That's not the way to do it
So farewell then Punch & Judy. It's a turn off. It's outdated. It's aggression for its own sake. So very last century.
Who says so? Why none other than the new leader of the Tory party just hours before his first clash (sorry, there I go again) with Tony Blair at Question Time. What's more, the PM himself said as much when challenged to change the tone by a new MP last week on the occasion of Michael Howard's farewell.
So, in a little over an hour's time, no doubt we will hear Messrs Cameron and Blair fall over each other to be the first to praise their opponent's policies and to exchange in detailed policy analysis. Mmmm. I wonder.
The Guardian today helpfully re-prints DC's musings (he did a kind of blog for the paper) on the first time he asked a question at Question Time.
In it he defends the parliamentary bear pit as a great democratic test of whether leaders have got it. It's worth remembering that we have heard this sort of thing before from previous Tory leaders and indeed from Mr Blair himself from time to time. They both read the same opinion polls but they also both know that PMQs - like the school playground - is the place you have to demonstrate your strength if your gang are to stay onside.
I suspect what DC will try to do is to avoid the witty Hague-ite soundbites - in part because he's not very good at them and in part because they give Labour MPs an excuse to rally to their leader - and focus instead on questions designed to tell the country more about him and his priorities than about the failings of Tony Blair.