The Sketch: Class war's back, and so are Ronettes hand-jivers

  • @SimonSketch

You're probably too young to remember the 1970s. Piles of unburied bodies on the streets. We had to sell our miners to Poland, you know, and the Arabs had a timeshare on Buckingham Palace. Freelance sketch-writers went door-to-door selling their wares. Knock, knock. "Yes?" "You're a pompous idiot and your wife has the face of a weasel. That'll be £750, cash or card, sir?"

Cruel, bitter times. Never again, we said, but here they and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. I say everyone; I mean everyone in Parliament.

Toward the end of PMQs, Ed Miliband was hanging out his comedy teeth like Mister Ed, the talking horse, and making double-handed "Calm down, dear" signs at Cameron. He made Ed Balls join in. You want Clement Attlee, you'd settle for Callaghan and Healey, you get a couple of hand-jivers auditioning for the Ronettes.

When Cameron talked about "getting control of our debts" the Labour leader started yocking, or honking, or whatever the word is for scornful laughter. What must the striking unions have thought, out there in the rain?

Jacob Rees-Mogg got a laugh. He took us even further back in time, his vowels as long and as sinuous as a medium-sized python. He praised "patriotic voluntyahhhhhs" for breaking strikes. As Auberon Waugh said of Derek Jameson: "It's snobbish to comment on the way people speak, but to ignore his accent would be like ignoring a man at a party in a false nose." Jacob recommended giving strikers a damned good thrashing. Or something.

Class war's back. The Tories pursue "their appalling record of attacks on the poor" and the Labour leader, combining everything we loved about Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock is "irresponsible, left wing and weak". Every time the Tories hear "left wing" they roar with angry pleasure.

Cameron's fact of the day consisted of the new pensions for public sector workers, well beyond equivalent private sector levels. If true, there's a class war in there. The bourgeoisie are slow to anger but when they (I should say we) do get going it is the very devil. It's not all fun though: remember what happened at the end of the 1970s? Yes, Tony Blair.