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: So, Mr Yates, isn't the price of lobster linguine criminal?

The Met may have relied too heavily on Murdoch's willingness to incriminate itself

The Sketch: Obese union officials are the Tories' secret weapon

That secret Tory Len McCluskey helped lay the groundwork for PMQs, alongside the secret capitalist, Ken Livingstone. But they would have had a fraction of the effect but for Labour's Julie Hilling, who ensured the Prime Minister left the chamber to Tory cheers.

The Sketch: Elaine Tappin - a magnificent example of contained and understated courage

Sir Menzies entered, came into, ingressed or otherwise effected the interiorising process vis-a-vis the committee room. He'd come to talk about his long-promised report on the extradition treaty, most particularly to answer the question, "Where the devil is it?"

The Sketch: Where is Sir Menzies extradition treaty report?

Sir Menzies entered, came into, ingressed or otherwise effected the interiorising process vis-a-vis the committee room. He'd come to talk about his long-promised report on the extradition treaty, most particularly to answer the question, "Where the devil is it?”

Simon Carr: The evidence is clear – the witnesses less so

'Baron' Prescott looked like a pub fight. His face is the lid he keeps on his feelings and the strains clearly show

The Sketch: Whisper it, but the House is in awe of Eric, the stormin' door man

There's often something wrong with MPs. It's what makes them interesting

Simon Carr: Is catastrophic global warming, like the Millenium Bug, a mistake?

Th fact is, over the last 150 years there has been a rise in temperature of seven or eight tenths of a degree centigrade. Our natural body temperature varies by eight tenths of a degree.

The Sketch: Ed's learning to fight, but his punches are still powder-puff

When Cameron doesn't want to answer a question, he asks himself an easier one

The Sketch: Lansley - Horseman of the Apocalypse or Redeemer?

The health Bill. Lansley. Labour. The NHS. What's it all about? Many questions were prompted by Health Questions.

Simon Carr: Ebdon won his elite place though he failed the exam

Sketch: If independent schools are 55 times more likely to get their pupils into Oxbridge - what happens if all schools are made independent?
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From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

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Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

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The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

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Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own