The Sketch: Agree with Blair and split Labour - it's only rocket science

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The Independent Online

Attack is the worst form of attack (why oh why don't I follow my own advice?). So here's the same old advice for that chump who heads up the Thing party. If I've told him once I've told him a hundred times! I won't tell him again! (I may not have a chance to).

This is how his first question today at PMQs should go. It's not difficult to get to grips with. It's just rocket science. Very well understood, easily practised, predictable in its noisy, explosive and colourful results.

"Foundation hospitals, Mr Speaker, I have some information for the Prime Minister on Foundation hospitals. On this side of the House we have our reservations about them and we all know the Prime Minister anticipates a little local difficulty getting his Bill through. But I want to reassure him, that whatever its shortcomings, all good Tories will support his Bill to introduce Foundation hospitals. All good Tories will stand with the Prime Minister on this shoulder to shoulder!

"And why? Because Foundation hospitals are based on good, solid, successful Tory values! The Tory values of freedom from Whitehall! Tory values of competition! Tory values of getting the state's dead hand out of public services! They're making a lot of noise over there, Mr Speaker, because there are those Old Testament socialists who disagree with me as much as they disagree with the Prime Minister - yes, the honourable member for Medway's head has just exploded, Mr Speaker! But don't you worry, Prime Minister! Shoulder to shoulder, we're with you! Just as George Bush would stand shoulder to shoulder with you if he were here today! The honourable member for Islington North needs some urgent medical attention, Mr Speaker, and the members for Cunninghame South and Selly Oak seem to be going through the first stages of spontaneous combustion, but we shall not be deterred! We shall stand together! The Prime Minister will get his Bill through because it is based on the values of the Tory party!"

This rhetorical approach is as constructive as it is destructive, and it therefore appeals to equal and opposite sides of the House. The Tories on this side will be ecstatic and so will the Bruins on the other - and for the same reason. All will see irreparable damage inflicted on the Prime Minister. Of course, the Bruins will be pretending their reaction is one of revulsion and disgust and not ecstasy but they will be turning themselves inside out with genuine emotion, and that's something we rarely see in the Commons. The Prime Minister will be stuffed like a Christmas chicken.

At this juncture, with the wind behind Gordon Brown, with the Prime Minister in faltering health and his travelling companions falling by the wayside - one insignificant nitwit has the power to provoke a leadership crisis in the Government. This is so unlikely I'm putting a bet on the Prime Minister to lead his party into the next two general elections.

simoncarr75@hotmail.com

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