The Tories are showing that anything Gordon can do they can do better, longer, later and further. So they're staying up until half-past 42 in the morning and will get up before they go to bed on election night. That's all very well, but the next that you, gentle reader, will hear of the Sketch is from Grimsby at 5am as the Tory quarterdeck mixes with the early morning trawlermen. Why is it always the innocent who suffer?
Gordon promised us at the start of the campaign he had no presentational skill and there'd be no "pyrotechnics" from him. He's burning from the bottom up, he's roaring out of the Old Testament and it's all so surprising the theologians have been struck dumb.
He used Micah over the weekend to tell us how God warned the world against Tories. If he was channelling his dad there was some interference on the line (surely he couldn't have made the quote up?). On Monday he cooked up a bit of Bible-style sentiment to say it was impossible "to humiliate a man who has pride". But he has forgotten the Bible is against pride. It's not a good thing. It is, in fact, a deadly sin. Repent, Gordon! Repent or burrrrun!
Yesterday, in his passion for presentation, he said: "Fairness is in my DNA, in my bloodstream, in the soul of my being." It's a great improvement on the unspun, unplugged, unFlash Gordon. This Manichean monster is much the most effective character he's created. It goes straight to the heart of his supporters, bypassing all critical parts of the brain.
He told his listeners yesterday – Leamington Spa school children (I would have thought this sort of talk was age-restricted?) – that in the absence of his Labour government there was no one to help anyone in the recession. That the Conservatives didn't believe in education to 18, that they wanted to take trust funds away from ordinary families, they would go back to the mass unemployment of the 1930s, 80s and 90s – apprenticeships, police, teachers would all be gone. Conservatives would let people die of cancer while taking money away from student grants to give it to the richest 3,000 people in Britain. "I'm the man to make the big decisions," he said. "I get them right."
Speak to us, Sketch, the people have said, of tactical voting. Very well. The second guessing has become triple guessing. Who can we know now what is to become of us? Ex-Labour peer Lord Gilbert wants us to vote Tory to keep the Lib Dems out. It's a whole new system where we support our enemies in an effort to save ourselves.
But surely tactical voting has less appeal than it had in 1997? Peter Hain is saying: "Oi, you Lib Dems - give us your share of the popular vote so we get more Labour seats."
But the private reply is surely: "Listen mate, we can make a government out of either of you two. Our only tactical advantage is to come second in the popular vote."
The higher the Lib-Dem vote the more Cabinet seats they could claim (if they were indeed reckless enough to go into cabinet coalition). The higher their vote the greater the evidence for voting reform. And that's all that needs to be said about that.Reuse content