Watching the Great McNutter on PMQs today, I was more than ever struck by the fact that he is, properly, a thug.
He revels in whipping up his gang, strutting at their head, sneering at anyone in his way. Provided he is certain he can win, there is no playground confrontation he won't force his way into, no cheap blow he won't land, no insult he can resist hurling out.
His, first and last, is a world made real only by nastiness. How can I crush my opponents? How can I reinforce myself as the biggest bully? Who can I humiliate next?
Moral compass, anyone? An end to boom and bust? Recession, even?
Meanwhile, British political life, in thrall to McManiac's galloping sense of inadequacy and desperate need to impose himself, is reduced to a grotesque parody of schoolyard gangsterism.
Despair is the only rational response.