Riotous scenes in the House! It was like watching an aquarium of drunken monkeys doing aerobics. Everyone got a star for enjoying the day. I swapped mine for a line of coke in the gents (it's wonderful how cheap drugs have become).
Cameron didn't so much lose his temper as show it. That's very unusual in the House.
The PM led with a special valedictory for our dead soldiers. It creates a good atmosphere for him. "Courage and heroism that cannot [sic] be forgotten." Sacrifice, service, legacy – we get it at greater length every week.
By way of counterpoint, Cameron brought up the PM's Chilcot evidence – his record on armoured vehicles – described as "disingenuous" and "dissembling" by two ex-chiefs of the armed forces. Then I think it must have been Ken Purchase who heckled "They're Tories!" – and Cameron showed his temper. He leapt at Purchase with great scorn and in such a way that Labour couldn't do their playground squeals. "Oh, it's because they're TORIES, is it?" He then let off the other barrel: "That's what this divisive, tribalist government think of people who serve their country!"
It took the argument out of the parliamentary to-and-fro, nearly (or actually, depending on your sympathies) attaching it to the world in which soldiers die.
He demanded that Brown dissociate himself from such remarks. Brown rather deftly reproached Cameron for sowing division. He is the great healer now, you see. It was a serious subject he reminded us. He'd given all the vehicles, all the helicopters, all the armour he'd ever been asked for. Yes, he concluded, moving the focus slightly away from dead soldiers, and what about Lord Ashcroft's tax status?
As so often, Cameron won on paper but Brown didn't lose in the Chamber. It's a mystery.
And there came another one. Cameron replied to a point about Tory defence cuts by citing the peace dividend in the 1990s: "Under a Conservative Government we won the Cold War."
Labour shrieked, hooted and pointed. They slapped their thighs and howled. But why? Surely history has granted Reagan and Thatcher that?
A colleague suggested that Labour has been in power so long that they believe it was Michael Foot's fierce policies of disarmament that brought down the Berlin Wall. I sometimes wonder whether the Tories are really mad enough to win this election.
PS: Please guess the party of these two MPs reprimanded by our impartial Speaker: "Mr T. You must calm down. I'm getting worried about you." Followed by: "Mr B, your heckling is as boring as it is boorish. Stop it, or leave the Chamber. I don't mind which."Reuse content