“The sitting is now suspended ... and no photographs please,” declared deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle over the noise of water pouring into the House of Commons chamber.
The public was not to be made aware of the parlous state of the home of British democracy.
However, needless to say, there was a leak, about the leaky roof, and there, for all to see, was the photographic evidence of Westminster’s decay.
As he tried to make himself heard above the noise of the deluge before the suspension of Commons business, Labour MP Justin Madders noted: “I think there’s probably some kind of symbol there about how broken parliament is.”
Indeed. Metaphors can be powerful things.
A House of Commons spokesperson was moved to make clear that this metaphor was not as bad as some might think it is, stressing: “We would like to clarify this was not a sewage leak.”
So it’s okay, we’re not in the s*** quite yet. But we could be next Friday, depending on whether our MPs can get their act together to prevent a no-deal Brexit and whether the EU still has the patience.