I've picked one question from Prime Ministers Questions today
Sir Steve McCabe MP, Member of Parliament for Birmingham Selly Oak, asked the Prime Minister in the House of Commons today "Do you have any sense of the current mood of bewilderment and betrayal felt by rank and file police officers?"
The Prime Minister gave a stock answer. He said that he supports the police, and the police are the finest force in the world, not acknowledging the fact that we have 43 forces, that vary greatly in performance. He said it is necessary to subject the police to the same scrutiny as any other public body. I don't think anyone would disagree with this. He then ended his answer with a standard "if the party opposite is going to...[blah blah]". Political sniping.
Most questions asked by MP's during PMQs are trivialised by the PM. Blair did it, Brown did it and Cameron did it. Questions are rarely answered with something that an ordinary member of the public could not really understand without understanding wider political context, something not always available to ordinary members of the public. So whats the point in PMQs?
I watch it because i like to see the two leaders slog it out for 5 questions at the beginning. People like Nick Robinson, Guido, and Andrew Neil watch it because they are immersed in the Westminster sludge, and have the journalism skills to interrogate the performances in a way the ordinary person cannot. For those of us who have an interest in such things, we get the pleasure of reading their analysis.
So whats my point? Someone once told me that if a Lion could speak English, we still couldn't understand what they were saying...they have a ludicrously different frame of reference than us. Our MP's are merely Lions talking English. Get rid of the TV time given to PMQ's, and replace it with an opportunity for ordinary members of the public to grill the PM properly. Its not acceptable that the PM keeps dodging the question and abusing his soap box.
PMQ's is masquerading as parliamentary scrutiny, and 'change we need'.