The Sketch: One well-timed retort and Gordon's back in the game

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The Independent Online

Ah bwaah bah habbab. Hang on, start again. Bwwhaaabwabab darrbba bubbua.

Hell, the words won't come. Deep breath. The thing is that Gordon Brown was actually quite gwaahnwaaabaharber. Quite nya! Quite ngwa! Gordon was hargh! Spwarh!

Right. I've had a pint of whisky, a thimbleful of Class-A accelerants, and am twittering in individual words from different addresses. Gordon. Was. Actually. Quite. Good.

There it is. There you have it.

That's not just quite good compared with his usual. He was good enough to stop them talking about changing leaders. Good enough to consider that hung parliament. Good enough for him to be leading Labour in July with the usual idiots saying he's got until Christmas to prove himself.

He's got his election rhetoric in place – and you can see how it will work. It's not majoring on Tory toffs, Tory do-nothing, or even Tory cuts. The lead proposition is rich vs poor. They are the party of the many not the few, remember. And he's going to "grow the economy out of recession".

There – they are the party of growth and everyone who's not rich.

And whatever the electorate think of it, Labour loves it. It feels optimistic, it gives courage. It's like a pint of whisky and an accelerating thimbleful.

It has given him discernible confidence. He smiles now (he should really walk before he runs). And he had a couple of hits on Cameron.

"The voice is of a modern PR man," he said, "the mindset is that of the 1930s." His backbench roared. When Cameron itemised what he called the PM's three biggest failures, finishing with the "abolition of boom-and-bust", Gordon had one of those invaluable all-purpose retorts. "The more he talks, the less he says."

It's not a complete refutation, is it? But Labour bellowed. They rocked and roared. There were some very low retorts from the PM's despatch box – particularly on Afghanistan – but there he was, back in the game.

And truth to tell, David Cameron was a bit put down by these remarks. He needs another register. Something sadder-and-wiser sort of thing. He can sound a bit yappy, if you know what I mean. If Brown were to have said, "Yap, yap, yap", Cameron would have had to have come up with something startlingly new. There must be something available on the internet.

Brown is said to be vacating the middle ground but I can't see it.

Most houses are worth £220,000-odd – a long way short of the Tories' £1m inheritance threshold. And the average income is £20,000-odd, a long way short of a new top rate of tax if it kicks in at £100,000.

The only trouble with the many is that they don't vote as much as the few. But the few are very few, when you count them up...