How energetically some of Jeremy Corbyn’s frontbench colleagues nodded as he spoke. Gloria de Piero was outstanding, and after a while Angela Eagle joined in too.

Tom Watson never nodded. He smiled the fixed smile of a man attempting not to look embarrassed by his non-leader of a leader.

One cannot say Mr Watson has, like Cassius, a lean and hungry look. But to him, as Deputy Leader, will fall the task of presiding, when the Labour Party is ready, over the transition to some more inspiring figure than the wretched, obstinate, small-minded, slow-witted backbencher who follows, thanks to the votes of obstinate, small-minded Lefties, in the footsteps of Clement Attlee and Tony Blair.

On the Conservative front bench, Amber Rudd nodded less vigorously than Miss de Piero, and Theresa May only nodded when David Cameron touched on a Home Office subject.

But they may have felt, with reason, that the Prime Minister did not need much in the way of encouragement. For he was in the consensual mode which suits him so well, rejoicing to be united, for once, with Labour, the Scottish Nationalists, the Liberal Democrats, the Greens, the Ulster Unionists and even with one or two Conservatives.

Mr Cameron is excellent at suggesting that those who agree with him about Europe are grown ups, while those who disagree are a bunch of reckless adventurers intent on destroying civilisation as we know it.

Nor were those brave but by no means reckless Conservatives who spoke up for Brexit – David Nuttall, Jack Lopresti, Nigel Adams – able to impair that impression.

According to Max Hastings, writing in today’s Daily Mail, “we become fed up with listening to all prime ministers after they’ve been in the job six years”.

We shall discover next week whether that rather sweeping dictum applies to Mr Cameron.