QUENTIN LETTS: John Bercow extending PMQs was the act of a hellbent goblin

Mail Online | 10/31/2018 | Quentin Letts for the Daily Mail
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Here behind the Westminster ramparts, Speaker Bercow let PMQs dribble 20 minutes over time.

This is when Bercow's cruelty becomes most apparent. To extend such a dull event is the act of a hellbent goblin.

Commons - Backbenches - Swathes - Leather - Hon

The Commons ached to be free. Backbenches showed swathes of green leather where less dutiful Hon Members had skedaddled for some nosebag.

Still the Speaker refused to call halt. In front of me a small moth took the route of desperation and aimed straight for a metal strut.

Closer - Target - Clunk - Moth

The closer it got to its target, I swear it accelerated. Clunk. Ouch! Yet the moth failed to knock itself senseless.

Poor creature, it could still hear Dame Caroline Spelman (Con, Meriden) warbling about a visit to London by a choir of German politicians.

Creature - Circuit - Strut - Collision

And so the little creature did a small circuit and again flew at that strut, repeating its head-on collision. After that I saw my moth no more.

By recent measures, yesterday's PMQs was actually one of the better ones, at least in its main exchanges. Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn had their weekly grapple, Mrs May taking the bout with ease.

Mr - Corbyn - Broken-promise - Budget - Mistake

Mr Corbyn tried to establish the slogan 'a broken-promise Budget' but made the mistake of mentioning Budget tax cuts that have split the Labour Party like a pair of Oliver Hardy's trousers.

Mrs May capitalised on those Labour disagreements. Mr Corbyn should make up his mind and support the Budget, averred Mrs May. Big Tory hurrahs. Mr Corbyn narrowed his eyes. It was the look of a man accepting a suppository.

Exchange - Mrs - May - Loyalists - 'up

In the next exchange Mrs May had her loyalists chanting 'up! up! up!' in response to a list of things she said the Government had achieved (support for public services, growth, wages). Much mooing from Tories. Labour MPs looked a bit 'uh-oh'.

But that was the best of...
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