Pay for it twice? It's not a Saudi arms deal

Gordon and little John set up a charity shop to raise money for Africa. But for Cherie, parting with

Scene 1: The Blairs' flat. Cherie is at her dressing table applying make-up. Gordon trots in with little John.

John: Hello, Auntie Cherie.

Cherie: What do you two want?

Gordon: Lovely morning. Looking beautiful, as ever, Cherie.

Cherie: Cut the smarm. You're after something.

Gordon: As a matter of fact we're raising money for Africa.

Cherie: Oh, not again. Will that place ever stop bleeding us white? Put me down for 50p. I'll have to owe it to you. I'm skint.

Gordon: Actually, young John has decided to set up a little shop in Downing Street selling gifts donated by all the nice people working here.

Cherie: Really. And he dreamed that up on his own?

Gordon: Yup. Clever little lad, eh? And we knew you wouldn't want to miss out.

She throws one of Tony's egg-stained ties at him.

Cherie: There.

Gordon: Er, well, we were hoping you'd do a bit better than that. Everyone's been very generous. Hilary Benn has offered his services as a share tipster. I've donated a nuclear submarine made of lolly sticks. And John Reid's given us a signed copy of habeas corpus - which'll be quite a rarity once it's been repealed.

Cherie [rummages in her bag]: OK, you scrounging do-gooders. Have that.

Gordon: A lipstick?

Cherie: I lent it to Angela Merkel at the G8. And Ludmilla Putin. It's decorated some of the world's most powerful smirks.

Gordon: OK, thanks. And how about that lovely handbag, too?

Cherie: No way. It's worth nearly a grand. It's a Tanner Krolle, custom-made for me by . . .

Gordon: Grab it, John.

John snatches the bag and runs out.

Cherie: Hey, come back, you little thief.

She rushes to the door. Gordon blocks her path.

Cherie: Out the way!

Gordon [eases her back to her chair]: Come on, Cherie. You've got lots of bags.

Cherie: That one's special.

Gordon: But think of the poor, underprivileged people who can't afford a bag like that.

Cherie: It's for Sarah? You should have said.

Scene 2: Tony's office, two hours later. Tony is going through his MI5 phone directory, trying to flog honours while he still can. Cherie comes in, fuming.

Tony: What's up?

Cherie: Bastard Features next door has pinched my handbag.

Tony: Pinch it back.

Cherie: I can't. He's leaked it to the press that I donated it to John's stupid "shop for Africa" stunt.

Tony: We'll get you another.

Cherie: It's unique, Tony. Tailor-made from baby seal fur to make my hips look narrower. You'll have to buy it back.

Tony: What, pay for it twice? It's a bag, not a bloody Saudi arms deal. Anyway, we can't afford it.

Cherie: Try shifting more honours.

Tony: I am trying. And it's not that easy. I just offered David Beckham a KBE for five grand. Cheeky sod turned me down. Reckons it's too early in his career. What the hell's wrong with these people?

Cherie: He's probably holding out for a peerage.

Tony: But he's just a clapped-out midfielder. It'll look very odd putting him in the House of Lords.

Cherie: What, because he's loaded and useless and can barely remember his own name?

Beat.

Tony: You're right. He'd be perfect.

Scene 3: The Cabinet Room. John is counting up the cash. Only one thing remains unsold. Gordon decides to auction it.

Gordon: Come on, folks. Final item. Just five grand for this lovely handbag, which Cherie has generously donated - well, after a small scuffle. Come on. It's in a noble cause.

Cherie: Yeah. Making you look good.

Gordon: Well, hardly. All this money will buy 30 water purification units for children's hospices in Africa.

Cherie: So next time Madonna goes orphan-shopping she won't have to bring her own Evian.

Tony: Shut up, darling, you're making a fool of yourself.

Gordon: Any takers?

Hazel Blears is jumping up and down with her hand up, but no one can see her.

Gordon: Hilary? Come on. We know you can afford it.

Harriet Harman raises her finger.

Harman: I'll have it.

Cherie: What? You never spend more than fifty quid on a bag. And it shows.

Harman [writing a cheque]: It's not about the bag, is it, silly. This is about investing in the future.

Gordon: Absolutely, deputy prime minister. I mean Harriet. So we have a sale. Unless there's a better offer in the room . . .

Hazel Blears leaps up on to the table, making herself just visible over Hilary Benn's head.

Blears: Gordon. I'll give you six grand.

Gordon: That's more like it.

Harman: Six grand? For a handbag? It's a disgrace. What kind of country are we living in? I'll offer seven.

Blears: Eight.

Harman: Nine.

Cherie: Ten.

Gordon: Done.

Cherie: What?

Gordon: Sold to Cherie Blair. What a beautiful gesture. Ten thousand pounds for Africa.

Cherie: Er, Tony?

Tony: Don't look at me.

Cherie: Might be time to call Lord Beckham.