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: Ed's role needs a rewrite – and recasting

A wild, warrior cry came out of the back of the chamber from the visitors' bench. Was it Meryl Streep researching her next political role? She's got Fiona Mactaggart off to a T. Looks, manner, voice like a screeching brake. "THAT'S NOT AN ANSWER!" she unleashed herself at Cameron from 50 feet, halfway through PMQs.

Sir Richard Branson gives evidence to the select committee

The Sketch: The war on drugs? There's no fight Branson can't win

He knows better than anyone the way to crush enterprise is to have them register for VAT

Simon Carr: It's transparent – the pay divide will not be bridged

Sketch: And what of Vince's plan to rein in executive pay? Transparency, exhortation and workers on the remuneration committees

He says: 'Yes, I am in a hurry. Whether it is too much, we will see.'

Michael Gove: Minister on a mission

From Bibles in schools to a new royal yacht, hardly a day seems to go by without the Education Secretary popping up with a new big idea. So what kind of a Conservative is he really?

The Sketch: An ambitious effort, but Tory leader could do with a kitten

If the main shareholder can't make a kitten out of a fatcat, how will the little-interested ones?

The Sketch: By jingo, 2012 is the year of true-blue bulldog spirit!

It's quite a Tory year coming up – what with the Queen's Jubilee, Boris's victory in the mayoral elections, Lord Coe's Olympics, the anniversary of the Falklands. Cameron seems to have lifted himself up an energy level to meet it. He's fizzing. He sometimes goes off in the wrong direction but his blast-area has doubled in size since the Opposition collapse.

The Sketch: Britain has a new supercop. Now all he needs is his mission

In a snapshot of modern policing, the new DG of the NCA (which replaces the SOCA and the NPIA) was in front of the HASC describing how the SRC would operate with the PP to interact with the PCCs.

The Sketch: Wily Salmond just loves to pick a good fight

Scots' separateness is obvious. Scottish MPs sit in a purpose-built building at blonde pine deskettes. They call each other by their first names. They clap to show approval. Horrible but it's the logical end of modernisation. Odd for a country which thrills to the memory of Bannockburn 700 years ago (the last time they won at home to the hated English).

The Sketch: Weary Miliband shows us all why nobody is taking him seriously

Everyone says it is too difficult to unseat a Labour leader. A stalking horse would be a start
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The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

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Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
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'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
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Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor