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Simon Carr

The Sketch: Cooper the leader keeps immigration pot boiling

Immigration fiasco at the Home Office – it's one of those typesetters' cliches like "EU deal unravels as markets understand it". The current fiasco probably has a little life left in it, but for connoisseurs it lacks the scope of the famous series some years ago involving the downfall of three ministers with one-armed Romanian roofers being allowed in and foreign murderers, rapists and terrorists being allowed out. World-class scandals they were, with a minister hanging on to her position so tightly that parts of her hand are still attached to the gratis car.

The Sketch: Ed expected lashings of laughs. All he got was pain

"Lashed to the mast," was Ed Miliband's big line. In his obstinate refusal to change economic direction the Chancellor was "lashed to the mast and possibly not for the first time". Knowing laughter. There has been talk about the Chancellor's early experiences of coke, and tarts and S&M. The usual, you know – there's nothing odd about George.

The Sketch: The 'Nowhere Man' returns – with nothing memorable

Tory vignettes from PMQs. Iain Duncan Smith stood at the bar masticating wildly. I hope he was masticating, as the whole lower part of the face was rotating in two different planes and his eyes were shining with some secret knowledge. If I said there was a touch of the Desmond Swayne about him I hope you won't think I'm being rude about Desmond Swayne.

The Sketch: A tale of two Eds – Balls' loss turns out to be

You must have noticed Ed Balls working at his reinvention. It's "new balls please" in the shadow Home Office. For years he was the sorcerer's apprentice, the imp who mixed the phials of poison for his boss Brown. He handled Damian McBride, he stoked the loathing for Tony Blair. And he could win almost any fight because there were two of him.

The Sketch: There's one thing we can teach the French: 'results-based'

There is no word for "grandeur" in English. That's what we're up against over here. They have Versailles, we have Buckingham Palace. They have the Louvre, we have the National Gallery. They have the Elysée Palace, we have Downing Street. They have Christine Lagarde, we have (to cheat a bit) Vince Cable.

Simon Carr: The last day of Labour

The last day of Labour. The violin string sounded round the hall like a mournful battlefield track, the camera panning across the remnants of the army. Every main speech had ended with the word "We will fight! To win!" But the ragged singing of the Red Flag told a different story.

Simon Carr: Labour's campaign may end in their coming third

He's always having to make "the speech of his life". He never does but he's always back for another go. Then he's given "until Christmas" by his enemies but he reappears in the New Year being indomitable. Face like dog food but dressed and ready to "meet and master" the challenges of staying in office. Before he stood up today his Government was polling below the Liberals. Maybe I will be rewarded for having dared to dream the impossible dream.