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December 21st, 2003

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09:37 pm
The No. 10 Downing Street official website has an archive of videos of Prime Minister's Questions. Just to pick an example at random, the 12 November session — Michael Howard's first as Leader of the Opposition — has some entertaining bits when Mr Howard rises to ask his first question.

The archive page also has links to the official Hansard records of the debates. It's interesting to see just how much cleaning-up goes on: the Hansard versions are considerably more polite than the actual discussions. They also don't mention all the shouting that goes on. :-)

I love Prime Minister's Questions, and really wish that US Presidents had a similar duty to stand up and suffer questioning — on any topic, and with no previous knowledge of the opposition questions — in front of one of our legislative bodies (say, the Senate). I'm not sure it would raise the calibre of debate or truly inform the citizenry, but for sheer entertainment value, it's hard to beat.

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