Just when you thought Prime Ministers Questions could get no worse for the Labour Party – it got better.
Just when you thought Jeremy Corbyn was as good as it gets – he took the day off.
Just when you wondered what to do next – up came Angela Eagle.
Thanks for this two word retort to the Tories must go first to the Prime Minister.
After another week of scrapping with his own over Europe and the referendum Dave fled overnight to Japan.
There he claimed to be attending a G7 summit leaving Jeremy able to claim to be attending his allotment.
Thus the cheers, smiles and rare good humour on the Labour back benches as stand-in Angela prepared for the fray.
Across the aisle the nervous figure of Chancellor George enemies to the front and to the rear.
The last – and first – time the two met George, no slouch himself on the bully front, got a bit of a kicking from Miss Eagle.
It was in eager anticipation of a repeat performance that had brought both Labour and Tory MPs to the scene.
The Chancellor did try a couple early fouls but Angela was having none of it.
Had senior members of his own party not described him as ‘Pinnochio’ and ‘demented’ only this week, she said.
And where were the authors of these calumnies, she asked, as she scanned the Government front bench.
Where were any of the cabinet Brexiteers, she wanted to know to the noisy encouragement of Labour MPs.
Suddenly squatting near the exit she spotted Michael Gove red-faced to be pointed out.
Labour MP’s hooted, Tory MPs brayed and George waved his index finger around like Zorro’s rapier.
Speaker Bercow took time out from enjoying the spectacle to call for calm.
On Labour’s front bench Tom Watson broke into a rarely seen rictus grin; Angela’s sister Maria beamed proudly.
As Labour MPs re-aquainted themselves with smiling at PMQs, Tory backbenchers did not know whether to twist or bust.
George made it clear that the wrong side of him is not a place anyone would want to visit. Angela just grinned.
The Chancellor threw in Trident, ‘bring it on”, said Angela cheerfully.
The Speaker helpfully called all the better known Brexiteers on the Tory benches to chew on the Chancellor.
The usual suspects made it clear that the next four weeks until the referendum was going to be just as rough as the last four.
Labour cheered but George was not quite done.
“Jeremy Corbyn will be back ”, he said.
And so he will.
“Day Off” flickr photo by Georgie Pauwels https://flickr.com/photos/frosch50/16605492719 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license