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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The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution