Simon Carr:

The Sketch: The biggest laugh? Well it's the way Gordon tells them

Share
Related Topics

But first the hair. Nick's was the youngest, tousled as from afternoon sex. Young people will like that, and it helps project his policy on Europe. Cameron's hair hadn't set properly, there was a bold sweep at the front but then it went flat the further into it you went. I wonder if that means anything. And Gordon's! The poor fellow, his hair is only going in one direction. Soon he'll have fulfilled Blair's promise of being "whiter than white". He should prepare for the next debate with 36 holes in the Bahamas. That advice is so good I may send him a bill (he'll have a spare £100m for emergencies if I know him).

What was best? The crafted lines. The hand-tooled debating points. Gordon smiled his smile as he said, "The more I hear them, the more they sound like my two sons squabbling in the bath." That got the biggest laugh in the media room. It really is the way he tells them.

Cameron's big line was, "You should be ashamed". That'll carry forward into the weekend news. It relates to leaflet containing "lies" about something. Free bus passes, possibly. Or extra winter fuel allowances for Afghan heroes, or television licences for people with terminal illnesses. The PM (who'd just said how important taking responsibility was) said: "I didn't authorise them."

Nick's frequently repeated, "The two old parties, the two sad old, tired old, wrecked old, boring old toss pots can't deliver CHANGE, wonderful change!"

Gordon probably won on entertainment value. To a pensioner asking whether £59 a week was adequate he said: "Women, of which you are one."

The spinners, spinsters and spunsters (the past tense represented by Campbell and Whelan) were in well before the debate ended generating a bubbling hubbub of a media marketplace.

As packs formed and rolled into mauls you could be surrounded by lights, cameras, action and feel you were part of something wonderfully meaningless. "No, no, no, no," I heard David Miliband over riding Liam Fox, "he refused to guarantee free eye tests." We must be very over-excited.

Michael Gove got picked on by Chris Huhne: "Why are you looking so unhappy?" And then by Charlie Whelan, "That's not spinning. That's pathetic." So then I thought I'd have a go: "How many estates are covered by the inheritance tax proposals?" You can see how I work to elevate the tone of these things. It's been annoying me for years that Cameron just walks away from the argument. Is the number higher than the 3,000 estates Gordon claims? How many, then? "I've no idea!" Gove said, quite pleased with his answer. "But it doesn't matter because nobody believes what the PM says any more."

It didn't seem a complete answer; I felt underspun, frankly, but it was better than nothing. He elaborated. "Everyone knows we've won the argument!"

I wonder if that's right. Last time, the polls took everyone in the media room by surprise. None of us knew what we'd seen, and the spinners who were supposed to be telling us didn't know either.

Clegg behaved with youthful certainty. It's not a reason to dislike him. He sustained his pitch. He did what he did last time and did the most pointing, interrupting, and talking-over. That's got a big constituency. If you wanted to believe in him you'd have been nodding along. And when he said things like, "Can I just say before this collapses into a game of political ping-pong" there would have been a statistically significant number of voters under 35 not throwing their remotes at the screen.

So will his polling hold up? Don't ask me, what did you think?

React Now

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

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: A widow’s tale with an unexpected twist

John Rentoul
 

For all his faults, Russell Brand is utterly sincere, something politicians should emulate

Janet Street-Porter
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower