Saucy Sally doesn’t give a sheet

That prisoners' friend, Ken Clarke, better watch out, because I hear Citizen Dave has started ridiculing the In-justice Secretary behind his back. Cameron entertained favoured scribes from the right-whinge media at No 10 by mimicking the cabinet old lag. Pushing out his tummy and sounding like Rumpole on speed, the Prime Amuser talked legal mumbo-jumbo and expressed faux concern for the real victims of crime - felons detained in Her Majesty's establishments. The odds are shortening on Clarke's early release when the reshuffle comes.

Ted Miliband may have cause for concern, too, after the Labour leader's authority was usurped by Ed Balls at a party fundraiser. The shadow chancellor anointed the junior frontbencher Gloria De Piero as culture secretary and the new arrival Michael Dugher as defence secretary in the next Labour government. Balls would, of course, need to succeed his boss to guarantee that happened. Loud coughing from the table of Jim Murphy, the current shadow defence secretary and latest favourite of dispossessed Blairites, suggested he harbours ambitions of his own.

The Treasury bed of nails must be making the trust-fund Tory "Sir" George Osborne pull out his hair. From the Press Gallery, your correspondent has spied a bald patch. Not yet the size of Cameron's, it is nevertheless visible beneath a comb-over from a parting on the left. Perhaps when the Buller Boys insist we're all in this together they're referring to shrinking barnets.

Back to that Labour fundraiser organised by the glamorous former breakfast TV star De Piero and the, er, less glamorous one-time union apparatchik and Brown spokesman Dugher. Murphy took a pot shot at Dugher, a member of his shadow defence team, quipping that 100 of the 110 guests were there in Church House to support De Piero. Dugher at once returned fire, shouting that 100 of the 110 had turned up to hear Balls, not Murphy. Smacks of mutiny in the ranks.

If boring were an Olympic sport, Peter Tapsell would be a good bet for British gold at London 2012. Invited to address a soirée at Speaker's House on the centenary of the Parliament Act 1911, he missed the shuffling and yawning of a long-suffering audience. Starting just after 7pm, he was supposed to end by 8pm. My snout departed at 8.45 with Tapsell still on 1922 and the formation of the Tory backbench committee. Gawd help the Lords, where filibusters are permitted, should Sir Drone switch houses.

"Storm in a Bedsheet" Sally Bercow is refusing to hide under a duvet after that photo shoot. The Speaker's wife whispered to friends her biggest mistake was not to write an anti-Cameron slogan on the white linen.

Careless MPs locking themselves out of offices have created an opening for a £25,000-a-year locksmith in the Mock-Gothic Fun Palace. Given how many of them are facing expenses charges, a security chap jangling a bunch of keys should help them prepare for new accommodation.

Kevin Maguire is Associate Editor (Politics) on the Daily Mirror and author of our Commons Confidential column on the high politics and low life in Westminster. An award-winning journalist, he is in frequent demand on television and radio and co-authored a book on great parliamentary scandals. He was formerly Chief Reporter on the Guardian and Labour Correspondent on the Daily Telegraph.

This article first appeared in the 14 February 2011 issue of the New Statesman, The Middle East