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News, gossip and insight from PoliticsHome Editor Paul Waugh

Euro PMQs: compare and contrast

 

What a difference 15 months makes.

Today, undoubtedly hamstrung by the fact that he couldn't tell the House the contents of his Big Speech on Friday, the PM had a bit of a 'mare against Ed Miliband.

He even garbled a claim that Labour would campaign in 2015 to take the UK into the euro.

In fact, he was trying to get out an attack line he'd used before to ridicule the Labour leader's ambitions to be PM.

In a BBC interview, EdM had replied to a question from Jon Sopel about whether Britain would join the single currency with this delicious line: "It depends how long I'm Prime Minister for.."

When Cameron quoted this in October 2011, the House collapsed with laughter and all the talk was of yet another Miliband TV gaffe. Cam won that PMQs hands down, while EdM looked like he'd stepped on a rake:

 

 

But fast forward to today and virtually the same topic yielded a totally different result.

This is not just because Europe is more of an explosive subject.

It's probably also because Miliband has grown into the job and, particularly after his conference speech, is more confident in the post than he was two years ago.

It also suggests that the PM has lost sight of the great truth about PMQs: wounding humour is often the most effective weapon. Even though Blair often suffered from Hague's gags, the former PM frequently used the rapier rather than the blunderbuss.

Labour still has lots of questions of its own on whether it would repatriate powers and how. But today's glum faces behind the PM suggested he'd got it wrong at PMQs.

No pressure, ahead of Friday then.

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