Simon Carr:

The Sketch: Torpid backbenchers huddled, plotted and told jokes

Share
Related Topics

After yesterday's excitement, a post-coital torpor hung over the Commons. Ken Clarke, the old elephant, answered justice questions from the Jurassic era. Meanwhile, the Tory backbenchers went about their business.

Here it is in its deepest navy blue: "What we've got to do is call Clegg a pygmy every time he comes into the Chamber. He'll get sick of it and fall out with us. Labour can't argue against an election even though they've got no money, no policy, no leader. The Lib Dems are annihilated and we get our mandate. Pygmy! Pygmy! Pygmy! That's the strategy." It's immediately understood. It's colourful. But it's not completely representative.

At another end of the spectrum: "We're going to have to recalibrate. We can't keep going 'No, no, no!' That was a good opening shot. But we can't have policy dictated by that – that – that –" He searched for a term sufficiently vile to express himself and sufficiently polite to use in Portcullis House. There wasn't one.

A passing minister thought the Liberal Democrat leader was finding himself under pressure – "Not so much in the Commons but from the Lords – some of whom have given their whole career to the EU."

And indeed, pressure from the Commons is building as yellow MPs realise they've given up their last article of faith. What are the Liberal Democrats for now? Other than ballast?

"It's a false dawn for the ultras," one of the Tory handlers said. "There's no way of getting out of Europe in this parliament. As for an early election – the five-year Parliament Act is a non-trivial exercise. Cabinet this morning couldn't have been more agreeable. Well, polite. Well, sorrow more than anger."

"What pickles me off," a euro-enthusiast said, "is how the media say he went off to appease his euro-sceptic right-wing. It's just not true! He had no alternative!"

And finally: "The Lib Dems have a new mascot." Oh Lord, a joke. "It's a dog." It's not going to be very funny. "It's a cross between a bulldog and a shitsu." Thank you and good morning.

React Now

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

Graduate / Junior C# Developer

£18000 - £25000 Per Annum + bonus and benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

£65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

KS2 Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Key Stage 2 Teachers needed in Shropsh...

DT Teacher - Food Technology & CACHE

£24000 - £36000 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: Take a moment to imagine you're Ed Miliband...

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside  

Autumn’s subtle charm is greatly enhanced by this Indian summer

Michael McCarthy
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits