Simon Carr

The Independent's parliamentary sketch writer and columnist since 2000, Simon Carr was described by Tony Blair as "the most vicious sketch writer working in Britain today". "Poison," said Charles Clarke. In the 1980s he helped launch The Independent, and was a speech writer for the prime minister of New Zealand from 1992 to 1994. His working principle is "Indignation keeps us young."

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The Sketch: What cowboy builders will Ed use to hard-wire fairness in society?

He looked like a keen young researcher who comes in to brief the boss, fists clenched

Simon Carr: Day that The Sun disappeared behind a politically correct cloud

Sketch: Odd sort of way for Kelvin to address the Inquiry. Didn't he say that either? Lob it in, it'll be all right

David Cameron: After a year and a half, the Prime Minister is still recognisably human. He speaks in a way people can understand, his earnest Conservative civilities command respect. He had a good little war. He bopped the EU in the latest euro-excursion and despite a chorus of educated disapproval from our wise commentariat enjoyed a six-point poll bounce. His instincts and self-interest coincide wonderfully – the more considerate to coalition partners he is the less he will be blamed

2012: A Westminster odyssey

Who's going to have a good year – and who's likely to come a cropper? Our very own Mystic Meg of SW1, Simon Carr, gazes into his political crystal ball...

The Sketch: Clegg, for all his affable eloquence, lacks bite. Maybe he should get a dog

What's to be done with Nick Clegg? Does anything need doing? After his terrible time recently he gave as good a performance in the Commons as he ever has.

Simon Carr: Our money will be safe by the next parliament – a sort of Neverland for MPs

Sketch: Vince had a look of morose satisfaction, but with George championing it and Balls opposing it, it was no Lib Dem victory

The Sketch: Parliamentary subsistence system is just bad and mad

Where are you on MPs' expenses? Moat cleaning? Jacqui Smith's husband's porn film? The pack of villains looting the public purse to put gold flakes on their porridge? It's moved on.

The Sketch: As the other boys bicker, Clegg just bites his lip

You have high concerns but the Sketch is here to tell you about Nick Clegg's masticated lip. You will go elsewhere for the EU's new banking capital requirements, and the trespass on Union property by the breakaway group of 26. Here, it's all about the Liberal Democrat leader's moosh.

The Sketch: Torpid backbenchers huddled, plotted and told jokes

After yesterday's excitement, a post-coital torpor hung over the Commons. Ken Clarke, the old elephant, answered justice questions from the Jurassic era. Meanwhile, the Tory backbenchers went about their business.

Simon Carr: What do arcane complexities of EU treaties mean for us? Dozing MPs left us no wiser

Sketch: All Ed Miliband can do is play on British fears of being alone

Simon Carr: 'Storm in a teacup' lands whips and the Speaker in hot water

The Speaker did not appear to be surprised by Labour's ambush on the Coalition
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