At Prime Minister’s Question Time today, Conservative leader David Cameron was in an ebullient mood once again, given that — like last time — he entered the House of Commons with the wind of record low unemployment numbers at his back.
So Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had the difficult task of taking some of that wind out of his sails. The task was made all the more difficult because some Tory MPs were laughing as Corbyn began to ask one of his famous questions based on an email from the public. Corbyn used this “human shield” tactic last time, to great effect: It prevents Cameron from ripping into him because it would look as if the PM was attacking the ordinary bloke whose question Corbyn is reciting.
Corbyn began his question, which came from “Matthew,” on the price of housing in London. “I’ve had 3,500 questions on housing in the last few days,” Corbyn said … and then the Conservative back-benchers dropped into a sudden lull. Expecting a new gust of laughter, Corbyn paused and delivered this scary-looking death-stare, designed to shame them into silence:
The Corbyn-shade only worked a little. The Tories reacted by laughing even more, and Corbyn had to tamp them back into place by adopting an “adult-supervision” tone. “This might be funny to some members but it’s not funny to Matthew or many others,” he said.
(Corbyn’s question was, basically, how can someone buy a home in London when prices are out of reach of even people on above-average salaries? Cameron’s answer was to increase supply, “Get London building and get prices down so people like Matthew can afford get a home of his own.” Disappointingly, both men agreed that lack of new houses was the problem, but both blamed the others’ government records for failing to build them. The exchange ended as a draw.)
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