The Left is cracking the Cava about Jeremy Corbyn having finally got the best of a Tory prime minister at Prime Minister’s Questions. Fair enough – it’s been some time in coming, and there is no doubt that Corbyn won the session. But if you stop to think why that is, several things about the Corbyn project become evident.
The chief reason Corbyn did well in the chamber yesterday is because he was talking about something he really believed in that just happened to be something May found difficult to talk about. The point of PMQs from the leader of the opposition’s perspective is to always bring up something the prime minister doesn’t want to talk about, but Jeremy tends to avoid doing this. So get him on a topic that he cares about and knows something about and happens by luck to be something Theresa May would rather not have a chat about that day, and it appears he can win.
Problem is, it is very unlikely that Corbyn is going to draw the lesson from yesterday he should do. I suspect he will continue to ask questions every Wednesday around things that are of interest to him regardless of whether the Tories are or are not thinking about legislating on said issue any time soon. Or if the Tories are thinking of doing so, taking the time to figure out if there any internal Conservative splits on the issue thereby allowing Corbyn to expose fault lines in the governing party. No, I have a feeling that Corbyn will continue on with his buffet bowling style, chucking easy ones at May each week (“Dawn from Chester asks, why are the Tories such meanies?”) and leave it at that. Yesterday was probably a one off – and a lucky one at that.
However, I will take the flack if it turns out I’m wrong and Jeremy Corbyn has finally figured what PMQs and indeed, most other aspects of parliamentary democracy are for. I suppose people can surprise you sometimes. I wait with baited breath for the return of parliament post-conference season to find out.