Nice send off for Cameron at PMQs. Both leaders acquitted themselves well. Cameron was wry, witty and self-deprecating. He claimed to have ‘addressed’ a total of 5500 questions during his premiership. ‘How many I’ve answered I’ll leave to others.’
Corbs got it spot on too and showed us a relaxed, funny, generous side. He asked Cameron to thank his mum for her tip that he should smarten up and wear a suit. ‘He’s taken the advice. He’s looking absolutely splendid,’ beamed Cameron. It was only a throwaway remark but it produced a Richter-scale eruption of mirth. And Corbs offered his heartfelt thanks to Cameron for pushing through the law that makes it equally possible for gays and straights to embrace the delights of marriage, and the relief of divorce.
Neither leader could resist the opportunity to punch a bruise. Corbyn brought up homelessness which seemed a cruel topic to throw at a man in the process of being evicted from his subsidised house. But Cameron breezed on regardless. He has consolidated his career into a series of triumphs whose benefits are universal and enduring. A million businesses started, he trilled. Over two million jobs created. Zillions of youngsters granted apprenticeships. Cameron hasn’t just rescued Britain from idleness and poverty he’s also knocked up 700,000 new houses. He tells it as if he laid every brick by hand. For a final time he took aim at Corbyn and treated him to a vicious piece of mockery. He praised the besieged Labour leader’s powers of defiance and stamina. Then he delivered the blow. ‘He’s like the Black Knight in Monty Python,’ — the John Cleese character who continues to fight even after he’s been dismembered. ‘Keep going! It’s only a flesh-wound.’ Cameron admitted he would miss ‘the barbs of opposition.’ He’ll certainly miss hurling them.
Angus Robertson rose like a raincloud darkening over a children’s party. He made two errors, one of tone, one of content. He mentioned the 25th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre which forced MPs to abandon their frivolous mood and to reflect instead on Robertson’s weird crush on war-crimes. He then baffled constitutional experts by claiming that ‘Scotland’ had voted to remain in the EU when no such state has ever applied to join. He seems intent on transforming his country from an intellectual powerhouse into a museum of grievance. He was supported by his SNP colleague Carol Monaghan who berated Cameron for seeking to renew Trident, or, in her words, bringing ‘weapons of mass destruction to the Clyde.’ What a pair of opportunistic gripe-mongers. Robertson is the type of humanitarian who rushes to the scene of a train crash and opens a flower-stall. As for Ms Monaghan it’s said that she refuses to eat crisps out of sympathy with victims of the 1847 potato famine.
Labour recluse Graham Stringer thanked Cameron for his consistently courteous manner at PMQs. He then asked the PM to stop NHS queue-jumpers from getting eye operations without waiting their turn. Cameron seemed baffled. He wasn’t aware of ‘the specific story’, he said, ‘But I will look very carefully at it, um, this afternoon. And get back to him.’
Labour die-hards types will relish this moment. Dodgy Dave ended his final PMQs with a fib.