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Dot Commons

Commons Christmas cracker

Commons Christmas cracker

While there were no antler hats or Christmas crackers in the Commons today, there was still a distinctly festive feel to this exchange between Iain Wright and Vince Cable in BIS questions this morning.

Wright wanted a charming end-of-year “snuggle” between ministers to improve the working relationship between ministers.

“[We’ve had the] Minister of state telling the IoD his secretary of state sometimes escapes his electronic tag, while the energy secretary of state has slapped own his minister of state over wind energy, so that investors no longer know what government policy is and BIS ministers are too busy tracking the secretary of state to help create clarity and green manufacturing jobs.

“Given, Mr Speaker, that this is the season of goodwill, can’t the hostilities cease? Will the secretary of state ask for permission from his minister of state to at least undo his electronic tag a notch or two? And won’t BIS and DECC ministers snuggle up together to watch Strictly, eggnog in hand, and promise to come back in 2013 determined to focus on British enterprise and industry, not departmental infighting and ministerial surveillance?”

Unfortunately Vince had a new year’s gift of his own for the Labour frontbench:

“Well, while we’re on our links to the criminal underworld, perhaps I should explain to the House that I do have responsibility for offender learning, and one of my plans for the new year is to lay on a basic economics class for the Honourable Gentleman and his colleagues.”