Good King Boris, a figure touched on here last week, today continued to baffle inquiry by agreeing to almost every supplication made to him.
It seems there is no Member of the House whom he is not prepared to meet, in order to discuss concerns which with royal magnanimity he thanks them for raising and fully shares himself.
Jeremy Corbyn made a valiant attempt, as Leader of the Opposition, to avoid succumbing to this charm offensive.
In a mournful voice, he wondered “why after almost ten years of Tory government patients are waiting longer?”
Good King Boris, who was only crowned last July, an elevation confirmed in December in an elaborate and ancient ceremony known as a general election, assured him, “we will get those waiting lists down”.
Corbyn raised the sad case of an RAF veteran who had to wait 12 hours on a trolley for treatment. Good King Boris said Corbyn was right to highlight the case, but “on the other hand”, most people have “a fantastic experience” of the NHS, and the hospital in Leicester where the veteran waited is being rebuilt.
Always look on the bright side of life. That is the essence of the Prime Minister’s message.
But Corbyn continued to look on the gloomy side of life: “I understand another hospital has been closed to pay for it,” he said in a melancholy drawl.
If Corbyn were going to be around for longer, he might develop an ability to patronise this ebullient young leader, and to suggest that all this optimism is not reflected in the nation’s Accident and Emergency departments.
But Corbyn can never bear to stick to one point, and deviated into social care: “Where’s the plan?”
Good King Boris pretended to believe Corbyn wanted a joint approach to social care, and said that “with the help and co-operation of the Labour Party” it would surely be sorted out: “I look forward to his support.”
Ian Blackford, for the Scottish Nationalists, accused the Prime Minister of being “a democracy denier” who is “only interested in his union with Donald Trump”.
“Change the record,” Good King Boris retorted. He has no time for “the doubters, the doomsters, the gloomsters”, as he called them last summer on his triumphal entry into Downing Street.
A great struggle between optimists and pessimists has broken out, and so far the optimists are winning. Those of us who think of ourselves as Tory pessimists cannot help feeling a bit disorientated.