The Sketch: First a smile. And then he put on his war face

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The Independent Online

Prime Minister two-faced shock! His first face, his campaign-launch face displays something linguists call a smile. It was looking very set. Maybe there's quick-drying fixative in the make up he's wearing. It's on so thick that, if you stand close enough, you can smell it (I hope it's slap you can smell).

Prime Minister two-faced shock! His first face, his campaign-launch face displays something linguists call a smile. It was looking very set. Maybe there's quick-drying fixative in the make up he's wearing. It's on so thick that, if you stand close enough, you can smell it (I hope it's slap you can smell).

He stood outside No 10 and launched his campaign. It featured something he called his "driving vision". He wanted to "accelerate the changes". It was why "we should never stand still". Not that you can stand still while you're accelerating the changes of your driving vision. He repeated that he wanted to "drive forward on the basis of economic stability". If you're in the way I suggest you get out of it.

Then he put on his war face. He became very, very serious about an enormous threat to our national life. He hinted that he knew a terrible secret. It was about the Tories, that was as much as he could say. Perhaps it was to do with their secret agenda to put interest rates up to 15 per cent, to inflict their core values - negative equity, economic collapse, hereditary peerages for public schoolboys - on hard-working families who play by the rules. He went to get back in touch with the British people by helicopter. Mr Blair's war in Iraq, of course, ended up as a pyrrhic victory. He won but at the cost of his reputation. If his majority goes under 70 he will win the election but at the cost of his job. So he may care for some good news. While electoral psephologists clutch their egg-shaped heads, the Sketch has divined the election result. It is a Labour majority of 85. I speak infallibly on this matter. Can we all go back to parliament now? No we can't.

Michael Howard launched his own campaign with a stinging attack on the Prime Minister's smile. It must be some focus group thing. People say they don't like it. "Smirking politics", Mr Howard called it. Yes, and he was "already secretly grinning" at the thought of all the land between Oxford and Winchester being turned into transit camps for asylum-seeking Gypsy scroungers who've skipped bail to beat up pensioners with their Asbos.

Peter Hain continued the campaign theme in Business Questions, sadly shaking his head over the Tories' refusal to allow Bills to prevent loan sharking or road deaths to go through in the time available. But that's the Tories, isn't it? They want more loan sharks. They want more road deaths, more horrible injuries. Why? Er ... so that the NHS will collapse, thereby crushing everyone who hasn't been to public school.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown pointed out that the timing of the election was entirely the Government's responsibility. They were the last words of any sense we'll hear until 6 May.

simoncarr75@hotmail.com

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