As Boris Johnson approached, the Tory frontbench spread themselves out to fill any available free space. Getting the message, the foreign secretary headed off to loiter inconspicuously at the far end of the chamber. The Conservatives were under strict orders from Lynton Crosby’s Australian high command to treat the last prime minister’s questions of the parliament as an election special, and Boris was an embarrassment. An unwanted reminder of countless broken promises. The only promises the Supreme Leader was willing to break were her own.
What was wanted on a day like this were weak and servile MPs to show up the strength and stability of Kim Jong-May. Step forward Michael Fabricant, a man whose only known talent is for sycophancy. Could the Supreme Leader say why she was the only person capable of showing strong and stable leadership?
She could. “What this country needs is strong and stable leadership,” said Kim J ong-May . “And as I am the only person who can give this country strong and stable leadership, the country must vote for me if it wants a strong and stable leader and not a coalition of chaos.” She attempted a few more sentences with strong and stable in them before sitting down.
For what might well be his last PMQs as Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn went back to the formula that had worked moderately well 18 months previously. He had received a letter from Christopher and what Christopher wanted to know was … The Supreme Leader yawned. She had heard quite enough of this already.
There was only one thing Christopher needed to know. “What this country needs is strong and stable leadership,” she intoned, her voice and expression almost blank. “And only I am that strong and stable leader.” The Tory backbenchers roared their approval rather too enthusiastically, no one wanting to be the first one seen to stop cheering.
Corbyn then had a question from Andy. Andy wanted to know why his three grown-up children couldn’t afford to leave home. The Supreme Leader knew the answer to that one too. It was entirely because the leader of the opposition was a weak and unstable terrorist sympathiser. Homes that weren’t strong and stable would fall down in a coalition of chaos, and only a strong and stable leader could build strong and stable homes.
At one point, Kim Jong-May seemed to get confused between strong and stable and stable and strong, so Philip Hammond hurriedly changed her batteries. The Supreme Leader perked up immediately. Once all hospitals had been renamed after her, everything would be fine. If Laura voted for a strong and stable leader then she could have a strong and stable hospital. She would still die there, mind. Unlike she whose name would liveth for evermore. And as for Sybil? She could basically just sod off.
The only interruption to the Supreme Leader’s magnificence came from the SNP’s Angus Robertson, who asked whether the Tories were committed to keeping the triple lock on pensions. Like hell they were. Old people were getting more than enough money already, and what they had to learn was that sometimes the country had to come first. And what this country needed most was for their strong and stable leader to be happy. Only if she was happy could anyone else be happy. And giving old people more money didn’t make her happy. If pensioners had too much cash they would turn into a coalition of chaos.
Much of the rest of what turned out to be an extended PMQs was spent with Tory MPs declaring their devotion to the Supreme Leader. Where others might see a struggling prime minister up against an even more hopeless Labour leader, they saw only the One True Glory. Did she agree that only a strong and stable leader could deliver a strong and stable A36 to the people of Bath, asked Ben Howlett. She did. Under Labour the A36 would be a weak, unstable road. A coalition of chaos. Julian Sturdy wondered if the same thing applied to the A64 in York. It did.
The session ended with many of the MPs who are standing down in June giving everyone a reminder of why they won’t be missed. Peter Lilley insisted that the sun would never set on the Sun Queen and being broke was a price worth paying for leaving the EU. Alan Haselhurst burbled about “this sceptred isle”. Douglas Carswell just burbled. The last question went to Simon Burns. Was the Supreme Leader aware that she alone could be the Supreme Leader?
Kim Jong-May rose to her feet for the blessing. She was the Light. She was the Way. She was the Rapture of all Raptures. Strength through Weakness. Stability through Instability. Power through Mediocrity.