Imagine, if you can, Robert Peston’s older brother; the same strangulated syntax, the same windmilling arms.
Step forward David Lidington, MP for Aylesbury, Leader of the House of Commons and, for – one lunchtime only – the PM in PMQs.
Theresa May, in case you are wondering, is in Bahrein selling stuff to the Gulf States.
Her absence meant a day down the allotment for Jeremy Corbyn and a sudden panic for the Labour Party.
Jeremy’s official number two is Tom Watson, but when it comes to the Commons he’s suprisingly camera shy.
Thus the apparent promotion earlier this week of Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry to the extra title of Shadow First Secretary.
That in itself means nothing but made Emily available for PMQs. Emily shot to fame during the last election by tweeting a snobby photo of a white van man’s van and his attendant union jacks.
Ed Miliband sacked her into obscurity until she was rescued by her Islington neighbour Jeremy following the revolution.
A barrister by trade, Emily always gives the impression she would lick herself if she could.
And she was on top lick form today as she made another vain bid to get someone on the Government side to say something – indeed anything – about Brexit.
To be fair she broke with Jeremy by asking questions that made sense – and followed each other.
But PM-for-the-thirty-minutes-Lidington had learned well how to ignore her and proceeded to do so.
Never knowingly embarrassed, Emily gave him and his backbenchers enough contempt to take some to lunch with them
Meanwhile Labour’s back benches were emptying out faster than the Kop when Liverpool is losing.
There was a touch of PMQs-past when the Tory boot boys re-convened for a nostalgic shout-in at Emily’s indifference.
Indeed Speaker Bercow happily intervened on several occasions
as the good old days made a sudden re-appearance.
He let it run until twenty to one but by then they would have been climbing out of the windows – had there been – any to get away.
As it was they show no shame in scuttling for the door and an lunch.
“Brexit – No Ideas?” flickr photo by jeffdjevdet https://flickr.com/photos/jeffdjevdet/28511208196 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license