It often ends up a childish, squabbling mess. But I wouldn't change PMQs for the world.
There are two observations which every first-time visitor to prime minister's questions always makes. These are: "It's much smaller in here than you'd think, isn't it?" And: "It's much louder in here than you'd think, isn't it?"
No coincidence, really. The Commons chamber is a small, confined space. It feels even more crowded when there are 500 or so politicians, a species given to voicing their opinion, doing so at volume all at once. Those who can't squeeze on to the benches crouch on the steps, or gather behind the Speaker's chair, or opposite him at the bar of the House. They've all come for the same thing - political theatre, at its rawest.
Pity the poor warm-up acts who answer questions in the 30 minutes before the main event gets underway. Usually it's the minister for Scotland, or Wales, or the international development secretary, who has to try and make his voice heard over the growingRead More »from Happy 50th birthday, PMQs