Two debates on and, to my amazement, none of the leaders has managed to break through the ban on applause. Gordon Brown came closest when he got a laugh by accusing the other two of squabbling like his two boys at bath time - as audience laughter often leads into a burst of applause.
So I'd love to know what dire threats about Rule 40 are being issued to the audiences during the pre-debate briefings.
Or is it just that we Brits are so obsessed with following rules that no one would dream of getting their hands apart having just been told not to do so?
After all, one of the reasons we get so irritated by some of the sillier rules coming out of Brussels is that we, unlike the citizens of certain other EC countries (e.g. France), feel obliged to follow them all to the letter.