Simon Carr:

The Sketch: A modern 'crapopolis' is the chosen setting for reaffirming vows

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What was she doing with the apprentices – the nice-looking young blonde with the day-glo safety waistcoat and blue plastic bags over her work boots? The real apprentices were (rather touchingly) wearing suits and ties. She looked like a middle-class intern on a gap year. And her disguise was undermined by her manicure. Lovely pale pink nails. Buffed, probably. "She's there to give the impression there are more women involved in construction than there really are," one of the industry men said.

So, some professionalism from the Downing Street organisers: jolly good. It was a staged event in an Olympic hall allowing the Prime Minister and his Deputy to reaffirm their vows in a casual setting with young apprentices in the background to dress the set. Young people are important. They are the future, you know.

The vows went off easily and amiably. I do, I do. We did and it was right. "David is a good friend and close colleague," Clegg said in answer to a hack's question.

"David Laws," the PM said, to clarify the remark and to make us laugh. He's considerate like that.

News desks of all the national press had viewed it as a comic event and the attendant sketch writers outnumbered the media proletariat from the TV stations.

Early promise fizzled out as we drove through the crapopolis of a major modern construction project. This really is the future. It looks like the eastern provinces of China. Low-rise light-industry units, car parks, chain-link fences and vast Maoist signs saying Be Considerate – Be Safe – Be Healthy – Be Proud. It's the new Olympic spirit.

This is the future our youth is supposed to be building but, for reasons no one has fully itemised, aren't. Neither of our leaders said anything very hard-edged about this, though they were sympathetic. A young person without a job was "a tragedy". And not having replies to their job applications did "knock the stuffing" out of young people. But sympathy is not a solution, and if you'd been reading the reports you'll know that most of the Olympic jobs have gone to migrant workers.

While we were all scoffing at Norman Tebbit for his brutal advice, two million eastern Europeans had biked across the Channel and into the British labour market. How's that going to work in future? Any ideas? Anyone?

PS: A minister and former shadow home secretary had been forced to come. He didn't have a car any more and had to travel by the Tube – and not just with sketch writers. I wonder whether we're carrying the humiliation of MPs too far.



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