Something unusual has happened in the Commons. All of a sudden there's been a rush - or is it rash ? - of enthusiastic outbursts on matters national and international. It's as though someones pumped the chamber full of some dubious sniffy stuff that's made them all burst from slumber and into life !
First out of the trap today is David Davis, our gallant Brexit leader, astonishing all with the revelation that Brexit may be a cut and dried deal before parliament has a chance to review and vote on it. Guaranteed to wake a few fuddy-duddy's up and cause some incredulous snorting along the benches. Second, we have Mrs May, herself no less, refuting what Mr Davis said and promising the Commons the opportunity to peruse, debate and vote on the Brexit bill; she then continued with a U-turn on the Conservative policy of capping housing benefit for social rented accommodation saying that the plan has been withdrawn. Loud jeers from Labour who claim that that was their idea. Then up turns the Universal Credit debate amid much juvenile noise with the government pedalling backwards and uphill at an alarming speed whilst at the same time throwing a few rocks at their tormentors and claiming that 'in principle, it's a really good idea !'. I'd have paid good money to see that.
We've also had a Tory grandee asking universities to name their staff who have the Brexit and European remit to be named and their curriculum's divulged. How outrageous. Our pompous universities have, of course, rejoined with the claim that this breaches their human rights and Boris's dear brother, Jo (isn't that a girls name ?) as the universities minister has decided to join in the debate and manage to square nothing away with lots of 'maybe's', 'shouldn't have's', 'different phrasing would have been better' comments that he shouldn't have bothered with. As for the universities, it's about time someone wagged a hot poker at them. This was then followed by a censorious thrash on the scandalous behaviour of a Labour MP who'd managed to utter a few phrases that branded him homophobic and mysogynistic and earned him suspension from the Party. Things were getting really hot by now and St John's Ambulance volunteers quivered with anticipation at the thought of getting their hands on a real live (or perhaps dead) MP. Defibrilators were exposed and yards of bandage prepared - surely someone in the chamber was going to burst something or other ?
Then came the highlight of the day - economic growth ! It appears that we have enlarged our economy by 0.1% over the previous two quarters to reach a breathtaking 0.4%. My sneaky mind wonders whether this is a contrived increase to justify an interest rate rise next week which the government needs to attract inward investment. Getting inward investment is a bit dodgy these days as we are told that we produce significantly less than our French, German or American counterparts and with Brexit being handled on an equally dodgy basis it's not surprising that foreigners are thinking twice about where they put their money. But it's created some theatre in the Commons just in time to move on to the debates on driving instructors who molest young drivers, other drivers who chuck their litter out of their car windows and Amber Rudd's proposal to increase jail sentences for those found looking up dodgy ideological stuff on the internet. Was it never going to end ?
This is all almost too much to digest. Never have we seen such a burst of Commons indignation, protest, jeering, heckling and downright righteousness in recent memory. It almost, but not quite, matches that rival theatre in Washington where a long running tragi-comedy production has been the talk of the town for months now with the latest scene depicting the justifiably vitriolic resignations of and quick departure of two Republican senators complaining about their president. How positively awful ! Heck, they should come over here if they want to see what political assassination looks like.