The Journal of Lynton Charles, Fiduciary Secretary to the Treasury

Friday A strangely irritating thing is pointed out to me this morning. Starbuck phones from EurOK for his monthly chat, and lets drop in the conversation that he has made it into the Reformer's Fantasy Cabinet this week. The Reformer is, of course, the ancient and venerable weekly now owned by Swiss Bank Account Robinson, and is thus (as he is) Brownian in motion. Both the former Brown spin-doctor Alfie J Pratt and the biographer Tony Tankard have columns in it, and the general line is to blame The Master for all that is wrong and bless Mr Brown for all that goes right. Or so it seems to me.

Anyway, as Starbuck tells me excitedly, the mag is running a game where readers can vote for various people to make up the perfect cabinet; the one who chooses best gets a night out in a smoky bar with Pratt and Tankard or something. And he, Starbuck, is on the list from which the cabinet can be assembled! Isn't that a blast?

I tell him it is, and then ask Dolores, my secretary, to rustle up a copy of the Reformer. Sure enough, I am not on the list. Biggles Clarke is on the list, Ten-foot Timms is on the list, M is on the list, even Slippery and La Widdecombe Fair are on the list, but not me. I'm in a complete rage, made worse by the fact that I cannot conceivably complain about this, or ring the editor, without appearing ridiculous.

There is only one way of getting revenge. And that's to get into the real cabinet. Which, I swear by the Almighty, I will do. Any doubts that I harboured in the black period of the petrol crisis have now disappeared and I feel a renewed sense of purpose.

Sunday The voice is stronger now than when I last heard it. The tone of supplication has gone, and there is the slightest edge of defiance to it. The voice has news. "I've seen the report, Lynton, my ever-faithful friend. Don't ask me how, but I have. And I'm vindicated, completely. There is no record of the phone call I don't remember making. That means I had no need to resign. So I'm not disgraced, and all those other things that certain vicious journalists and even the occasional colleague called me. And therefore, logically, I ought to have my job back, oughtn't I? I mean, it's only fair."

What can I tell him? That we are so anxious to distance ourselves from the Tories - who wouldn't resign when it was shown that they'd done wrong - that we sacrifice Cabinet members before they even have a chance to do wrong? Because that's what it amounts to. My judgement is that he'll have to wait at least five years before he gets back into the fold, not least because the waters have swallowed him up and reformed over his head. There are others in the Cabinet now: there is a new dispensation. No one really wants to be distracted from the matter in hand by taking up the case of a deceased friend. It's tough, it's brutal, it's politics. What it isn't is terribly Christian, but I will leave that as a matter to be resolved between The Master and his confessor.

"M," I tell him, "this is great news. You will certainly be back. All you have to do, in my judgement, is show patience and fortitude and not upset anyone. Then all will be fine."

But I have been too clever, and the voice now sounds suspicious. "You wouldn't mean 'fuck off and die' by any chance, would you, Lynton, my oldest friend and protege, would you?"

I hasten to reassure him. But what does it matter what I think? I'm not even in the Fantasy Cabinet. Not unless readers of the Reformer write in.

Monday Government 1, Foot-and-Mouth 0.

Tuesday Keith Waz Iz. The dumpy minister is cleared. At this rate we will discover that Bernie Ecclestone never existed and was all an elaborate hoax. Happy days.