THE House of Commons isn’t sitting this week out of respect for the late Queen Elizabeth. Well, nobody wants to be laughing at such a solemn time. So, I thought I’d fill the interlude with some ill-considered remarks on the subject of: whither PMQs?

The Queen’s death was a bitter blow, particularly for sketch-writers still mourning the political passing of Boris Johnson. He was the gift that kept on giving. With Boris at the helm, the sketch pretty much wrote itself. All we had to do was check the spelling and collect our money.

Now it’s Liz Truss vs Sir Keir Starmer, and a new era beckons. We’ll watch Ms Truss grow into the job of Prime Minister, I’m sure. If I’ve one golden nugget of wisdom to offer youse in life it is this: everything – absolutely everything – is done better when you’re relaxed. It’s the secret of both kung fu and political oratory.

Liz looks strained, but the same might be said of Sir Keir, Labour leader of His Majesty’s Opposition, and he’s been at it for a while. Don’t get me wrong. Both are more confident individuals than you or I.

So is Boris. But he rarely looked strained. Indeed, he was always relaxed, perhaps too relaxed. In kung fu, you need to be both relaxed and on your toes. Not too floppy. Floppy Boris frequently ended up on his butt. But you’ll recall Lucius Junius Brutus, who pretended to be more of a fool than he was in reality to avoid the tyrannical wrath of Tarquinius Superbus, the ancient world’s Nick Robinson.

Boris played the fool to be loved, and he loved nothing more than to wind up our own Ian “Hogmanay” Blackford, official spokesman for The People of Scotland. What a pair. If they went anywhere on a foreign jaunt together, their hosts would remark: “Don’t they have tailors in Britishland?

Boris, a bona fide toff, was clearly at it. He knows the sartorial rules, and what does he cock at them? Correct: a snook. Neither his jacket nor his trousers fit. His shirt sleeves are too long. His tie has been superglued on by a blind man after a bottle of whisky.

As for Ian, his three-piece suit might be good quality, but it bags at the knees and he has cunningly re-deployed the waistcoat as an ineffective corset, every button straining to contain his inner Jabba. You can’t help feeling that if Ian were slimmer he’d carry more weight.

In the sumo-wrestling between Boris and Ian, however stressful or odious the prior proceedings, the then-PM could never resist a smirk as, to a chorus of Tory groans, Ian rose to speak. The SNP’s Westminster leader comes over as an amalgam of Bonnie Prince Churlish, Disgusted of Dunvegan and a Monty Python Scotsman: “If you could just see your way to giving us a referendum.”

Boris, repeatedly referring in deliberate error to the “Scottish Nationalist Party”, would mock Ian’s “uncharacteristic air of gloom”, and smile inwardly at the echo of PG Wodehouse’s jibe about it never being difficult “to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine”.

But here we are still talking about Boris. What about Liz vs Ian? Well, the first week was relatively restrained. Wearing a cheap-looking tartan tie (all tartan ties look cheap), Mr Blackford echoed, almost to the letter, Sir Keir’s points about how Liz’s energy plan was to be paid for.

Ms Truss made the tactical error of treating Ian seriously, but at least appeared to address – if not answer – the question, whereas Boris always fell back on bringing up the SNP Holyrood administration’s alleged poor record on drugs and education. This has always been an odd Tory position: denying personal responsibility and saying that, if you fail your exams or get hooked on drugs, it’s the Government’s fault not yours.

At PMQs, Ian complained: “The Prime Minister may have changed, but it’s the same old, being shouted down by the Tories.”

Doubtless, he’s right about the shouting. But will it be the same old PMQs otherwise? Both Ian and Sir Keir gave the impression at times that they hated Boris. But, with Ms Truss, I detected a lingering, old-fashioned sensibility about not being rude to a lady.

It won’t last. Liz will tire of Ian’s relentless moaning and fall back on researchers’ sparse notes about life in Scotland under the SNP. Sir Keir and Ms Truss will lose their tempers and grow to dislike each other. For that is the essence of parliamentary democracy. Same old.