Westminster Times
Westminster Times (Reuters)

That cracking sound that viewers of Prime Minister's Questions might have heard this week was actually the sound of gunfire as David Cameron's joke writer was taken out and shot for landing his boss with the worst joke anyone can remember for a very long time.

After listening to Miliband's performance on Desert Island Discs on Sunday, Cameron said that it was clear the Labour leader was "no longer a follower of Marx, he is loving Engels instead".

(Pop singer Robbie Williams had a song called Angels that included that line, sort of. Miliband chose it. If it needs explaining it isn't funny. Actually, it isn't funny anyway)

Cue the sound of a cold wind blowing tumbleweed through the Commons chamber as MPs stared at their nails or looked up at the ceiling.

Worse, it wasn't even original. Apparently it was nicked from a weekend tweet.

Sporting chance

It is one of the oldest journalistic traps in the book - as George Bush once discovered when asked: "Can you name the president of Chechnya?"

"No, can you?" was his reply. He then went on to fail to name several other national leaders.

Now Britain's sports minister Helen Grant has fallen into the same trap when she was quizzed on her so-called specialist subject which is, you might think, sport.

Not so, it turns out. With both eyes open she bravely walked into the trap when put on the spot by ITV Meridian, failing to name the FA Cup title holders, this year's Wimbledon women's champion, or the England rugby union captain.

Five questions and five fails later she declared: "I wasn't told there was going to be a quiz thrown in at the end of an interview for local television at a grassroots sport event in my constituency on Saturday night.

"If I'd known I would have done some proper revision. My sports pub quiz knowledge may not be encyclopaedic but I completely understand the positive impact that participating in sport has on people's lives."

So that's what you need to be sports minister - a good "pub quiz knowledge".

Where do I apply for the job as foreign secretary...?

Hallowed ground?

How would you like to own some of the very ground that Disraeli, Gladstone or Churchill walked on? Well you may soon be able to.

The House of Commons administration committee, in its never-ending quest to find ways of making money out of the place, has suggested flogging off the old floor tiles "like bits of the Berlin Wall".

Sadly, committee chairman Sir Alan Haselhurst may have rather undermined the idea by claiming that the original tiles may contain "noxious substances" and sharp edges, but that he would be open to the idea of replicas.

That didn't impress Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin who said: " It does seem to me an opportunity to market tiles on which Disraeli and Gladstone and Churchill walked has got more appeal than a new replica tile.

"We buy bits of the Berlin Wall, for goodness sake, which have got sharp edges. I don't know what noxious substances are in these tiles but it does seem to me a little extreme."

'Elf and Safety gone mad, you might say.

Meanwhile, anybody fancy a jar of Thames water once walked on by Tony Blair? Ten quid to you.

Undelete button

On the day chancellor George Osborne decided he did like price-fixing after all, at least when it came to payday loans, political hacks went straight to the Tory party website to look for his 2013 conference speech where he said something a bit different.

Specifically, he told the conference that Ed Miliband's energy price freeze would hurt ordinary voters (I think we call them hardworking people nowadays, George.

The journalists had, of course, forgotten that an eager party worker had "accidentally" pressed the delete button and the speech had disappeared. Luckily, I can help Conservative HQ out because I kept a copy.

After branding Miliband a Marxist, he said: "Attempts to fix prices and confiscate wealth crush endeavour and blunt aspiration. And the people who suffer are not the rich, but the hundreds of thousands put out of work. The millions made poorer. The generation whose hopes are blighted."

So Osborne won't be doing any of that then. Oh, wait...

Mad Nad

Nadine "I Want to be a Celebrity" Dorries has been revealed to have a bit of a mafioso's way with threats when it comes to her Family.

It has been reported that she turned on a journalist after he had the gall to ask her how her daughter Jennifer could provide "secretarial support" at a cost of £35,000 a year when she lives 96 miles away from Westminster and 89 miles from her constituency office.

Dorries later explained that her daughter's main place of work was in the constituency office and she didn't charge for the travel costs to the office.

But she also tweeted a threat to the reporter that said: "Be seen within a mile of my daughters and I will nail your b***s to the floor using your own front teeth. Do you get that?"

Mad? She is clearly absolutely furious.