Guardian columnist

Ruffle a few feathers, support our pigeons — Everyone has their breaking point, and there will be those who read about Florent Malouda's private jet heartache and thought: I think I need something to take my mind off this.

Controlled, defensive and risk-averse: this is the José Mourinho election — Neither of the main parties in this election really wants to win - they just don't want to lose. This was all foreshadowed in the appointment of Roy Hodgson as England manager, obviously - but we'll come to that in a bit. (Along with the requisite apologies to the other home nations for the analogy.)

Under Ukip, St George's flag makers will be the new brain surgeons — Is Ukip's philosophy ever more than one facetious question away from implosion? At the party's St George's Day press conference on Thursday morning, representatives swiftly found themselves attempting to establish whether St George - a third-century Palestinian - would have been barred from the UK under the party's points-based migration system.

'Lethal weapon' Boris unveiled as giant voter defence shield for Cameron — "Woad to recovery!" joshed Boris Johnson as he got stuck in to blue handpainting with David Cameron during a nursery visit. The last time they got this messed up together they ended up trashing a restaurant, pissing on All Souls lawn, and making their getaway in a punt steered by a man who would go on to be nicknamed "Brownfinger" at JP Morgan.

Britain is alien turf for US campaign gurus. Are they just West Winging it? — At Upton Park, about 15 years back, one West Ham season ticket holder with a seat uncomfortably close to Harry Redknapp's dugout used to keep up a constant stream of invective at the then-manager. "'Arry! 'Arry!" he'd shout, with drippingly sarcastic bonhomie. "Look at that Thierry Henry. He's not bad, is he?

The Westminster museum of artless bullshit: a look inside the post-debate spin room — To the post-debate spin room, readers - a space so emotionally soiling that its movie title would be Mr Smith Goes To Washimself. The important thing to remember about the spin room is that if one of the leaders took a kitten out of their pocket and shot it live on stage, there would be someone from their party on hand afterwards to cast the incident positively.

Nick Clegg isn't in Kansas any more. He's in Battersea — Let Nick Clegg be clear: "The Liberal Democrats will add a heart to a Conservative government, and a brain to a Labour one!" Unfortunately, courage for the cowardly lion will be a casualty of any coalition agreement. It's like Dorothy says: "If you were really great and powerful, you'd keep your promises!"

Tory manifesto turns this campaign into the Stalingrad of empty words — "Thick with plans". Not a description of Iain Duncan-Smith, but of the Tory manifesto, which has been launched in Swindon with an orgasmic whimper from massed party faithful. It would have taken a heart of stone - or any housing expert with an IQ over 90 - not to get caught up in the acquisitive élan of the moment.

The great unvetted public locked out as party leaders tour sanitised Britain — This election is being run as a pseudo-event. Back in the 1960s, the writer Daniel Boorstin defined a pseudo-event as one that would not happen if the cameras were not there. It's almost as if he could foresee the day when journalists would travel to Somerset to watch George Osborne smile at a vacuum cleaner.

Trident is today's hot-button issue - even for apprentices in Nottingham — "It can be a bit baffling, elections," explained David Cameron. "You've got the red team battling the blue team, the purple team attacking the yellow team..." To Sherwood, Nottingham - not a great metaphorical space for the Tories - where the prime minister was patronising some National Grid apprentices.
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Apr 27, 2015

@Peston this election I've seen him patronisingly explain minimum wage to some apprentices, and the benefits trap to some factory workers

Apr 27, 2015

People who think "passion" would fix this campaign are as wrong as those who thought it would fix certain England football performances

Apr 27, 2015

When are David Cameron's handlers planning to dress him in Terry Butcher's Bloodstained Bandage of Passion?

Apr 27, 2015

In which Sol Campbell suggests the first political policy to affect him is the mansion tax

Apr 27, 2015

@mePadraigReidy hahaha. It's been a right eye-opener for Nick. I hope no one ever tells him about the Tories - it could destroy him

Apr 27, 2015

@exetergreens @patrickwintour @BenPBradshaw is it now forbidden to seek to change minds? I've missed so many memos.

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