We join the proceedings as the Leader of the Opposition, Mr David Cameron, hauls himself to his expensively-shod feet:
Mr. David Cameron (Witney) (Con): I'd like to join the Prime Minister in his display of mock sorrow, and emulate him in stumbling over the name of a young soldier who I have never met, and never will now.
But anyway. Will the Prime Minister admit, before this House, that snow is falling from the sky, and that this is in direct contradiction to his earlier statements, and is entirely a result of his failed policies?
The Prime Minister (Mr. Gordon Brown):: The right hon. Gentleman is right to say that we have winter weather, which - as he knows - started in America. I can today announce an enquiry into the so-called snow, which will commence with extensive analysis of the snow on the ground in August of this year.
I am also able to announce that we will be investing 50 mill-yun pounds in an enormous salt cellar, which will be used to sprinkle salt onto snowbound marginal constituencies. This salt cellar will be available during the whole of July 2011.
[Mr Cameron, instead of asking his next question, winks, taps his nose, and sits down]
Mr. Nick Clegg (Sheffield, Hallam) (LD): I too would like to express my sorrow at the death of another soldier, and also the tragic death of a Mirror reporter, who as we are all aware was doing vital humanitarian work in dangerous territory. Many Afghans will doubtless sorely miss his enormous contributions to their well being.
But anyway. As the House will recall, mine was among those voices calling for the Chilcot enquiry into the Iraq war to be completely independent, and immune from political interference.
With a General Election coming up, I can sense substantial political advantage for my party in the Prime Minister being embarrassed by this enquiry.
I would, therefore, like to withdraw my demands for any political independence for this enquiry, and use my position as a senior politician to demand that the Prime Minister is hauled up before the committee as soon as possible.
The Prime Minister: The Chilcot inquiry has been given .. errr .... I mean drawn up a list of people whose fault .. err ... I mean who were involved and who they will wish to interview. My name is not on it, so you can't make me.
Mr. Clegg: The point is that this is a question for the Prime Minister’s own conscience.
[sustained, uproarious laughter from all sides]
Mr Clegg: He wrote the cheques, he paid for it, it was him, him, him
[Mr Clegg sits down, lip trembling]
The Prime Minister: Hard working families know that this war and this enquiry are abso-lewtly nothing to do with me. And I'm busy that day.
Mr. David Cameron (Witney) (Con): Last week, the Prime Minister was in in a sticky situation with his own party. Ahahahaha. Isn't that right?
The Prime Minister: I think that I should answer that question by saying that the right hon. Gentleman looks very different from the poster that we see out there.
Mr. Cameron: Why don't we play a little game? Who in the Labour party think this Prime Minister looks good in a photograph? Come on, hands up. Come on.
[about 50 obedient Labour hands go up]
Mr Cameron: [squinting] anyone? No-one? Oh, there we are, four. Four people would like a photo of the Prime Minister.
[Tories rock with laughter]
Mr Cameron: But enough. When Britain went into recession with one of the largest deficits in the industrialised world, that was because this Prime Minister thought he had abolished boom and bust. That claim was wrong, wasn’t it?
The Prime Minister: The right hon. Gentleman needs three television election debates because he thinks three different things about the same thing.
[Labour backbenchers pause, glance up at Lord Mandelson on the balcony then, at his signal, begin to laugh]
Mr. Cameron: Well, the Prime Minister has three different people in charge of the election campaign. So there. And one of them is Mad Hattie, who hates boys. Isn't it?
[a Tory backbencher laughs so hard that he falls from his bench]
The Prime Minister: This is what the Leader of the Opposition said only a few days ago: “I messed up". Ha ha. Messed up. You said that. Didn't you?
Mr Cameron: The Chancellor now says that that cuts will be the deepest for 20 years. Will the Prime Minister repeat those words?
The Prime Minister: Well, the right hon. Gentleman is going red in the face. Look, he is. Much redder than on his poster.
[several Labour backbenchers laugh so much that they are sick]
Mr. Cameron: If the Prime Minister wants to know how people are going to vote, why does he not find some courage for once and call the election?
[A Tory backbenchers shouts "hear hear" so loudly that he suffers an embolism]
The Prime Minister: I must say that the right hon. Gentleman’s airbrushed poster - did I mention that? - had .. errr ... lines on it. And they were .. err ... [squints to read script] better than the lines that he is delivering today.
[Labour backbenchers are lead away, tears of laughter streaming down their cheeks]
The Mother of all Parliaments?