The Sketch: The PM has a new walk. The purpose! The energy!

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The Independent Online

First, abuse. Joan Humble has a voice you could use to drill teeth. When Julian Lewis stands up, Labour makes howling noises. The Tory women in the House aren't green, they're all blonde. And Ming Campbell has... no, I'm sorry... no, really, I just can't do it.

What else? Before PMQs, I was sitting morosely on a bench when suddenly a disturbance started in front of me; a policeman was barring the escalator.

Then there was a fast, tight group of men thundering past, like a rolling maul in rugby.

It was the Prime Minister surrounded by his security. The purpose! The energy! I wandered down after them, drawn along by the suction of their slipstream. By the time I'd got to the bottom of the escalator they were half way up the colonnade.

He's taken to walking in a new way, quite unlike Bush. The President, you know, has a comically powerful walk. It's very slow and upright, with the forearms going alternately up over his lower body, right hand to left hip, left hand to right hip, like Soviet soldiers.

Blair, by contrast, walks very quickly, rolls his shoulders and flings his arms out from his body in a sort of improvised welcome.

From the back, he suggests his tie is down and his top button's undone. He looks like a young journalist chasing a great story.

I hope he's pointed himself in the right direction because he seems determined to get wherever he's going.

You could get an extra 10 kilos of back rashers of Richard Bacon these days. He's real value for money, so we always watch carefully as he truffles.

The new commissioning technique for the NHS ID card system is supposed to work better than anything has before, because the suppliers don't get paid until they deliver.

However, the directors of one of the main firms have already "trousered £76m". Is it really all under control, he wondered?

"Let me explain," the Prime Minister began, rashly. "One of the huge benefits of the NHS is the ability to transfer patient records round the system."

Oh, gawd! He's got it all wrong! Transferring patient records around isn't the great advantage of the NHS! It's the great advantage of the internet!

For a man who is so clever, so supple, so agile, it's amazing he's allowed these geeks to con him out of £20bn. I have already offered to design them a system for a mere £100m. I had to make it that expensive because a) they don't believe cheap systems can be value for money, and b) I need £50m for a yacht. That at least needs no explanation.

But no, he won't take my advice. His arms are splaying out from his side and he's powering along in the middle of his rolling maul.

sketch@simoncarr.co.uk

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