It was a day for dinosaurs. Sir Peter Tapsell reared up among cheers to suggest the PM order an investigation into the death of David Kelly. Dennis Skinner gave a fabulous display of primordial rage (it's his birthday today: he is 65 million years old).
And Ken Clarke got into trouble for his Jurassic views on sex crime. He had said some rapes were worse than others and Ed Miliband demanded he resign.
Your sketch writer found himself a bit Triassic on the subject. Isn't statutory rape (a 17-year-old having consensual sex with his girlfriend just shy of her 16th birthday) less serious than... let's not imagine the details. Cameron made this defence a bit – but it didn't quite command the House. Taken with the Coalition proposal to give rape defendants anonymity this was dangerous ground for a Tory.
Ed Miliband's case was a modern one: rape is one single category of offence. That's the progressive view. Fair enough, that's probably what Independent readers think too.
But wasn't that the Ed of two weeks ago? Hasn't he assigned dinosaur status to his "progressive majority"? The modern thing, the mutation of the moment is Blue Labour, isn't it? That's the idea that England is more and more like the Daily Mail describes it.
You have to wonder whether Ed Miliband is the person – or "guy", as he calls it – to pitch working-class conservatism. He is after all a hereditary aristocrat of the political class.
From his frontbench laughter during the rape questioning observers might wonder where his heart lies: whether his real purpose was to seek redress for rape victims – or to embarrass the Prime Minister. He really does need more of a poker face.
There was a bloodbath at the end of the half hour. Ian Lavery asked about Cameron's adviser who'd been overheard promising the NHS would be shown "no mercy" in the reforms. Worse, huge opportunities were to be offered to the private sector. Labour trembled in anticipation.
Cameron referred to his notes. He'd prepared for this. Never heard of the fellow, he said (Tory shouts). Never been an adviser of his (Tory shouting and laughter). But he'd found the wretch had been an adviser to the previous government and had run NHS commissioning while Ed had been in the cabinet.
The Tory roars sounded like ancient mastodons. And there, suddenly and unbidden, was Ed's poker face! We could suddenly see what he genuinely felt.Reuse content