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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David Cameron acting like a pushy 12-year-old during PMQs

The Sketch: Cameron is omnishambolic – but Miliband is right in the thick of it as well

"It's a bit of a shambles, don't you think?" No sooner were the words out in the press gallery than Ed Miliband – quoting officials quoting The Thick Of It – called it an "omnishambles". It was a fair description of PMQs.

The Sketch: Met chief looks fit for job – unlike some officers

Our masters have their own language to keep them separate from us underpaid vulgarians

Simon Carr: The recess was over – and the Commons returned with a roar

The Sketch: What's this? George Galloway promising to bear true allegiance to her Majesty the Queen?

London mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone

So who's telling the truth? City Hall contenders focus fire on trust game

The three main candidates were greeted with cheers, amused booing – and some mooing. Later on the BNP candidate registered his protest at not being on the platform. He had a very Italian accent (is the party at risk of confusing its supporters?).

The Sketch: Boris socks it to his rival, but don't cry for either of them

And Livingstone wept. When filmed watching his campaign commercials – young people saying how they needed a mayor like him – he cried such tears that they had to be knuckled away with both fists. So skilled an operator is he that he can cry out of one eye at a time so it's obviously serious in Camp Livingstone.

The Sketch: Not many laughs in this Budget, apart from pasties

In a series of sharp but civilised exchanges, Andrew Tyrie probed the Chancellor about the security of the Budget detail.

Simon Carr: Disgrace! Ker-ching! Rowdy Labour indignation as 'ashamed Dave' fails to show

Sketch: Cameron had made his shameful statement in the morning and was cowering in a feculent hole counting £50 notes

The Sketch: The big Budget surprise – Ed displays his true talent as a proper bully

Miliband got up and gave a blistering performance, cutting his finest figure yet as the Opposition leader

Prince Philip looks on as the Queen addresses both Houses of Parliament yesterday

The Sketch: The Queen's gentle dusting of humour outshone the Speaker, king of drivel

Vain, pretentious, the Speaker is in a new stage of development... he is a monarch in his own right

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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links