Simon Carr:

The Sketch: I'd back Harriet in a fight with David

Share
Related Topics

Well, there it was, the question of US intelligence documents that our judges want to open up in court and the Yanks don't. David Miliband came to the Commons to defend the authorities as, I suppose, he has to. Though exactly why escapes me, if he's the new mould we're all supposed to be waiting for. And if David Davis was right in his epic 210-word question, confidentiality does not apply when it will conceal a crime.

Did a crime take place? And if so, was it greater than the rendition flights that Tony Blair let land in Britain? On the one hand we've heard that detainee, Mr Mohamed, saying that he was rendered to Algeria where he had a razor taken to his genitals, but on the other the judges say the documents in front of them contain only an "arguable case of torture". That must rule out razors. And the other devices that are beyond argument. And if you want to say there are no grades of torture, that the concept is absolute, then you've never been on the receiving end of it.

The leader of the House sat there fragrantly as young Miliband gained a little more dispatch box experience. They've both come a long way – he since he was a Downing Street pet, and she since her civil rights days, oh she was a terrier for them then.

Whenever the two of them are seen together I can't help thinking she'd murder him in a leadership contest. The party numbers may very well be with Harriet. She has an active constituency of the most meddlesome MPs in Parliament, the unions would prefer her over the brush-cut Blairite, and she has gender advantages that can't be referred to without offending Jo Brand.

The Tories will need her badly in years to come, as they're still not very much more than "a crowd" as Pete Wishart described them, or "a gaggle" as one of them preferred, or a slowly moving rockslide as they are in reality.

Why are they so forgettable on big things like the VAT cut? A Sketch reader wrote in to suggest that for voters to get Gordon Brown's £5 extra a week they'd have to be spending £200 a week above non-VATable items like food and rent. And someone else pointed out that the £13bn cost of it amounted to 4p off income tax.

What an electrifying Tory proposition that is. It's costed, it's consensual, and it's infinitely more popular than a VAT cut (which benefits businesses more than citizens). Four pence off the basic rate of tax! It would take Frank Field to say it out loud.

The Tories may win the next election but not the one after – unless Harriet wins her election first.

s.carr@sketch.sc

React Now

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

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Read Next
'Our media are suffering a new experience: not fear of being called anti-Semitic'  

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk
David Cameron (pictured) can't steal back my party's vote that easily, says Nigel Farage  

Cameron’s benefits pledge is designed to lure back Ukip voters. He’ll have to try harder

Nigel Farage
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine