Stop Press – First Outing For Revamped Prime Minister’s Question Time

From the CMP Resolution Blog of John Crawley, Lesley Allport and Katherine Graham.

You may remember us reporting in May 2010 that Prime Minister’s Question time was being remodelled in line with the new atmosphere of consensus politics.

Our May 10th item reported:

“Yes the ‘big’ news in answer to the ‘big urgent questions’ asked of politicians in this post election week is that PMQ will now become PM4U. All parties have agreed that the shameless schoolboy badgering, baiting, banter and belittling that masquerades as debate during Prime Minister’s Questions is to be replaced by a cross-party discussion forum led by the future PM. Senior figures from all the major parties concur that this will ‘kick start the move to more constructive politics’ in line with the new dawn of ‘progressive’ government in line with ‘the interests of the nation.’ The Speaker is being replaced by the PM who will ‘facilitate exchange in the interests of the nation’. He will be assisted by the leader of the Liberal Democrats (affectionately know as MINIPM). There are plans to replace benches with a forum-style arena.”

We take you now live to the first PM4U – David Cameron (fresh from his half day consensus facilitation course) is at the dispatch box, beside him Nick Clegg on a mini dispatch box, and across on the opposition benches David Milliband – the new leader of the ‘progressive labour party’.

Dave: Welcome all to the first PM4U replacing PMQ. Thanks in advance for your questions. (Looking straight into the camera) Don’t forget you can email me on or text me on number 10. (These numbers scroll along the electronic banner display now running across the dispatch box). Call me Dave.

Gordon – we’ll miss you. Wish you well as the New CE of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Welcome DM – Nick and I thought another Dave would be a bit complicated – and a particular welcome to Nick who will listen but not answer questions as he’s not got as many votes as I have (looks down in a disparaging way at the mini dispatch box). Thanks mate for giving us a blue with a hint of yellow.

So, first my diary arrangements show that we’re not abandoning all tradition. My whole afternoon is booked for a big generous meeting with Angela, Silvio, Nicolas, Herman discussing our big and difficult problems with the economy and the deficit. On seeing the books we’ve realised that the economy really is broken, just like society and might I say with all due respect that it’s all down to the party in much reduced numbers now residing on the opposition benches.

Conservative benches: (subdued guffaws and hooting noises)

Labour benches: shame! Farce! New politics my arse!

Lib Dems: (scattered among government and opposition benches) Here we go – they’re at it again!

Dave: Hey guys – I can see there’s a lot of big feelings about. Hold the banter. Don’t forget we don’t need a Speaker anymore – we’re all listeners.


John Crawley

John Crawley is the Founder and Chair of CMP Resolutions and has been working in organisations who are experiencing conflict for the last 20 years. He has acquired a unique range of conflict narratives illustrating what works and what does not. John developed and utilised the model of Constructive Conflict… MORE >

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