Laughing off a late life crisis
Wow. Cor blimey. Gordon Bennett.
Just some of the repeatable things said round Westminster on hearing the news that David Davis planned to step into the history books by resigning his seat to take the fight for civil liberties to the people.
What David Cameron said in private when he was told - not asked, not consulted, mind you - is probably unbroadcastable.
The two Tory Davids - one who beat the other to become Tory leader - insist they've not fallen out and not rowed about policy.
David Davis has, however, bounced his leader into a by-election he didn't want, on an issue he wanted to move on from and he has done it without consulting his colleagues in the shadow cabinet. It is hard to see how the two men could work comfortably with each other in future.
The man who is already the former shadow home secretary insists he's making a principled stand and laughs off suggestions from friends and foes alike that he's having a late life crisis.
A politician who is a self-confessed adrenalin junkie has just injected a little unpredictability into British politics.
PS: Earlier I wrongly said that there was no precedent for this. Thanks to those who pointed to the following:
George Lansbury, 1912
The Labour MP for Tower Hamlets, Bow and Bromley resigned to fight a by-election on a platform of votes for women. The Labour Party disapproved of his resignation and Lansbury lost the contest to the Conservative candidate by 731 votes.
Northern Ireland, 1986
All 15 Ulster unionist MPs resigned and provoked by-elections in protest over the Anglo-Irish Agreement. 14 of them were re-elected, many with increased majorities, but they ultimately failed to influence Government policy.