Here is one Tory MP talking to another in a not so fine example of present political debate: “We don’t need any lectures from Remainers.”
This is typical of the ping-pong rudeness of politics since Brexit, but who said it and about whom?
Oh, almost anyone about almost anyone else, and if it’s not pro and anti-EU Tories laying into each other, it’s factions within Labour jousting swears on Twitter over allegations of antisemitism in the party.
In fact, those words were spoken by Tory backbencher Nigel Evans shouting down his fellow Tory MP, Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, for saying that a no-deal Brexit would be a bad idea, until he changed his mind and said something else.
Another Nigel, the Farage one, pompously proclaimed in the Daily Telegraph the other day that he was “back” to campaign over Brexit. Astute followers of the news, or even those who switch on when a blue moon is shining at Newsnight time, could be forgiven for thinking Farage never went away.
But that man does like the limelight, and perhaps he felt no one was looking his way, so he made his announcement and did a lame tap-dance into the waving spotlight of attention. Once his brogues had stopped tapping out of time, he swore that he would take on “Theresa the appeaser”.
Much as his friend Trump loves to lay into “crooked Hillary”, so Farage likes to have a handy woman to blame for everything going wrong.
Except that nothing has gone wrong, at least not in Farage terms. He’s getting Brexit which is what he wanted, but he fears it won’t be a full-on hard Brexit, or a hard-on full Brexit, or whatever sort of Brexit it is he wants.
Love him or loathe him, or loathe him and loathe him a bit more, which is the best solution, Farage is the man who gave us Brexit. Perhaps getting what he wanted has turned out to be a disappointment.
He also helped stir up the toxic fog, with everyone shouting each other down as they try to work out exactly what Brexit it is (not so hidden clue: nobody knows).
As no one knows, trying to work it out has reduced us to a shouty congregation of disagreeable types.
Brexit and Trump are the double-act of our times. The rancid argument over Brexit are too often conducted in Trump-speak slogans; and the trouble with Trump-speak is that Trump often doesn’t know what he’s speaking about.
Trump is also horribly impetuous or impetuously horrible, swinging out insults and verdicts at the drop of his Twitter thumb. After last week’s incident in Westminster, the president fired one off: “Another terror attack in London. These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength!”
This was long before anything was known about the nature of the incident in which 29-year-old Salih Khater drove into cyclists, injuring three. Later in the week, police announced that they could not be sure of a terrorist link. If this proves to be the case, Trump won’t care, for he’ll have moved on to jump another incorrectly aimed gun.
Instant verdicts, unstoppable rudeness – those, sadly, seem to be the hallmarks of the moment.