"Cameron enters the abyss!" Blimey, that's going it a bit, was it really that serious? The Leader of the Opposition clearly thought so and arrived in the Commons to harangue the suave, hereditary Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude (he was offering a statement on party funding, following weekend revelations).
Actually, the headline referred to the Titanic director James Cameron plumbing the Mariana Trench in his bathysphere.
David Cameron's predicament lacks the heroic scale, doesn't it? It's not clear whether "cash for access" will turn into an odyssey, a saga or a storm in a Number 10 herbal tea cup.
In any event, it was a terrifically rowdy Commons afternoon. Pointing, shouting, mutual imprecations, both sides yelling into a novelty mirror and seeing their own distorted faces shouting back.
Ed Miliband has revived an earlier hairstyle, an upright gelled quiff that says to his young voters "Hope I die before I get old". And just when he was doing so well.
Labour seized the moral low ground crying "Shame!" and "Disgraceful!" and "Ker-ching!" It was as if they had never solicited cash or offered access themselves. Nonetheless, this scandal had caused a "permanent stain" and showed Cameron was "too ashamed to come to the House".
Ed denounced Cameron's "contempt" for them. "Where is he?" MPs cried. He had made his shameful, disgraceful, contemptuous statement to the media in the morning and was now cowering in a feculent hole counting out £50 notes.
However, as an ancilliary question, where was Jack Dromey MP, the Treasurer of the Labour party during some earlier proxy donation scandal (as Treasurer he was unaware of the half a million quid the party had illegally trousered).
Labour described the Tories as "engulfed in sleaze" and "casually corrupt". But Francis Maude – normally so soigne – gave them a great rollicking back. The angry pills are a great discovery.
It's not as if it were about ministerial propriety, he declared magnificently – "It is! It is!" they shouted. Labour were at it like monkeys in Health, in Justice (the Speaker intervened to no avail). "No! No!" Ed himself had had dinner with Roland Rudd, he charged, he'd pulled out of an NHS rally to go to a football match with a six-figure donor, and the Warwick agreement was nothing but a deal to sell an entire manifesto to the unions.
It was always going to be a messy draw. The problem for the Indignants is that nothing has happened. Worse, if Lord Gold acts as Ed Miliband thinks (leading an inquiry into, by, and for the Conservative Party) nothing will.Reuse content