Best PMQ moment of the last 5 years ?

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democracyforum
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnB7a1Iy6ko

Nov 26, 2014

George Osborne stoned out his mind.

Reckless returns to rub salt in Conservative wounds.

Very good jokes about Thornberry taking pictures of houses.


What's yours ?
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Davij038
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Haha yeah I liked the one where it appeared george was utterly baked, did make me chuckle.

Tbf to Cameron, he has had some good gags. Best one has to be the "bill somebody" one

http://order-order.com/2015/02/04/wa...body-pmqs-gag/
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L i b
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The backfiring question, delivered with such pomposity, and shot down beautifully--

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Copperknickers
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(Original post by L i b)
The backfiring question, delivered with such pomposity, and shot down beautifully--

And that's exactly why so many people hate Cameron. Great answer, well-shot down, but completely misses the point. So what if privatisation of the NHS increased under Labour? What we're interested in is what's going to happen under the Tories. And this bit of swordsmanship taking advantage of a silly mistake in Labour's research, provides the perfect cover for the Tories to put up a big smokescreen blaming all our problems on Labour meanwhile in reality they are going ahead and doing exactly what they are being accused of.
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L i b
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(Original post by Copperknickers)
And that's exactly why so many people hate Cameron.
I think lots of people inevitably hate any politician that's in the limelight. He might as well run with it.

Great answer, well-shot down, but completely misses the point. So what if privatisation of the NHS increased under Labour? What we're interested in is what's going to happen under the Tories. And this bit of swordsmanship taking advantage of a silly mistake in Labour's research, provides the perfect cover for the Tories to put up a big smokescreen blaming all our problems on Labour meanwhile in reality they are going ahead and doing exactly what they are being accused of.
Yes, they are using private elements in the NHS. Just as every government has since the dawn of the NHS. That's a fair argument, I think, that the concept is relatively sensible.

It's difficult to argue the point here. The public have an entirely distorted idea of what the NHS is and how it operates. Exposing an attacker's hypocrisy, though, is fairly effective at neutralising the complaint.

If the MP in question wanted a real debate about the NHS, they'd drop the pretence of 'oh, look at this' and simply ask 'why do you believe private contractors in the NHS improve patient care?'. I suspect the PM would do quite a decent job of answering that.
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Copperknickers
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(Original post by L i b)
I think lots of people inevitably hate any politician that's in the limelight. He might as well run with it.
Haha. That's a sad reflection on British politics if you believe that. I know it seems impossible to imagine, but quite a lot of incumbent leaders actually have quite high approval. Limelight is by no means a cause of hatred, especially since political divides in the UK are not massively polarised on the Right-Left spectrum, as evidenced by the fact that a lot of Left leaning Labour voters are switching to Mid-Right UKIP.


Yes, they are using private elements in the NHS. Just as every government has since the dawn of the NHS. That's a fair argument, I think, that the concept is relatively sensible.

It's difficult to argue the point here. The public have an entirely distorted idea of what the NHS is and how it operates. Exposing an attacker's hypocrisy, though, is fairly effective at neutralising the complaint.

If the MP in question wanted a real debate about the NHS, they'd drop the pretence of 'oh, look at this' and simply ask 'why do you believe private contractors in the NHS improve patient care?'. I suspect the PM would do quite a decent job of answering that.
Exposing an attacker's hypocrisy is NOT an effective method of neutralising the complaint, at least not for anyone who isn't taken in by such smokescreens. It's one of the most basic logical fallacies, the ad hominem: 'well maybe I murdered that woman, but that other man has a history of sexual harassment and violence'. That is totally irrelevant, the question is what evidence is there that YOU murdered the woman (apologies for the gruesome analogy, I watch a lot of crime dramas so it was an example that sprang to mind.) And it's not important whether the Labour MP wanted a real debate on the NHS, that's another logical fallacy:

You should always oppose the best possible version of the opponent's argument and not be taken in by their attempts to degrade the argument to personal attacks. If someone says 'I don't like him, he talks funny', what is a better response: 'huh, well so does your MOM!' or 'he does slur his speech slightly, but he has a congenital speech deficiency, meanwhile you are clearly slurring your speech and can't keep your balance which would indicate that you are drunk and are not of sound mind at the current time.'?
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Gos123
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(Original post by Copperknickers)
And that's exactly why so many people hate Cameron. Great answer, well-shot down, but completely misses the point. So what if privatisation of the NHS increased under Labour? What we're interested in is what's going to happen under the Tories. And this bit of swordsmanship taking advantage of a silly mistake in Labour's research, provides the perfect cover for the Tories to put up a big smokescreen blaming all our problems on Labour meanwhile in reality they are going ahead and doing exactly what they are being accused of.
NHS privatisation has hardly increased under the Coalition.

It is 6% privatisation, 5% under Labour.

Outsourcing =/= privatisation.
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Copperknickers
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(Original post by Gos123)
NHS privatisation has hardly increased under the Coalition.

It is 6% privatisation, 5% under Labour.

Outsourcing =/= privatisation.
Not yet. It's coming.
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L i b
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(Original post by Copperknickers)
Haha. That's a sad reflection on British politics if you believe that.
It's a sad reflection on the British public, I tend to think.

Exposing an attacker's hypocrisy is NOT an effective method of neutralising the complaint, at least not for anyone who isn't taken in by such smokescreens. It's one of the most basic logical fallacies, the ad hominem
Logical fallacies are not studied in order that they should be studiously avoided. They're studied because people want to be able to use them effectively.

You can't have an honest, frank and informed debate about everything - particularly when stupid people are involved. You have to fall back on rhetoric.

The practice of pure logic wouldn't get you very far in politics. Of course, honesty, openness and rational analysis are often used too - but they're rhetorical weapons in precisely the same way their opposites are.
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L i b
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(Original post by Copperknickers)
Not yet. It's coming.
There has never been an election in my lifetime where that argument has not been deployed. The NHS is always to be destroyed and privatised, and it's always just over the hill. Invariably, it turns out to be utter *******s.

There are opportunities in using the private sector, that does not equate to a wholesale change in how the NHS is run. Even if it did - so what? If it was found to be prudent, why not contract out significant chunks of it? What are you actually afraid of?

Unfortunately government will not harness the full level of efficiencies offered by the private sector for two reasons. First, it's unpopular. Second, it reduces their ability to control policy.
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Copperknickers
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(Original post by L i b)
It's a sad reflection on the British public, I tend to think.
Although our politicians are admittedly particularly corrupt and incompetent so they have some excuse.

Logical fallacies are not studied in order that they should be studiously avoided. They're studied because people want to be able to use them effectively.

You can't have an honest, frank and informed debate about everything - particularly when stupid people are involved. You have to fall back on rhetoric.

The practice of pure logic wouldn't get you very far in politics. Of course, honesty, openness and rational analysis are often used too - but they're rhetorical weapons in precisely the same way their opposites are.
You seem to be confusing logical fallacies with rhetorical techniques. Some rhetorical techniques incorporate logical fallacies, but anyone with a degree of intelligence knows that if someone has to resort to fallacious lines of reasoning they probably have something to hide.

It's the politicians' job to convince people to support them. They have a variety of weapons at their disposal, rhetorical techniques being the most important. So they study rhetorical techniques as ways of persuading people.

Logical fallacies on the other hand are studied by ordinary people because we need to know when those in the limelight are trying to deceive us. Its not our job to care about what rhetorical techniques are being used, its our job to see through them to get the unadulterated truth (I say 'us', I mean the public at large).

You say logic and rationale don't get you very far in politics: they don't get you very far on their own in terms of persuading people in your favour, but they should always be the basis of what you are trying to persuade people of in the first place. You can use fallacious rhetoric, or sound reasoning, as weapons, both can be used effectively, but only one is the truth, and so only one is important for us as the audience as opposed to the politician.

David Cameron is very good at making himself look better than Ed Miliband (not exactly the world's most difficult task) but there comes a point where however good your rhetoric is, if it isn't backed by sound and considered policy it is pointless.
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CurlyBen
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(Original post by Copperknickers)
And that's exactly why so many people hate Cameron. Great answer, well-shot down, but completely misses the point. So what if privatisation of the NHS increased under Labour? What we're interested in is what's going to happen under the Tories. And this bit of swordsmanship taking advantage of a silly mistake in Labour's research, provides the perfect cover for the Tories to put up a big smokescreen blaming all our problems on Labour meanwhile in reality they are going ahead and doing exactly what they are being accused of.
Jumping back a bit I know, but surely he completely answered the point? The question asked was "can I ask the prime minister why he hasn't sacked his NHS adviser, David Bricknell" etc.
His response was that Bricknell had never been his adviser, but had instead been an adviser to Labour...
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L i b
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(Original post by Copperknickers)
Although our politicians are admittedly particularly corrupt and incompetent so they have some excuse.
Which glorious age or in which glorious democracy were politicians more noble? From my experience of them, they're rather more moral and decent than the average person. Many of them are a peculiar bunch - you really have to be to devote your life to public service, put up with constant abuse - but I've yet to meet a single one that does not genuinely care about something.

The strange thing is that it seems to be you arguing that these same politicians, who you seem to have a very low opinion of, should remain in tight control of the NHS.

You seem to be confusing logical fallacies with rhetorical techniques. Some rhetorical techniques incorporate logical fallacies, but anyone with a degree of intelligence knows that if someone has to resort to fallacious lines of reasoning they probably have something to hide.
If that's the case, the electorate virtually all lack a degree of intelligence then.

It's the politicians' job to convince people to support them. They have a variety of weapons at their disposal, rhetorical techniques being the most important. So they study rhetorical techniques as ways of persuading people.

Logical fallacies on the other hand are studied by ordinary people because we need to know when those in the limelight are trying to deceive us.
I don't think ordinary people do study logical fallacies. Try talking to the average voter about an ad hominem argument. It doesn't work. Instead, try pretending that the world is going to hell in a handcart and only you can save it in the face of attacks by some unscrupulous 'other' and you'll be well in with a shout.

Getting people to vote for you has never had a great deal to do with rational persuasion.

You say logic and rationale don't get you very far in politics: they don't get you very far on their own in terms of persuading people in your favour, but they should always be the basis of what you are trying to persuade people of in the first place.
Yes, they probably should. Once you've come to a view, however, everything else is salesmanship.

Anyone, armed with a decent intellect, can form an opinion based on facts. There is rarely one truth, however: even the cleverest buggers disagree. Even the brightest fall into fairly well identified fallacious reasoning: I find confirmation bias is the most common. The art of politics in a democracy however is influencing voters - it is no more and no less than scaled-up marketing.

If you want your lawmakers to be entirely honest and to make rational arguments constantly, just be aware that they will lose consistently to real politicians who are better at influencing and have a wider array of tools at their disposal. What possible use are they to anyone then?
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L i b
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(Original post by CurlyBen)
Jumping back a bit I know, but surely he completely answered the point? The question asked was "can I ask the prime minister why he hasn't sacked his NHS adviser, David Bricknell" etc.
His response was that Bricknell had never been his adviser, but had instead been an adviser to Labour...
True. It is an example of a surprisingly full answer at Prime Minister's Questions. No-one could leave that chamber and think that question had not been answered.
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Copperknickers
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(Original post by L i b)
Which glorious age or in which glorious democracy were politicians more noble? From my experience of them, they're rather more moral and decent than the average person. Many of them are a peculiar bunch - you really have to be to devote your life to public service, put up with constant abuse
Right. Peculiarly rich and well-educated and entitled. People who go to Eton and Harrow and the like are taught that public office is the be all and end all, somtimes their ancestors were ministers and statesmen so they're encouraged into it by their parents they way the rest of us are to be doctors or lawyers. They don't do it because they want to serve the public, they do it because they want to have books written about them and money showered on them by their buddies who go into business. Those who go into business have the cash, those who go into politics have the influence... it's a winning combination.

The strange thing is that it seems to be you arguing that these same politicians, who you seem to have a very low opinion of, should remain in tight control of the NHS.
Politicians don't run the NHS, they just regulate it with legislation. Once its privatised it will be corporations and drug companies running it, and they have a vested interest in making money, not in 'public service.' As bad as politicans are, some things are even worse.

If that's the case, the electorate virtually all lack a degree of intelligence then.
Most people haven't been educated properly in politics, but I'm talking about people who have been.

I don't think ordinary people do study logical fallacies.
When I say ordinary people, I mean non-politicians. Students, academics, informed ordinary people.

Try talking to the average voter about an ad hominem argument. It doesn't work. Instead, try pretending that the world is going to hell in a handcart and only you can save it in the face of attacks by some unscrupulous 'other' and you'll be well in with a shout.
That's a very cynical view. If it were true then we'd have UKIP in government not the tories Lib Dems. People aren't totally stupid, but some are not very educated in how politics works it is true.

Getting people to vote for you has never had a great deal to do with rational persuasion.
Tell that to Alex Salmond. Do you think Scotland is still part of the UK right now because of Better Together's empassioned rhetoric? ;S

Yes, they probably should. Once you've come to a view, however, everything else is salesmanship.
Exactly, but that's what we as the audience of political rhetoric need to be able to look past. You don't congratulate a used car salesman for selling you a pile of junk that falls apart before you've driven it 10m out of the showroom, even though he did his job perfectly well. You have failed as a consumer of politics if you absorb the salesmanship, it's a weapon as you say, a weapon used to attack you and grind you down until you submit to someone else's version of the truth instead of your own judgment.

There is rarely one truth, however: even the cleverest buggers disagree. Even the brightest fall into fairly well identified fallacious reasoning: I find confirmation bias is the most common.
That is a whole different argument, although a very interesting one.

If you want your lawmakers to be entirely honest and to make rational arguments constantly, just be aware that they will lose consistently to real politicians who are better at influencing and have a wider array of tools at their disposal. What possible use are they to anyone then?
I don't want the used car salesmen to stop being used car salesmen. I want everyone else to stop being the suckers who fall for them.
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Gos123
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(Original post by Copperknickers)
Not yet. It's coming.
There's no evidence to suggest it is.
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Libtardian
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This is my favourite...

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CurlyBen
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(Original post by L i b)
True. It is an example of a surprisingly full answer at Prime Minister's Questions. No-one could leave that chamber and think that question had not been answered.
I actually find this quite amusing. Copperknickers' first post verges on being an ad hominem attack in itself - he erroneously accuses Cameron of failing to answer the question, and uses that as a platform to criticise Cameron and the wider Tory party. That then develops into a criticism of the use of fallacies by politicians. The observation that his initial statement was incorrect (which undermines much of what he has to say) is ignored, in favour of responding with the argument he wants to make. Perhaps Copperknickers has a promising future as a politician!
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L i b
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(Original post by otester)
This is my favourite...

Now that's an ad hominem response...

Disqualified on a technicality though: that's not at PMQs.
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JohnPaul_
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There isn't one really. I only watch PMQs to see if Jacob Rees-Mogg asks a question but when Farage is in. We will see it.


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