It's that blessed period for the Government – war's been declared but the fighting hasn't started. The cuts have been itemised but haven't been implemented. It's been a lovely time for a honeymoon, what with the weather and that afternoon in the Rose Garden.
After three years of drizzle and misery it's all sunshine.
Now that the angry Scot has gone home, relations in the House are polite to the point of chivalry. There was a small Labour effort at the beginning to bring some darkness back into the Chamber. Ed Balls did what he could – and Fiona Mactaggart occasionally lets out a mad screech of anguish to make everyone laugh. But in general terms, the violence has been put on hold, waiting for the new Labour leader. The Sketch has had to look for a whole new vocabulary of approval. It'll be ready just in time for when the rancour returns in October.
What then of yesterday? Alan Johnson made a crack about the Brokeback Tendency but then amended it to the Bareback Tendency. It was funny watching Tory MPs and identifying the ones who knew what it meant (a slang term to describe acts of gay unprotected sex) and those who didn't. It wasn't clear whether Theresa May was blushing, but she giggled, gaspingly.
What have we had from Parliament? A new discourse and a blistering pace of new Bills, abolitions and announcements. The Freedom Bill is coming in first thing in September. New schools can be started by ordinary folk (we might even have a couple this year). Bureaucracies are to be abolished, the health and safety culture is to be swept away. Now we have entered the fantasy world politicians.
For a Government dedicated to the proposition that bureaucratic shuffling doesn't work, we've had a lot of bureaucratic shuffling. RDAs are reformed as LEPs, SOCA is turning into the NCA while powers of the PCTs and SHAs are being given to GPs.
Will they get rid of whole tiers of bureaucracy? Will they manage the 40 per cent cuts they're talking about?
They'll end up with half what they aim for – and by a charming coincidence they'll implement Alastair Darling's deficit reduction plan exactly. Labour will find it hard to argue against that whoever's leading it.
What other pleasing prospects are there? David Miliband might win and put Ed Balls in as Shadow Chancellor. Another 10 years re-running the last 10 years – this time in the cartoon version.
If he couldn't put Ed Balls there, maybe Yvette would be the one. It would be a terrific two fingers to Ed and yet he couldn't complain. He'd look after the children and teach them "the language of mums and dads" that he tells us he can speak so well.
The Brokeback rebellion. We'll have a rollicking start in September when the AV Vote Referendum Bill comes in for its 2nd Reading. There's an Early Day Motion out signed by 44 Tories in a demonstration of anti-Liberal power. The coalition will creak but it won't break up (why would it?).
And in the following moment, Labour elects its leader. If Ed Miliband wins (he's everyone's second preference) the perverse result will discredit AV and the Tories will exult. They'll get their extra 20 seats from their boundary changes without losing the 20 seats from a change in the voting system. And they'll have Ed Miliband dying in a ditch, fighting the electorate hand-to-hand. "Social cohesion or death!"
So why is the Tory right complaining? Is it even a Tory government? The Brokeback crack says they wouldn't be convicted of it. They're like that joke about a man charged with indecent exposure but acquitted on grounds of insufficient evidence.
But it looks like a Tory government to me. In fact it looks like the British political party that wins power every time it appears. Cameron and Clegg have created what Sidney Smith in the 1830s felt to be Britain's ideal government: a liberal Tory administration with a healthy fear of the newspapers.
My end of term report
* Leaving aside the big winners at the top of government, Teresa May has turned out better than anyone except her mother had thought possible. There's something a little stately about her – what seemed ineffectual in opposition is commanding in government.
* Among the new intake, Chuka Ummana has made a lordly start in the Treasury select committee. Breeding always shows.
* Jacob Rees Mogg speaks rarely, biding his time. He's a parliamentary mutant expressing something ancestral and essential about the Conservatives. In that sense he is the Denis Skinner of his party.
* Claire Perry isn't biding her time. She's ex-George Osborne's office and must be on the way to higher things. Has great potential. Comic potential, obviously.
*The second row on the opposition benches is dominated by a line-up of Rachel Reeves, Emma Reynolds, Luciana Berger. They're clever but haven't the first idea how to ask a question in the Commons. Alas, they don't lack confidence.
* Lynne Featherstone amazed the Gallery when she introduced some Bill by tossing her layered hair and giggling.
* Andrew Tyrie beat Michael Fallon to the chair of the Treasury committee. Natascha Engel beat Alan Haslehurst to the chair of the Backbench Business Committee. Democracy's a very odd thing.Reuse content