The Sketch: Where did Blair go for his holiday? Tunbridge Wells?

A year to go, he's got just a year left; with the summer holiday that's only nine months away. You can't get anything done in nine months, no wonder he's fraught. There's so much, so very much to do. He said he had a choice. Either to soft-pedal the changes or seize the moment and cement the renewal.

Personally, I always advise against cementing renewal (it gets spoiled).

He put in a robust defence of his 90-day detention proposals. It wasn't unconvincing, in a saloon-bar sort of way, until Andy Bell asked him whether he thought we were at a watershed in our legal history. Hitherto the primary responsibility had been that the innocent didn't get punished, but now the emphasis was on not letting the guilty escape. "I think I do accept that," the PM said thoughtfully. I have a horrible feeling Hazel Blears is heading for the Cabinet, you know.

He went on to Asbos and Basbos (for toddlers) but not Asbryos (for those violent fetal creatures conceived by binge-drinkers). Antisocial behaviour is the last redoubt of the Tories' landscape which he is now to colonise. "It makes people's lives hell, it's not right and we're going to put a stop to it!"

This wasn't the Prime Minister's only golf-club moment. He drew our attention back to the little swine who go down to the shop swearing at old people and throwing bricks through windows. They are a generation created almost exclusively by politicians of the past 25 years. No wonder they annoy the Prime Minister, he sired them. But he recognises his responsibility, at least, and promised action.

"If people want me to deal with it, I'll deal with it!" he cried. How? Well, you could either fill out all the forms and collect witness statements, and go off to court and hang around and the defendants wouldn't turn up. You can do it that way if you want, "but it won't get the job done".

Then there's the summary justice approach. "It is tough. It is hard. It's the only way to deal with it." He's right, he's right. "Trials going on forever! Half of them get off! It's ridiculous!" Yes, Major. Thanks, just a small one. "Half of them get off, it's ridiculous!" The strain, as I say.

Finally: we aren't going to continue selling military equipment to Iran, it seems. But they had better stop sponsoring terrorism in the Middle East. "They'd make a great mistake if they thought the international community didn't have the will to make sure that was done."

That sounded very like a younger, more innocent Blair, just before he decided to invade Iraq.

simoncarr75@hotmail.com

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