Simon Carr: Politics is returning to type

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The Independent Online

It's starting to work on me, politics is returning to type. The values they are taking about are good old Labour. Equality. Social justice. Elimination of poverty. Insane law-making. The core vote strategy is back. It worked brilliantly for Labour last time, but then it was Iain Duncan Smith doing it.

But first - Eddie Izzard has been on the radio saying he's thinking about becoming an MP in ten years time. And why not? I'm thinking about becoming an international comedian in ten years. Or maybe a film actor. Something along those lines. A rock star in the mould of of that chump Bono, or maybe just an A-list celebrity. I just feel I ought to take something out after all I've put in over the years.

Eddie had been a little coy about which party he'd settle for but he was there at brighton having dinner with Ed Balls and saying (I quote): "I'd really like to be part of that celebration!" (Giving party awards to ordinary hardworking public servants). Thus, eddie's debut: "Halesowen? Is that how you pronounce it?" Yes, it's a craft, politics as much as an art. It'll come in time.

We had Harriet Harman in the morning on equality. I'm not as against it as you might think though I did shrink at the "army of equality champions" she talked about. Why do they say these things? She'd just come from "celebrating Diversity Night". This is so deep in the core that it is unintelligible to those of us who haven't been initiated.

Only Ed Balls' could do better: "We will issue a Behaviour Challenge to make sure behaviour is good in every school!" You have to repeat that slowly to draw out the full idiocy of it. .

But Harriet wins because she is actually going to pass a law that will make it illegal for councils not to close the gap between rich and poor in their area. I don't know if Gordon Brown's on tranks but I was shoving them in with both hands when I heard that.

Sophisticated observers say it's jus to embarrass the Tories. I say you couldn't suggest something as mad as this without somewhere believing in it. They're also making it illegal to fail to halve the deficit, and it will be a crime for a government not to spend 0.7 per cent of GDP on aid. No penalties are to be specified. It will be a crime without a criminal. Another jurisprudential innovation.

Prize mis-speaking of the day: Ed Balls on bullying. "It has no place!" he droned angrily. I say: "it takes one to know one, mate and you're one of us, one of us!"

They're the two members of the cabinet who want the job most. One will get it, surely? We all agree on that? It's a cross party consensus. The Tories would be delighted with either.