Is not the tragic situation in Japan made even more acute by the country’s demographic time bomb? Like many western European countries, Japan has an ageing population. It is in times of need that we find out what unites us rather than tears us apart, so will the Prime Minister assure me that in this darkest of hours Japan will see the full force of British friendship and generosity?
I just can't fathom what is the point of raising Japan's age profile at all. Is he suggesting that younger populations can outrun tsunamis? I tend to think that when there are actual nuclear reactors exploding, references to 'time bombs' are distasteful and unnecessary. As to the rest - how many clichés can one man use in a single sentence? He should be a football commentator.
Still, he's achieved his aim: the Prime Minister has had to listen to him (his response gently ignores the whacko bit about old people) and he might get on local radio sounding caring. The conversation moved on to Bahrain - neither Uppal nor Rehman Chishti, members of the Saudi Arabia Parliamentary Group (Chishti's on the Bahrain one too) saw fit to mention the Saudi invasion: instead, Chishti implied that the real problem is that the protestors (representing the Shia 70% of the population excluded from power) are a front for Iran.
In the light of the recent demands by the protesters in Bahrain for the monarchy to step down and for the setting up of an Islamic republic similar to that of Iran, has the Prime Minister made any assessment of Iran’s involvement in the events in Bahrain?
Chishti is a liar. The protests have been for democracy and jobs. The PM didn't mention his Saudi customers' behaviour either. Apparently the Bahraini dictatorship is full of good chaps who could do with a little chivvying.
From the information that I have, I would say that the Bahrainis have made efforts, not just recently but over the years, to make a stronger civil society and to put in place some of the building blocks of democracy. Of course there is an argument about whether they should go further and faster, and I would urge that they respond to what is happening now with further reform rather than with repression.What else does Uppal have to say?
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the potential role of local small business loan funds to provide working capital to small businesses.Well, I wonder who this multimillionaire property speculator might have in mind when he speaks about 'small businesses'. No, beats me.
Isn't Parliamentary democracy grand?