The King is Dead, Long Live the King, as courtiers Ali C and Philip Gould prepare to transfer allegiance from Tony to Big Gordie ahead of the Chancellor's coronation. Undying devotion to the incoming boss is expressed in a shameless, if seamless, transition of cronyism. Another Blairite well down the road to Brownism is head girl Ruth Kelly following her brush with sex offenders. She rang to thank Big Gordie for allowing his jowls to wobble to her defence on the telly. Big Gordie had devoted half an hour after cabinet to tutor the Education Secretary on her Commons statement, then publicly backed her reforms. MPs wonder if Blair has already retired.
Whiling away mind-numbing hours on a committee contemplating the Crossrail Bill, Leicester's Sir Peter Soulsby is trying to calculate the odds on five of the six Labour places being filled by rebels in the 90-day terror revolt. The chances of Chief Whip Hilary "Rosa Klebb" Armstrong randomly alighting on the quintet is as likely as Lib Dem grim-reaper Lembit Opik picking a winner. Both Sir Ming Campbell and Simon Hughes pray the other receives the Opik black spot after the short-sighted astrologer's efforts on behalf of Glenmorangie Man and Mark "Oats" Oaten. Back on the committee, Soulsby's sums are observed by a quivering Brian Binley, doing Tory porridge for missing another terror vote. Soulsby puts the odds above 3,000-1, a figure equally applicable to Oaten's prospect of ever becoming Lib Dem leader.
Touches of Monty Python's Life of Brian over the National Council of Resistance of Iran and the People's Mujahedin Organisation of Iran. Peacenik Peter Kilfoyle's epistle to his fellow heavyweight Charlie "Chief Super" Clarke seeking action over NCRI campaigning to lift a terror ban on the PMOI attached as evidence a fundraising leaflet. Instead of the usual bland "yeah, but" response, Peacenik Pete is surprised at a reply apologising that the Home Secretary is unable to make the mujahedin lunch. Installed in pride of place in the Chief Super's suite, incidentally, is a copper's helmet. The betting is it won't fit over his jug ears.
Troubles mount for Ungorgeous, the artist formerly known as an MP. Awaiting the eviction of George Galloway, politician-turned-pussy cat, from the Big Brother house is Essex's answer to silicone valley, Jodie Marsh. The taunted former inmate is contemplating revenge by running as a BB candidate against GG should he stand again for the other house.
The Strangers' Bar consensus is that the football shirt Oats supposedly requested his £80 rent boy to wear was of his home-town club Watford, though a minority maintain it was Chelsea on the grounds that they always f*** the opposition.
Kevin Maguire is associate editor (politics) of the Daily Mirror