Simon Carr:

The Sketch: 'Sensational' Harriet leaves Labour struggling for air

Share

Harriet finished her wind-up speech as though someone had sucked all the oxygen out of the hall. She gave us one laugh. The Government's "shameful attack" on democratic rights is "taking away people's right to vote". People aren't being driven from polling stations by whips and dogs – they're being asked for their National Insurance number before signing the form themselves. Hitler would be proud.

The chair, Norma Stephenson, said: "Thanks Harriet, that was sensational," and a roll of laughter broke out of the audience. Norma has a voice like a big dog's death rattle. When she says "sensational" in that voice it offers a world of insincerity.

What were the highlights of the week? Ed Miliband's speech. It was the best big speech of the conference. The private voice he gave us is a real discovery. Now he needs something to say with it.

Two shy little eyes looking through a fringe of hair – who did that remind you of? The lad got a standing ovation for his tale of woe and I'm not surprised. I thought at the time the sly little call on our sympathies had something of the Master about it, something Tony Blair about the boy. "My father's property development company folded and left us penniless. I had to leave the £1m house where I was brought up. Damn those Tory thugs! I live in a semi-detached house now. Do you have ANY IDEA what that is LIKE?" Sobs briefly, looks up into the lights to keep the eyes brimming. "And I have to go to a GRAMMAR SCHOOL. And my iPad isn't 3G, you know, and when people look at it I know they're thinking 'Not the new iPad, is it.' And do you think those Tory scum CARE?" Conference shakes its fists, howling in rage and shared pain.

There's a little colour added to that account.

I'm surprised more 16-year-olds aren't involved in Labour politics, considering the rallying cry is, "It's not FAIR!"

Will the Tories be different? In one way: the Right doesn't hate the Left in the way the Left hates the Right. Tories are irritated or disappointed, as with a sullen waiter, but hate? Not the way Labour hates them.

React Now

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

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, SC Clear

£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire

Day In a Page

Read Next
Former N-Dubz singer Tulisa Contostavlos gives a statement outside Southwark Crown Court after her trial  

It would be wrong to compare brave Tulisa’s ordeal with phone hacking. It’s much worse than that

Matthew Norman
The Big Society Network was assessed as  

What became of Cameron's Big Society Network?

Oliver Wright
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor