IT HAS struck me on several occasions over the last few days that where our politicians are concerned, manners are severely lacking.

Jacob Rees-Mogg’s arrogant lolling about on the House of Commons benches and Boris Johnson’s boorish insults – I would have pulled up both my sons for much less.

However, one of the most disappointing things about Johnson hurling abuse at Jeremy Corbyn was how rubbish it was.

“Big girl’s blouse” is such an old-fashioned kind of insult, and quite apart from being sexist and childish, it’s just so dull. Is that really the best our Eton-educated, Oxbridge graduate of a PM can come up with?

Has the art of the acerbic put-down really been lost? Do we have to go all the way back to the likes of Churchill to find clever, witty politicians? Even Sir Humphrey in Yes Minister was better at it. “Politicians like to panic, they need activity,” he said on one occasion. “It is their substitute for achievement.”

Perhaps Johnson should have taken a leaf out of his former colleague Ruth Davidson’s book. In 2015, she suggested Donald Trump was a “clay-brained guts, knotty-pated fool, whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch”, which caused much mirth on Twitter.

How much more fun would it be if our politicians resorted to Shakespearian language in the House? I read recently that many years pre-Shakespeare, warring bands of Celts appointed their own ‘official insulter’ whose job it was to whip up the other side into a frenzy with hearty put-downs. That would make PMQs much more entertaining.

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The 15-year-old has just received a book of Shakespearian insults and has taken to calling us all “goatish, dull-brained idiot-worshippers” and “loathly, motley-minded jack-a-napes” and the like, to his younger brother’s great disgust.

“Bit shady,” he muttered, helpfully providing an example of a contemporary insult which, like ‘salty’ and ‘trash’ you are unlikely to have heard of unless you 1. are aged under 25 or 2. have tweens or teens at home.

But if witty badinage and Shakespearian language are too far out of the grasp of the PM, he could just consult the latest edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.

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Earlier this year, a raft of excellent Scottish insults made it into the revered tome for the first time – amongst them: bam (a foolish, annoying, or obnoxious person); bampot and bamstick (see: bam); plus bowfing (stinking, horrible); roaster (an obnoxious person, an idiot) and sprag (a boaster, a braggart).

Any one of those would liven up Hansard considerably.