I COULDN’T think what this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions reminded me of, and then it came to me: The Fast Show, when rural expert Clive Tucker made a guest appearance on coughing Bob Fleming’s Country Matters TV programme to discuss traditional carpentry tools.

In the ensuing disastrous interview, while Bob had problems enough getting a sentence out without a coughing fit, Clive had a verbal tic and kept interspersing his contribution with shouts of “Arse!” Thus: “This is a plane – arse! – and it was made in Tiverton, in Devon, about a hundred – arse! – years ago.”

To get to the bottom of this, we recall that, earlier this week, Gillian Keegan, the Education Secretary, was caught off-mic after a TV interview saying she had done “a f*****g good job” while everyone else had “sat on their arse and done nothing”.

It was this controversial reference that turned yesterday’s proceedings into a rump Parliament, with buttocks coming to the fore in every other contribution.

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First, though, proceedings began innocently enough when Labour leader Keir Starmer welcomed some teenager who was taking his arse, I mean seat – God, now I’m at it – in Parliament for the first time.

Sir Keir asked if, as regards collapsing roofs in English schools, the Prime Minister agreed with his Education Secretary “that he should be thanked for doing a good job”.

Rishi Sunak, the PM under advisement, responded: “The Government is doing everything it can.” That would explain it, right enough.

He added that the whole thing was new to him, just as it was to Sir K who was, as usual, jumping on a political bandwagon. The PM offered: “Let me just talk him through the facts.” Which turned out to be a bunch of figures.

Hitching up his trousers from his brickie’s crack, Mr Starmer laid it on with a trowel: “It’s the sort of thing you expect from cowboy builders … protesting that they’ve done an effing good job even as the ceiling falls in. The difference is in this case the cowboys are running the country.”

Yee-ha! Listen to Sir Keir: all hat and no cattle.

MPs should be seen and not herd but, alas, the bovine mob was bellowing and mooing, prompting the Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, to make his first intervention of the new session. “I understand people are excited to be back at school,” he said, adding: “Can I just say: we’re going to have a calmer question time going forward.”

You wish, mate.

Looking backward, Rishi accused Keir of not listening to “a single fact”. Me neither, mate. Boring. Say something mental. Make like Gillian. No ifs, more butts.

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But Rishi proceeded to get us all down. “What’s happened?” he asked. You tell us, pal. “Energy bills – down! What’s happened to inflation? Down! What’s happened to small boat crossings? Down!” He could have just held up a placard saying “Down with this sort of thing!”

But, when it came to economic growth, where had it gone? Answer: Up! This was making us dizzy, just like Sir Keir, who “tried time and time again to talk down the British economy”, said Rishi.

Downer, man. Up with this we could not put much more when Stephen Flynn, the SNP’s Westminster leader, rose to make an r’s of things: “The public needs no rrreminding,” averred he, “that today marrks a yearr since the Prrryme Ministurr’s prredecessorr took office.”

Presumably, said Stephen, the PM thought everything would get better after her short tenure but, instead, everything had gone up: unemployment, food prices, mortgage rates. “When is he going to get off his backside and do something about it?”

Lordy, even baldie was getting ribald.

Rishi: “I will always do what is right for the people of Scotland.” Ah, blow it out your … mouth.

There was more scraping the bottom when Labour’s Andy McDonald, complaining about the state of a school in his Middlesbrough constituency, asked the PM and his Education Secretary to “get off their derrieres and sort this out”.

Mary Glindon (Lab) protested: “We’ve heard far too much recently about ministerial posteriors and far too little about prosperity …”

Nice one. But, getting back to, if not fundamentals, at least fundaments, Chris Law (SNP) accused Labour and the Tories of being “two cheeks of the same arse”. That was, at last, too much for the Speaker, who said: “Can I just say: let’s think about language …”

Chris: “I am happy to change the offending word to ‘bottom’.” On which bum note, we take our leave of the anus horribilis that was PMQs this week.