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According to Jeremy Corbyn, “this Government doesn’t really know whether it’s coming or going”.

The Leader of the Opposition is right at least that MPs do not know whether the Government is coming or going, for they shouted “coming” and “going”.

What Corbyn could have added is that this is good for liberty.

Parliamentary government is supposed to be precarious. That is our tradition. The Prime Minister might at any moment lose his or her Commons majority.

No election is required for this to take place. Public opinion can make itself felt without voters having to take the trouble to go to the polls.

Ask Margaret Thatcher what happened to her when her own MPs lost confidence in her, or David Cameron what became of him when he lost the EU referendum.

Theresa May is not in the position of either Thatcher or Cameron. Her own MPs want her to bring Brexit to a successful conclusion, and this she has promised to do.

Labour MPs, with what may turn out to be premature optimism, think she will fail, and show signs of succumbing to the perilous delusion that Corbyn would do better.

The Speaker, John Bercow, had to rebuke the House quite often for being too loud: “I said the Prime Minister will be heard.”

“That’s you, Jeremy,” a Labour wag shouted.

May offered unexciting common sense: “You don’t build a stronger economy by losing control of public finances.”

Nicky Morgan fed her a question about Jared O’Mara, the ghastly Labour MP for Sheffield Hallam who has had the whip withdrawn after it was found he had hurled abuse at women, homosexuals and foreigners.

May offered unexciting decency: “I want to see young women able to see this House as a place they actively want to come to.”

We should treat other people with respect. So said the Prime Minister. She does not bring to this platitude the art of a Stanley Baldwin, but it is still the kind of proposition which could leave her, when all the noise has died down, in command of the centre ground of politics.

14 comments for: Andrew Gimson’s Commons sketch: Labour MPs tempted by a perilous delusion

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