If you hate ‘Punch and Judy politics’, start planning your personal Brexit now

That Corbyn gag is just the start of it


In the House of Commons yesterday, taking a break from deciding matters of war and peace with Churchillian eloquence and Gladstonian equanimity, Jeremy Corbyn was bantered into moon-troubling orbit:

“Last week, like [David Cameron],” Corbyn began, “I was in Brussels, meeting with heads of government and leaders of European Socialist parties. One of whom said to me…”

An unidentified Tory MP interjected: “Who are you?”

The laughter from the Tories comes in torrents and gales. Even Andy Burnham looked like he was thinking “looooooooooool”.

But off the Government benches, few seemed very impressed by the spectacle. I’ve seen the clip shared angrily on social media over and over again, accompanied by the usual complaints: this was Punch and Judy politics at its worst, this was schoolboy bully behaviour, this was neither funny nor clever.

And if you think politicians generally behave like an out of control sixth form debating society, start planning a personal Brexit. Shit’s about to get real, real immature because of the EU referendum.

Tory MPs are already working out who to execute, House of Cards style. My colleague was having a drink in one of the bars under Parliament this week, where MPs and their aides were in a state of feverish excitement. The banter at the urinals was about a Tory MP who has been promised a peerage by David Cameron if he abandons long-held Eurosceptic principles and falls in line with the government. And you thought your friends were snakes. 

On Twitter, the editor of online newspaper Breitbart and grown human adult accused one MP of “sucking off” the Prime Minister.

And another man told The Telegraph’s Senior Political Correspondent to shut up because of who her boyfriend is:

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And this is merely the first week of the campaign. The pressure’s going to build until Cameron and BoJo literally bang each other, like two hams being smashed together.

You’re going to want to move somewhere – anywhere – else before that happens.