I was suprised therefore that to hear the Prime Minister again doing the speakers job and telling another shadow minister to calm down. He did the same to Ed Balls a couple of weeks ago but this time he added sexism. Outwardly the PM seems to handle PMQs quite well; he repeats lies over and over again in the hope that the public will start to belive him, he even got another 'the mess this lot left' in today, his hedge-fund-managing chums are seemingly blamless on planet Dave. The main lie he repeated today was that the tories won't cut the NHS. Giving even part of NHS funding to the shareholders of private companies is an effective cut. Lansley has put his plans for NHS reform - which amounts to partial privitisation - of the NHS on hold, I'm hoping in vain for a U-turn like the one on forests.
Appearances can be deceptive. Despite appearing calm during PMQs the Prime Minister is clearly rattled; his outburst at Ed Balls showed this, his outburst at Angela Eagle was even worse. She simply pointed out that the former parlimintery candidate Dr Howard Stoate stepped down rather than being beaten by a tory. Cameron is usually patronising; today he added a disdainful sexist tone. "Calm down dear" is not an appropriate way of addressing anyone in the house of parliament. It is the speakers job to calm people down. It is an MPs job to debate the issues and address each other as 'right honourable'. He repeated the line then refused to apologise; arrogant enough to think that flippant, disrespectful remarks are OK.
There are not many female MPs in the tory party, in percentage terms half the number of female Labour MPs 16% vs 32%. The Conservative party still appears to be a 'boys club' and with comments like this from their leader we can expect this to continue.