I watched PMQs at noon today and, this time with Gordon away continuing to save the planet's financial systems or some such thing, it was the Deputies doing the talking. Now in previous encounters Harriet Harman had performed confidently when taking on William Hague giving as good if not better than what she had got. With Brown's perceived adroit handling of the banking crisis she might have imagined that today's PMQs would be a breeze. Unluckily for her it was anything but, in reality she put on a simply dreadful performance and she knew it. Stumbling over her responses, getting "Hon" and "Rt Hon" mixed up when answering her questioners, and generally looking less than competent Hague and Cable easily got the better of her in my opinion. Contrasting with Brown at the last PMQs when there was cheering and waving of order papers her statements were received in near silence from the MPs sat behind her. She certainly looked harassed through the half hour I thought.
Currently the fortunes of the political parties are in a very volatile state. Brown may be walking tall right now but he would do well to remember recent history. It was only in the summer of 2007 little more than 12 months ago that he seemed to be almost walking on water. He did his statesmanlike thing when addressing the crises of the summer: terrorist outrages, flooding, foot and mouth, matters he dealt with competently enough but I don't doubt that others would have coped just as well. Then Cameron called his bluff on the election that never was and everything started to unwind for Brown. Of course Labour are spinning the line that all our financial woes are down to either the American sub-prime market or those evil bankers but it was "nothing to do with us guv". How well they can sell this and how well they deal with the upcoming recession might well decide the result of the next General Election.