Does the outpouring of contempt between David Cameron and Ed Miliband amount to more than their political differences?
Or is there now an increasing feeling of personal hatred developing between them?
As each week passes, the verbal battle between the two at Prime Minister’s question time in the Commons not only gets more raucous, but more personal too.
These weekly clashes are not, I am afraid, noted for their subtlety any more. They are becoming louder and cruder as time goes on.
Words like “chicken”, “frit”, “hopeless” and “useless” are bandied about with almost boring regularity, with seemingly no attempt, on either side, to engage in any kind of constructive and sensible debate. This may be all very splendid for those who enjoy these rowdy shouting matches and the back-bench braying which goes on, but it is hardly what the taxpayer pays for.
One of the troubles is Cameron rarely even bothers to answer some of the questions put to him by Miliband. He simply ignores than and plunges into a diatribe of statistics which doesn’t help anybody.
Things might – just might – improve a little if Cameron and Miliband had spent more time in the world of work and less time in the foetid, constraining atmosphere of Parliament. But so long as MPs foolishly demand that outside work should be discouraged, if not actually banned, then the situation is unlikely to improve.
The British electorate certainly do not deserve the politicians they have got. They deserve far better than the bunch who currently occupy Westminster. At least there should be a good clear-out of some of the dross after May 7.
The childishness they sometimes exhibit is reminiscent of an unruly, inky fourth form. When Ed Miliband branded the Prime Minister “chicken” in the ongoing row about the election broadcasts, a substantial number of back-benchers started clucking and waving their arms about like the wings of a chicken. How infantile is that?
The Speaker John Bercow has controversially introduced a number of innovations into Westminster, including a little-used creche. Well, how about a Sin Bin? Or, even more appropriate, given the juvenile behaviour of many of the miscreants, a Naughty Step?
They might decide to act their age rather than suffer that indignity. Or is that too much to hope?