The Sketch: Darling's hair is of a colour that only dogs can see

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Technology is so good now we have a fully interactive Prime Minister. You press the red button and you get Gordon – Headlines – Showbiz – Values – Tories Wrecking The Economy With Terrifying Made-up Tax Cuts. Press Select for full-screen experience.

"She is the love of my life," he said, perfectly naturally, when someone selected Wife. All the words flowed out confidently and in the right order. He made his software writers proud.

The Tories had a partially interactive Michael Caine at their inaugural press conference. He malfunctioned a bit, describing the Government as excellent, but it was great to see him speak at all. National treasure sort of thing. What was that great line of his? "I KNOW you didn't kill him! I KNOW!" That was while he was stabbing a man in the stomach. You can't help liking him.

He was helping the Tories – in a completely non-political way, it was made clear – to let a little sunshine in on their idea for a National Citizens Service, aka Canoeing in the Community.

It's a scheme to help young people into society. It's early days yet but it will have modules in rock climbing, abseiling, diversity, domestic violence and pulling your trousers up above the crack in your butt. It's the audacity of hope.

Over at Labour's press event, by contrast, fear was struggling with loathing to come out on top.

The economy's getting better. How much more bad news can Gordon take?

This news of recovery is wrecking his election strategy, which is relying on the Tory election strategy of wrecking the recovery with their £6bn black hole.

Growth will fill the hole. So he looked very grim and growling and told us the economy was "robustly" returning to growth, but also that it was dangerously "fragile".

This robust fragility is a construct only the most talented of politicians can bring off. It's robust because of him, you see, and fragile because of them.

Alistair Darling was there at his side, glowing weirdly. The man now has fibre optic hair. It is of a colour only dogs can see. He lashed into the Tories' "tax cut", which is how he describes their £25bn tax increase.

We're better off ignoring it. The more you concentrate on what they say they'll do, the more confused you become.

Tory tax cuts – and they apply to a plan that isn't happening for a year – threaten a recovery by taking money out of the economy by leaving it in the economy.

But Labour cuts, which they promise will be "deeper than Thatcher's", won't be taking money out of the economy at all.

At some point they will start talking about "investing in the deficit" and then I will give up.

Nick Clegg invited us to press the button marked "The Secret Bombshell of Unfairness". It's to tell us that the Tory tax cut will be paid for by a Tory tax rise.

He may be right, but then again he may not. Cameron suggested it would probably sort itself out. It was only £6bn, after all. What was that? About 1 per cent of the Government's income? Mugging some bankers will sort that out. Maybe it can be a module on the National Civic Service?

twitter.com/simonsketch

Comments