Simon Carr:

The Sketch: Our leaders aren't in touch with their MPs, let alone the nation

Ed told us people were worried about travel costs and water bills. He gets it all right...

Share
Related Topics

"And when we've beaten the rabble opposite..." the Prime Minister struck a note of confidence some might find premature. Towards the end of his Queen's Speech, he offered to take us through to 2020 with eight more years of Tory ballot box triumphs. After the local election results, it's probably a sign of not getting it.

Ed Miliband must have got it; "getting it" is core Labour Party policy. It may even be in their new constitution. Ed told us that people were concerned about the cost of travelling to work and water bills. That is getting it, all right. Is that why he's so far ahead in the polls suddenly? Almost certainly not. He hasn't gone up in the polls because he's suddenly got better – it's the other way round.

Who can we turn to, their backbenchers – do they get it? The leaders have difficulty keeping in touch with the nation – and they are now having that difficulty with their own parties. At one point during the big speeches, nine consecutive MPs on the Labour second bench were operating their smartphones – texting, Facebooking, surfing for skiing holidays, who knows?

The flame has guttered. There's smoke, but in defiance of conventional wisdom, no fire. Everyone looks fed up, here at the start of a new session of Parliament. When certain MPs stand up, they are greeted with a communal groan, like a short, noisy yawn. It's awful to hear. And for rhetoric, for argument – it's all the old wallop. The PM told us about his rolled-up sleeves, and being on the side of "doers, strivers and people who play by the rules" (who ARE these people?). He's going to "unleash the private sector" (I'll give you a quid if he does).

In return, Ed quoted Nadine Dorries saying the Tory leaders were "two arrogant posh boys with no passion to understand the lives of others". Is that Ed's passion? Really? The political class wants to understand our lives only to get us to vote for them. It's why we shy away from them.

New-intake Nadhim Zahawi kicked off for the Tories. He's the Iraq-born MP from Stratford-on-Avon. Came here, founded YouGov, became an MP. He gave a very nice speech, finishing amiably with the thought "Shakespeare was a natural Tory". He got some pretty compliments from his leader and Ed Miliband too. When they're polite to each other they're pleasant, attractive, likeable even. There is surely a moral in there.

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