Simon Carr:

The Sketch: Harriet the Roundhead had them roaring

Share
Related Topics

So, that was Parliament 2009. It ended in a sort of banging whimper that matched the December weather outside. No one could fail to be depressed by the absence of anything happening. Questions asked, ignored, jibes made and passed over.

Our British thing, it is possible to believe, is sliding into a 10-year recession presided over by armed council employees Tasering anyone who intimidates them. Oh, and the world, of course, heading towards heat death.

The Government front bench looked like it was in opposition. And so did the Opposition's. That's what next year will be like. Two pygmy tribes opposing each other while their big, rich, jet-powered, multi-barrelled overlords loot the economy.

Government will be more difficult than at any time since 1979, opposition will be the safest place to hide from the electorate.

Gordon had felt humanity's hand on his shoulder (it's one better than history's) and had gone off to Copenhagen to save the planet. It's worked to the extent that we're still here.

So, between Harriet and Hague, nothing was said that could make any difference to the world we have or will have. They were attuning us more finely into the new futility.

There was a non-dom question which pleased Labour. People shouldn't sit in Parliament without paying British taxes. Harriet has her aphorism on this "no representation without taxation" – one of the most depressingly Roundhead lines you could come up with. Labour is delighted with it and points exultantly at the Conservatives every time she says it. Why? They have their own problems with non-dom donors in the Lords (it's why Gordon never joins in with the attack).

But Labour take heart from anything that lifts them higher than dust-level. And Harriet can do that. She came back with more than one retort which had them roaring.

A Tory asked one of those Christmas questions, wondering which fairy tale she would most like to take a moral from. Was it The Emperor's New Clothes? Was it (I couldn't hear) Three Little Pigs? The Princess and the Pea? Harriet said she didn't mind as long as they all kept away from the Brothers Grimm. A neat return of serve, straight down the tramlines. It created a sudden flare of happiness.

The Speaker did something odd. The House was rejoicing – and even the Tories laughing, hell even I was laughing a bit, and the Speaker became extremely authoritative. "Order, order!" he shouted. "Good humour is one thing, disorder is another!" We had a master at school who used to say things like that. He was not widely respected. "We must impress and reassure the public and not disgust them."

You have to do what and what and not do what?

We killed that master in the end and he was happier dead.

But a very happy Christmas to him. And to you, of course, from all of us here.

simoncarr@sketch.sc

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Recruitment Genius: Product Quality Assurance Technologist - Hardline & Electric

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The role in this successful eco...

Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: QA Tester - London - £30,000 QA Tes...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

CPAC 2015: What I learnt from the US — and what the US could learn from Ukip

Nigel Farage
 

If I were Prime Minister: I would create a government that actually reflects its people

Kaliya Franklin
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower