James Forsyth

Cameron settling in nicely

Cameron settling in nicely
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David Cameron was on punchy form at PMQs today. He jibed that in Harriet Harman’s case the Budget Red Book should be called ‘the unread book’ and called Labour backbenchers ‘dunces’ who didn’t know what the last government was planning.

The Cameron Harman exchange was interesting. Harman had come armed with some classic follow-up questions using the details in the Red Book. Cameron didn’t want to engage on the detail, suggesting that Harman might have had a point. But his ability to attack Labour for having got the country into this mess allowed him to win the exchange on points quite comfortably. Bob Russell, a Lib Dem MP who said he may oppose the Budget yesterday, roared out three nil after Harman’s first three questions.

Answering questions, Cameron is cleverly working out how to dictate the pace of play. He knows when to do rage, when to do humour and when to slow things down. It’s a skill that Blair had, but Brown never mastered. So far, it looks like Cameron’s got it.