Everyone's a winner - or a cheat

Dr Reid wants the credit, Gordon meets a champion and Tony learns a valuable lesson.

Scene 1: The Cabinet Room.

John Reid sits alone dictating his autobiography, Are You Looking At Me?, into a Dictaphone.

Reid: Chapter one. New paragraph. I have always been a great admirer of Genghis Khan and in times of crisis I often ask, "What would Genghis do?"

Enter Tony.

Tony: Hi John.

Reid drops the Dictaphone and leaps up.

Reid: What are you doing here?

Tony: Just checking up on things. How's Britain? Collapsing without me?

Reid: No, no, it's fine. Economy's booming. We've had the best exam results ever. And I've just exposed a major terror plot.

Tony: Good, good, I'm sure I can take the credit for most of that. Any sporting triumphs?

Reid: Well, Andy Murray beat Roger Federer.

Tony: Splendid. Well done. Er, is that darts?

Reid: Tennis. He's the British number one and he beat the world number one.

Tony: Excellent.

Reid: And he's a Scot.

Tony: Right. I see. No offence, John, but I think we'll play that one down. Anything else?

Reid: The cricket. But we're not quite sure how to handle it.

Tony: Well, it's easy. If they win, they come over for champagne and a photo call. If they lose, they piss off back to the nets.

Reid: Well, we beat them all right. 3-0.

Tony: Australia?

Reid: Pakistan.

Tony: Oh no. I'd better address the nation and apologise. Better still, let's just forfeit the series.

Reid: We can't. The umpires have already made Pakistan concede the final match. Their captain was caught cheating.

Tony: Caught, was he? Poor guy.

Reid: At the last minute, too.

Tony: Really? I may have some important lessons to learn from him. Let's get the whole team here for a party.

Scene 2: At No 11 Gordon is hosting a reception in honour of Andy Murray. The air is thick with Scottish accents. Gordon taps a spoon against his glass of Highland Spring Water.

Gordon: Friends, colleagues, Scotsmen. [Beat] Dr Reid. Oh, I forgot. His invitation got lost in the shredder. [Gales of laughter] We're here to celebrate the remarkable rise of one of our most brilliant countrymen. [Applause]

So, how best to sum up Andy's achievement? Two years ago he was ranked 250th in the world, and now he's close to the top 20. So he's leapt 4.6453 places for every set that he's won. Even more remarkably, this represents a rise of 0.2673 places for every day he's spent on court. Or, to put it in its most graphic terms, his net contributions to the Exchequer have risen faster over a 24-month period than those of any sportsman since David Beckham signed for United.

Andy, Scotland is proud of you.

Andy: Thank you.

Gordon: What's your next move?

Andy: Monaco.

Scene 3: The party at No 10. Tony arrives late and goes over to the Pakistan team, who have only just been admitted to the room. He greets the captain, Inzamam-ul-Haq.

Tony: Enjoying No 10?

Inzamam: Very much. Especially the full body search on our way in.

Tony: Oh God. I'm terribly sorry. Some of our security chaps have no cultural sensitivity whatsoever. So, glass of champagne?

Inzamam: I don't touch alcohol.

Tony: Yes. Sure. But, you know, private party and all that. I've seen you guys. I've been to the UN. Tuck in.

Inzamam: Orange juice, please.

Tony: OK, suit yourself. So which of you scallywags was caught bending the rules?

Inzamam: I have been accused - falsely and in disgraceful circumstances. There is no evidence whatsoever.

Tony: Oh, good stuff. The instant and robust denial. What did you do, exactly?

Inzamam: Nothing.

Tony: Excellent, yes. Stick to your guns. [Beat] But come on, we're all men of the world here. Nothing wrong with cheating. We all do it.

Inzamam: Absolutely not. These charges are a slur on me, on my team and on our national honour.

Tony: Hey, you're a class act. The firm denial cleverly linked to a declaration of patriotic fervour. I could learn a lot from you.

Inzamam: Listen. I play fair. It's a principle I've stuck to all my life.

Tony: Yes, me too. Sometimes I stick to my principles so hard they wear out and I have to get new ones. Don't you find that?

Inzamam: I've had enough. Team? Let's go.

Scene 4: The following day. A sheepish-looking Tony is addressing the TV cameras outside No 10.

Tony: On behalf of the British people, I would like to apologise to the Pakistani nation. Investigators are looking into the events at Heathrow this morning when the Pakistan First XI were ejected from a British Airways flight to Lahore following a passenger protest. A search of their pads revealed nothing whatever, and we have suspended the police officer who detained Inzamam-ul-Haq and attempted a controlled explosion of his balls. Right now, the Pakistan touring party is being flown home aboard Blair Force One. Bon voyage, chaps, and er, come again soon.