Unfortunately for them, though, Nick Clegg bites back. Hard. Answering a question from Chris Bryant – in which the Labour MP referred to coalition housing benefit cuts as a "cleansing" of the poor from city centres – he glowered, "To refer to 'cleansing' will be deeply offensive to people who have witnessed ethnic cleansing in other parts of the world." Later on, Clegg reminded the jeering Labour benches that, "[they] introduced tuition fees, having previously said that [they] wouldn't." This was the performance of a man who is as mad as hell with Labour's caricature of his party, and isn't going to take it anymore.
Elsewhere, Clegg put in a spirited defence of the coalition's welfare policies, and even highlighted some of the good news that has been hidden in the small print. "The OBR," he reminded Harriet Harman, "also say that there will be over 2 million jobs created in the private sector." On this form, Nick Clegg is easily one of the coalition's punchiest performers – perhaps even, as Tim Montgomerie suggested on Twitter, the "biggest barrier to future LibLabbery".