I put this up because it was a particularly dull PMQs today, and I wanted to show the power of Parliament. A while back, I was going to post up my favourite PMQs, but saw the Telegraph, the New Statesman, the BBC and the Guardian all post pretty much the same – fairly dull – “favourite PMQs” list.
So, to illustrate a bravura Parliamentary performance, I post this. It is Thatcher’s Last Stand as PM. She had announced her resignation at 9.30am earlier that day.
If you have the time, I urge you to watch the whole speech, which can be found here. It gives you a truer sense of the theatre. Point by hectoring point, she lists her achievements during her eleven-year reign. As she hammers on, you will notice the mood changes; the same Tory MPs who had voted her out start cheering her on. At one point, one Tory leaps out of his seat and shouts, “Cancel your resignation! Cancel it! You can wipe the floor clean with these people!” It is a heartening moment.
You will notice a twenty-years-younger Simon Hughes, who looks like a Rob Brydon character in a silly wig. As he gets up to interject, she shouts at him, “If the hon. Gentleman will just listen, he might hear something that he did not know!” and then carries on.
Her classic line – “I’m enjoying this!” – leaves the House howling. She was enjoying it: you can see that clearly. I hope you enjoy it too.