A muttering idiot? "The muttering idiot opposite!" The House went up. And kept going up for what might have been a minute. A minute is a long time in the House of Commons. The Speaker was left standing, powerless to control the new Tories' angry euphoria.
And not just the right, the left was delighted too. He's a healer, our PM; where there is discord he brings unity (you know the rest; it finishes with Tehran in the upper atmosphere).
Conservatives rejoiced in a flash of their authentic prime minister, Labour celebrated a victory in the War of Cameron's Flashpoint. And who actually was the muttering idiot? Was it Ed Balls? He has a new contribution to the debate. It's a cocked, shaking hand at his mouth: "How about a drink?" You have to hope President Ahmadinejad is less annoying than the shadow Chancellor (he almost certainly is). Or was it Ed Miliband who chats and laughs and hangs his teeth out as the PM talks?
The bawling roar went on into the afternoon. The Speaker leant forward seemingly to take advice, actually to give himself something to do while the noise died down – but it didn't.
Bercow was conferring but not with the Clerk with whom he is said to have had a blazing public row last week, but with a junior clerk in the middle.
This leads us into the other part of the PMQs story. It was the first session since the 1922 elections last week – elections for office on their backbench committee – the 301 slate won a pretty clean sweep. Yesterday, they were announcing themselves. And from their attitude, their questions, their mutual support, they are fiercely Tory, ferociously anti-Lib Dem.
They are also out for the Speaker. The "muttering idiot" sally deserved half the noise it actually got. They wanted to see the Speaker on his feet trying to speak but powerless to control them. They have discerned he doesn't like them. He has shown his temper to them. And now they are going to humble him.
Very important to keep your temper in the Commons. The Prime Minister should take note.
"Does he [Cameron] agree that although times are tough, the Government and the country are on the right track?"
Chris Pincher, Con, TamworthReuse content