For 32 minutes he was up and down like a grey suited yo-yo. It wasn’t until 12.32pm, as Prime Minister’s Questions drew to a close, that George Galloway got his moment.
Away from the glare of the TV cameras, positioned on the backbenches, Mr Galloway looked increasingly twitchy. He sat forward in his seat, stood up at the end of each answer, looked doe-eyed at the speaker, was ignored and then sat down again. Poor George.
By the time he did get a turn at asking his question the chamber was fractious and ready for lunch.
But it’s a testament to the man that when he did speak, others listened. A curious murmur echoed throughout the room. Was Galloway about to land a blow on the PM who’d dodged Ed Miliband’s questions on the economy?
Was a swerve ball about to be bowled? The room fell absolutely silent (pretty much for the first time of the entire session) as Galloway, the Respect Party MP for Bradford West, started.
He wanted to nail the PM on the difference between the Mali jihadists Cameron has committed troops to fight, and those Britain is supporting in Syria.
“Has the PM read Frankenstein?” shouted Galloway, working himself into a froth. “And did he read it all the way to the end?”
A fair question, you may think, but Galloway hadn’t counted on one thing. Today was going to be a decent day for Cameron. Earlier in the session he’d batted off Miliband’s questions with a fairly line and length “it’s all Labour’s fault” answer.
He’d ridden out questions about his supposed stalking horse Adam Afriyie and had made even opposition MPs laugh with a friendly jibe at Leader of the House Sir Peter Tapsell.
But Galloway didn’t get the same friendly treatment. I doubt he’d want it if it was offered.
The slap down was firm: “Wherever there is a brutal dictator in the Arab world, Galloway will be supporting him,” suggested the PM before cheers overcame the silence.
George sat back, the PM crashed on. Galloway’s moment was over.