in this match. Unfortunately the politicians still haven't figured out the real problem is crowd attendance.
See the best images from the Queen's Speech:
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