Even if you’re not particularly interested in politics, you can’t help but be aware that Wednesdays means Prime Ministers Questions. At least, you can’t help but be aware if you live in the UK. It’ll get coverage on all the national news broadcasts and maybe even a few lines in the following morning’s newspapers. If you watch it live, there’s only an hour to go til it all kicks off in the Commons after the Spring half term recess.
And in all the brawling, baying, and soundbites, it would be very easy to forget that David Cameron isn’t the only member of the cabinet who get’s asked questions. Yesterday was Nick Clegg’s turn at his regular ego-building Deputy Prime Minister’s Questions. As a general rule, this is a dull affair with lots of versions of questions along the line of ‘why are you letting the Tories use you as a human shield?’. This week was always going to be a step above the norm because of last week’s fiasco. And Harriet Harman wasn’t slow to remind Clegg that he managed to go on a skiing holiday forgetting he was supposed to be in charge of the country at the time.
But that wasn’t the highlight of the session. That came from John Mann, MP for Bassetlaw. A Parliamentarian of 10 years and a member of the Treasury Select Committee. A Yorkshireman known for his quick wit and sharp humour, his question was always going to be an incisive one and it was simply this:
The first Deputy Prime Minister in British history to fail to turn up to work when the Prime Minister is abroad for a week. I think I am wanting to ask: what is the point of Nick Clegg?
And a very good question it was too.