Simon Carr: This angry map of a mind where no one wants to go

The Sketch: "Is there anyone out there?" Cameron cooed. The only man available was Alistair Darling
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The Independent Online

And those with a terminal illness are guaranteed the right to die at home. Yes, and it's enforceable! (The guarantee, I mean. That is, I assume it's the guarantee.) With such "initiatives" does Gordon seek to "rebuild trust in politics".

He had come to the Commons to reveal the few details of his manifesto that hadn't been given to the press. Speaker Bercow didn't name him. It's early days yet but it was an opportunity missed – Bercow hasn't all the time in the world.

It wasn't a statement so much as a press release. It was called something that sounded like "Rebilling Britain for the Future". His page of notes was black with angry, thick-nibbed jottings. If it's a map of his mind you realise why no one wants to go there.

He began by gabbling, it turned into babbling and finished in a low, urgent monotone, a long muttering in the corner.

"Ten per cent cuts, you know they'd do absolutely nothing, they've said that's exactly what they'd do, they're always saying it, why don't they admit it?"

MPs played with their mobile communication devices. Did I hear someone call "Bingo!"? A book club seemed to be meeting up the back. Ken Purchase and Denis Skinner were turned to each other in animated conversation on the front bench. We could almost hear what they were saying.

Ken Purchase: "And he said the green jacket made me look quite fat!"

Denis: "You're not fat Ken, you carry the weight well. Ronnie could lose a stone, but you're exactly the right weight."

No one was listening to the PM. There was a moment when David Cameron – who laughingly dominated his old enemy – baited him about the Royal Mail Bill. It's been held back because the Government could only carry it with Tory votes. Was it lack of time, Cameron mocked? We'll give you our Opposition Day, would that help?

Gordon buried himself in his thick black jottings. Cameron didn't move on. Would a grant of Tory time be of use? The PM could just nod? No?

Gordon was caught now and had to engage someone in conversation. Hell, he had Yvette Cooper on his right and he couldn't talk to her after recent events in Cabinet.

"Is there anyone out there?" Cameron cooed. The only man available was Alistair Darling. So under Cameron's amused regard ("Is there anyone in there?" he was now calling) Gordon started a lively conversation: "It is right to observe that Ken Purchase looks a bit fat in that jacket as 63 per cent of British people are taken fairly through the Fat in Jacket Guarantee which will be of real help to honest, hardworking MPs." Darling nodded: "But not in the South."

It really is amazing how well sterling is doing.

simoncarr@sketch.sc

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