It was all going so well until somebody mentioned David Cameron’s mam: suddenly it was high noon for handbags.
Until then it had been the normally irrelevant Wednesday outing for Prime Ministers Questions.
With Europe as the issue of the day, an increasingly less-than-relevant Jeremy Corbyn had decided to major on the NHS.
Taking politics out of PMQs has been the novel strategy of the Labour leader in recent weeks.
Today, with the Tory Party riven over the referendum, the junior hospital doctors dispute seemed just the issue.
After all if Labour cannot win on the NHS what can they win on? Read on.
It all went pear-shaped when, in the middle of the usual swopping of insults, a voice from the Labour side asked what were the views of the dowager Mrs C.
The plan was to embarrass Dave by reminding all his mother had apparently expressed some doubts about her son’s austerity-for-all policies.
It should be noted that it was not Jeremy’s plan to introduce Dave’s mam into the arena that is PMQs.
But Mrs Cameron’s boy didn’t get where he is today etc etc.
Almost without a pause the PM looked the Labour leader in the eye and said he knew exactly whats mother would say.
“Put on a proper suit, do up your tie and sing the national anthem.”
Now it has to be reported that Jeremy had arrived in the Commons today wearing an outfit he must have bought in the Islington Oxfam shop last year.
Regular viewers with be familiar with the ensemble which is often enhanced with various badges and pins.
It is also true that his tie – always red – does not always align itself with the collar of whoever’s shirt he has borrowed.
And his reluctance with matters royal is well known as is his voicing of the anthem.
But none of that can quite explain why the alleged comments of Mrs Cameron senior seemed to resonate through the chamber.
Tory backbenchers, who had suspended their own internal agonies for the half hour, were besides themselves with pleasure.
Labour backbenchers, whose own mothers might have made similar comments, sat shtum, Jeremy sat fuming.
His own mother would have said “stand up for the NHS’, was his reply but by then the moment was lost.
Indeed so great was the clamour that had Mrs Cameron opened her windows deep in Oxfordshire she could have heard it.
Speaker Bercow, who knows a good line when he hears it, did not even bother to intervene.
Dave basked in their adulation and Jeremy just marked another missed opportunity.
Hostilities among Tory MPs would resume after lunch but at the moment they were united by Labour’s disarray.
As for hostilities among Labour MPs………