The Sketch: A neutered cat is the latest weapon in soporific war

She looked familiar, the creamy blonde at the despatch box in Education questions. She looked a bit like Beverley Hughes. If it is Beverley, she's disguised herself by taking her glasses off, parting her hair on the other side and speaking in an entirely new voice. It is so smooth and soothing it would put Patricia Hewitt into a coma.

The last time we saw the real Beverley Hughes at the despatch box she was spitting and snarling like a fighting cat. Her job as minister for Immigration was at stake, you may have forgotten, but it's worth remembering.

It was that legless roofer from Romania who got a visa. And the so-called businessmen who'd submit business plans: 1) Go to England. 2) Earn money. They were rubber-stamped into the country.

The minister had been told by colleagues and staff and senior officials that these abuses were taking place to meet government targets. She ignored everything.

When it blew up in her face, she furiously denied having done anything wrong and, to emphasise the point, resigned.

Shortly afterwards, her boss David Blunkett didn't do anything wrong and also resigned. They're all back. The whistleblowers were sacked ("for embarrassing ministers" their go-to-hell letter said). The merry-go-round keeps us gay.

Education put in a late challenge for worst front bench; they've slipped from their high point four years ago when you literally couldn't understand what they were saying.

Yesterday we took 25 minutes to get past question two. Ms Hughes would start speaking and we'd fade away into our private reveries. It was so cleverly done you didn't realise you were drifting off; you didn't know you weren't listening. That's the deadliest new weapon in their political armoury.

David Cameron spoke to his special subject but it was hard to shine in fog like that. We drifted off again into the larger dreamtime.

He's considering standing against David Davis, they say. Is he up to it? He's just too young, isn't he? It's like the latter stages of the First World War down there on the Tory front. "My God, they're sending us boys, now!"

Of course the Tory "dream ticket" (stupid term) is David Davis as leader and David Cameron as his deputy. To appeal to both wings of the party. Or at least to shut them up.

The Father of the House put in a rare appearance. He's an absent father. We never see him. Abandoned his children. Perhaps he isn't the real Father of the House at all. It's much more Peter Tapsell's job than ... whatever he's called.

I think we should apply to the court for a DNA test. Or declare Sir Peter the Step Father of the House. Or the Foster Father of the House.

simoncarr75@hotmail.com

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