Thursday, 8 September 2011

What the PM should have said to Nadine Dorries

There was an exchange during PMQs yesterday which did no one involved any favours. See video below for the question from Nadine Dorries followed by David Cameron's response.

Unfortunately the Prime Minister played the man and not the ball which is very rare for him. Dorries was making a very important point which a large number of Conservative back-benchers agree with. David Cameron is probably aware of this too but he got drawn into answering the question and the questioner.

This question from Dorries, on the face of it a real stinker, was a great opportunity for Cameron to get his message across to his back-benchers and to the wider country on the importance of the coalition. He should have satisfied the Dorries question then steered it on to a positive point about the coalition. If I was advising the Prime Minister on how to handle a question like this again in future the draft form of words would look something like this:

"I recognise there are frustrations as outlined by the honourable lady and understand that there will not always be complete agreement (question satisfied), this is the reality of working together for the good of the country in a coalition government (steering onto key message). I am proud to head this coalition government which was formed for the good of the country, to deal with the financial mess left by the party opposite, act for the long-term and make big decisions to secure a strong future for us all (key message delivered)."

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