The Sketch: Cameron is omnishambolic – but Miliband is right in the thick of it as well


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The Independent Online

"It's a bit of a shambles, don't you think?" No sooner were the words out in the press gallery than Ed Miliband – quoting officials quoting The Thick Of It – called it an "omnishambles". It was a fair description of PMQs.

The Conservative leader ignored the questions and the Leader of the Opposition ignored the answers.

"The Prime Minister is talking rubbish, as always," Miliband said.

Which moved the PM to call the Opposition leader "pathetic, completely incompetent, completely hopeless and absolutely irresponsible".

It was like two slappy, pushy, 12-year-olds on a sugar rush.

After Cameron's "worst week ever" everyone was expecting something demolishing.

Miliband began by asking if the reduction of the top tax rate to 45p will be worth £40,000 to UK millionaires?

Labour's seething support was stilled when Cameron said that the top rate didn't raise any money (really?) and that if Labour's anti-45p amendment succeeded, we'd be left with a 40p rate of tax. Tory hollering.

If it was indeed "rubbish as usual" it needed processing and separating into different bins so we could admire the rot.

But Ed kept getting lost in his own complex personality and Cameron kept asking himself questions he'd like to answer.

The noise was such that at one point Ed stood there duck-billed trying to say something amusing.

The noise had risen to that of a half-time terrace-end.

Nadhim Zahawi was hooting "Speech! Speech!" – but behind his hand so the Speaker couldn't see him.

The Speaker, incidentally, had lost control.

He had upbraided Tory Karl McCartney for a "far too long question". It was 61 words. Five Labour MPs then asked questions between 61 and 85 words.

The Tories may be noticing this sort of thing now. They were in no mood to be pushed around by the wee man.

Cameron finished in triumphant shamelessness accusing Labour of voting out of self-interest to keep child benefit at their level of opulent MP's income. (Howls of amused execration.)