If ever there was a tell-tale sign of who won the Great War between the Speaker and the Clerk of the Commons, it was today's Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year awards. Sir Robert Rogers picked up the top prize, declaring: 'Common sense and good governance will prevail before very long'. Mr Speaker failed to show up.
The guest of honour, Home Secretary Theresa May, delivered her own comedy turn making jokes about George Osborne's haircut. She had a point. Her barbed comment that her 'special advisers had told her' this would be a 'good idea' had a particular resonance given her starring role on the cover of this quarter's edition of Spectator Life; a profile that features her advisers heavily.
Wasting no time, May attacked both of her obvious future rivals for the Tory crown. She alluded to Osborne's dark secrets and pointed out in her ill-fated slide show that Boris lived in Islington: 'presumably he will be moving to Uxbridge now.'
Alex Salmond droned on, quoting the Bible as he picked up Politician of the Year. He also misjudged the crowd by calling them 'sore losers'. But his 'respect' for his cross of St George hanky did get the crowd going. William Hague hit the spot with his declaration of love for Parliament despite his imminent departure, as he collected his Lifetime Achievement Award at a more tender age than most: 'I gave the best speech of my life aged 16.'