Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Paul Flynn on the Conservative leadership

I have been catching up on Hansard.

Paul Flynn, the veteran (as he admits himself) Labour MP for Newport West, rather over-indulged himself on his first appearance as shadow Leader of the House. Last Thursday, he was more succinct and all the better for it. The pleasures of listening to Mr Flynn include his artistic deployment of the English language and his wit. Thanks to his loyalty to his current leader, we will now be able to enjoy both regularly on a Thursday morning when the Commons sit. From last Thursday:

"The House is grateful, as ever, to the right hon. and learned Member for Rushcliffe [Ken Clarke]. He is a rarity on the Government Back Benches as a man who is occasionally caught in possession of an intelligent thought, and who speaks real English—the language that the rest of us speak. This week, he gave us vital intelligence on the three remaining candidates for the leadership of the Tory party: one of them is 'bloody difficult'; one does not expect to deliver on the extremely stupid things she has been saying; and one would declare war on at least three countries. We have a legitimate interest in this, because the winner of this race will also be the Prime Minister.

"I suggest to the Conservatives that they perhaps repeat the great success that they had in Totnes, where they introduced the system of a primary vote in which everyone took part. It would be wonderful to have the chance to write-in a candidate such as the right hon. and learned Member for Rushcliffe. Happily, at his time of life, he has passed beyond the stages of ambition and vanity that afflict many in political life. If he is reluctant to return to the Dispatch Box because he is of a certain age, let me remind him of what I have discovered: the Dispatch Box is a vital support and a wonderful alternative to a Zimmer frame."

Now we know that the winner is the "bloody difficult" one. We shall know what direction she wants to take us in by the selection of her cabinet, of which we should be receiving whispers at least tomorrow night.

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