The Sketch: In the face of uncertainty, MPs reverted to type... Meanwhile, Rome burnt

Youth unemployment was described as higher than at any time since Chloe Smith was in primary school
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The Independent Online

News reports told us that GDP is essentially flat, which is disappointing but she enjoyed a slight 0.5 per cent uplift. Apparently she shrank 6 per cent under Labour but some say she might yet suffer the dreaded double dip.

Why are they saying these things about Gloria de Piero? Does everyone think she's essentially flat and disappointing? No, ass, GDP is Gross Domestic Product. But who say's Gloria's gross? Who says she's domestic? Who says she's a product? Idiots! It's economics! But if you are now saying Gloria's an economical product she'll see you in court.

The level of ignorance in the House of Commons is much greater than is thought and the debate is conducted in terms not far from the above. The Tories are "complacent" or "incredibly complacent" and Labour is "talking the economy down".

It's an argument you could conduct in sign language. A closed fist shaken at the wrist on the red side vs holding their noses and pulling an imaginary chain on the blue.

The future is unknowable, and in the absence of knowledge people revert to type. The side that likes large public spending says more public spending is the answer and the smaller-state lot wants the opposite. We know the euro is a political problem rather than an economic one, so you might have thought they could say something interesting about that. Andrew Tyrie asked what would be the consequences of a Greek No vote. And Julian Lewis tried, "If Greeks can have a referendum why can't we?"

The Commons highlights came when Fiona Mactaggart said youth unemployment was higher than at any time since the Chancellor was at university and the new under minister [fragrant, plucky] Chloe Smith was at primary school. Any point she was making disappeared beneath the scandalised harrumphing of Tories.

Stuart Andrew made some caustic remark about a multimillionaire adviser to Ed Miliband. "Give him a job!" a flat-footed heckler called out. "You just have," the Chancellor hit back to great Tory pleasure.

If you're expecting Parliament to lead us through the crisis you should probably sell everything and export yourself to Australia.

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