And so we’re back, but from where? Well Theresa May chose to spend the Summer recess hiking with her husband Philip in the Swiss Alps: an interesting choice for a holiday jaunt and a million miles away from her predecessor’s Cornish jollies. Such Alpine treks are rare amongst today’s political and intellectual elite, but were a mainstay of the nineteenth century intelligentsia, favoured by all from Shelley and Byron, to Freud, and of course Freiderich Nietzche.
It was to their snow capped peaks that the philosopher turned following a particularly hurtful separation from a once close companion to walk and ponder, returning in 1882 with the revolutionary proclamation that “God is Dead”. For her efforts pondering a rather more significant separation the PM has brought back the similarly pithy declaration that “Brexit means Brexit”. We can only hope that the similarities end there as a few years later Freiderich wound up in a loony bin with neurosyphilitic brain damage after going a bit heavy on the prostitutes. Such a fate is of course quite unlikely to befall modern politicians…
Too busy valiantly helping the downtrodden for frivolous holidays, Jeremy Corbyn opted to get stuck straight into the nitty gritty of housing policy today. Average residential prices, rates of home ownership, house building figures, arcane questions on rent, and withering pronouncements on the median age of first time buyers were just some of the riveting lines of questioning the Labour leader decided to follow. This interrogation was then followed by a lamentation on “homes that are not really fit for human habitation”. A subject Mr. Corbyn knows all too well from twice daily having to stoop under the overgrown shrubbery that blocks his Islington front door.
Inevitably the Labour leader’s questioning was also partly outsourced to a member of the public via Twitter, with today’s offering coming from Jenny (who is certainly neither fictional nor a Momentum supporter). Jenny’s problem was that her and her husband were only being offered a £70,000 mortgage by the bank: a paltry sum Jeremy no doubt felt was pitiful considering he rakes in around twice that in one year alone.
The PM naturally addressed her response directly to Jenny, continuing this bizarre proxy debate that Corbyn is so fond of whereby the leaders of the two parties serve as intermediaries for random Twitter users. This time Theresa May decided to go one further however. Having warned Corbyn that “he might want to ensure that he stays sitting down for this”, she cited a response to Corbyn’s Twitter plea for PMQ questions from a chap called Lewis. “Does he know that in a recent poll on who would make a better Prime Minister”, asked Lewis, “‘Don’t Know’ scored higher than Jeremy Corbyn?”.
Here the debate via Twitter surrogate had reached its ludicrous apotheosis, essentially boiling down to little more than: “This individual on Twitter can’t get a mortgage and it’s all YOUR fault!” versus “Yeah? Well some other individual on Twitter said something VERY MEAN about you on Twitter too! Ha! You fool!”.
Naturally one’s mind wanders elsewhere during such banalities, like Theresa May’s front bench. As would be expected there was Hammond, Fallon and Greening, and even Boris, but who was the cherubic redhead to the PM’s left? Why none other than Ben Gummer, arch-Remainer and newly minted Minister for the Cabinet Office. Eyes glazed, brow furrowed, and nodding intermittently in the manner so perfected by the former Chancellor, ardent federast Ben was now as pliant as a doormouse as the PM pronounced on Brexit.
Some on the opposition benches were however alertly transfixed because behind Mrs. May was Lucy Frazer, bedecked in a teeny-weeny Sharon Stone-esque white skirt. A 1000 word parliamentary sketch will not do her justice.
On the Tory benches they too were focused on a bit of skirt. For when the PM rose to speak, the massed MPs behind her could see that on the rear of her skirt was affixed a zip: a zip which Mrs. May had judiciously left half-undone leaving a healthy glimpse of thigh.
Now anyone who knows their Freud (as the PM well should after her Alpine break) will know there are few things your average repressed Tory MP likes more than fetish gear, a stern telling off and a peek at a stocking top. And that’s not just your old right wingers, it even works on the Wets and former commies (see here the late Christopher Hitchens gleefully recounting his pleasure at being spanked by Mrs. Thatcher). Ultimately, a steely reprimand, a hint of leg, and an icy stare is all it took to bring the party back together over Europe. After all, it’s not only Labour MPs that are partial to being treated like a bitch…