Angela Rayner’s pitch perfect put down of deputy prime minister Dominic Raab set the House of Commons on fire and the Twitter sphere ablaze today.
“Dim Dom” winked at Rayner before suggesting that her presence at Glyndebourne made her a champagne socialist. In a statement after the Commons clash, the deputy Labour Leader delivered a devastating riposte.
“My advice to the deputy PM is to cut out the snobbery and brush up on his opera,” Rayner said, “The Marriage of Figaro is the story of a working-class woman who gets the better of a privileged but dim-witted villain.”
The anti-sexist retort drew comparison with a longer but no less effective response by then Australian prime minister Julia Gillard to then opposition leader Tony “budgie smuggler” Abbott.
Gillard delivered chapter and many verses to highlight Abbott’s record as a misogynist, notably standing next to a sign “ditch the witch” and another which described Gillard as “a man’s bitch”.
In Australia, of course, political discourse is a contact sport with few if any versions of high culture, let alone opera. But it’s still worth watching in full, as is Rayner, now surely the full package as a parliamentary performer.