PMQs: Campbell creaking, Cameron cruising, Blair bothered
Having just seen the replay of Prime Minister's Questions today three clear themes seemed to leap out.
Blair seemed truly bothered by the awkward position in which he finds himself, and I think that lead to his genuine temper in his exchanges with Cameron. He's not exactly had much practice arguing for things on the basis of "equality and fairness" in the Commons recently, and it is particularly difficult when his backbenches are so hostile to his proposals on precisely these bases.
Cameron has truly outflanked Blair on this. And boy did he know it. Today he was cruising, seemed genuinely calm and confident and really communicated his simple message well. We're onside with these reforms; what does it say about Labour that they're so riddled with division over it? Even in the face of Blair's salvo you could tell that he enjoyed seeing the fruition of the second big strategy of his leadership. For the first time today I found myself truly behind Cameron, urging him on as I did Hague and Howard before him. Before now I've understood he's had to do what he's done but it hasn't inspired me. I really feel, at the end of his first 100 days as leader, DC is getting his wind.
And so, last and least, we come to Campbell. Forth monstered him with a devilish quip about his age, asking him to declare his interest in his question on pensions. After that the wheels fell off. He couldn't take it, misdelivered a witty aside so that it fell flat, and died on his feet after that. Not a good omen!