The Sketch: And for his next trick, Gordon hits himself

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The Independent Online

How agile do prime ministers need to be? Not agile at all, is the strict answer, but only as long as nothing happens. If there is an event, the ideal prime minister deals with it.

And that's where our present PM stumbles. It's those pesky events getting in the way. It's a great comic act at least, with his legs constantly going in different directions.

He supported Michael Martin and fed him to the Commons. He denounced Hazel Blears but keeps her in the Cabinet. He calls for consensus but demands obedience. He acts strong but behaves weak.

It's the same with questions. He goes one way and falls over his feet on the way back. He was asked by a laughing Cameron why he thought an election would "cause chaos".

Cunningly, he stood up to say that "a Conservative government would cause chaos". He sat down to cheers from his back bench while his front bench sat faces frozen as a bucketful of Botox.

"There it is!" a delighted Cameron said. "The first admission that he thinks he's going to lose!"

Over he went! Soon he'll be hitting himself in the face and biting his own bottom. Two good ways of helping people through the recession.

Now, Harriet Harman can't remain as unpopular as the polls say she is. She is flowering in front of us, late in the day perhaps, she is an Evening Primrose.

She welcomed Alan Duncan's offer of support on expenses with the words: "No party has a monopoly on wisdom or virtue." Gordon Brown would chew his own tongue off before saying such a thing.

But she dished Tony Wright's chance of the speakership by calling him "an intellectual" (she meant it to sting). Cameron had earlier dished Frank Field as well by quoting him favourably (Labour hissed quietly). The field is narrowing by the minute.

On full reflection, I'm coming out in favour of John Bercow. He is a great advert for diversity. When the Monday Club was a bunch of softies he was up so early with the Sunday Club it was still Saturday night. As a young man he mixed easily with the Hang Nelson Mandela Tendency, and now, with great agility, he has diversified himself into soft-collar special needs and multi-equality. He is so loathed by his own party that Labour love him. It's a powerful proposition.

But really I'm coming out for Bercow because it looks like he's going to win. His corridor campaign is famous in the Palace, especially the way he refuses to talk to Tories. It'll also be very good for trade. I mean sketch writing, obviously.

PS: Who's that Labour MP who supports the Speaker. Tommy Sheridan, is it? Someone Sheridan. He wants sketch writers banned from Parliament for making "personal and racist attacks" on MPs. What rot. The fat Scots git.