I was devastated last weekend when I saw the news from Japan. Obviously I wasn't as devastated as Sendai province, but, like all right-thinking people, I felt my heart go out to those poor suffering Japs. Indeed, I almost made a donation.
Unfortunately, though, the disaster at the nuclear plant - the one that puts the Fuk-u into Fukushima - had a direct and negative effect on my personal cash flow. Let me explain.
When New Labour came into power, the nuclear industry in this country seemed doomed. As a sop to his left wing, Tony declared that our future electricity needs would be met by the new green energy sources of wave, wind and wank. Shares in the atomic energy sector went through the floor faster than the core of Fukushima reactor number 3.
This was wonderful news. I immediately set about sweeping up these almost worthless nuclear power shares through various shady and mysterious front organisations. I didn't have to - nobody was paying attention - I just like operating that way. I knew that sooner or later the nuclear option would come back with a bang. Furthermore, I suspected it would be sooner rather than later, should the world's oil supplies come under threat in Iraq, Venezuela and North Africa. I'm not saying I had anything to do with the world's oil supplies coming under threat . . . but you get my drift.
Once I'd acquired my shares, I had to set about rehabilitating the nuclear industry in the minds of policymakers and voters alike. To do this I needed an ally within the cabinet - preferably a traditionalist with a sentimental attachment to the old fossil fuels, demonstrated by the ownership of more than one gas-guzzling car - such as a Jaguar, for example. Obviously I won't break a confidence and identify my inside man, because I promised Pauline I wouldn't. But once John P had vociferously emerged in the anti-nuclear camp, it was only a matter of time before intelligent people started to reappraise the mighty atom.
My cause was also assisted by a series of ghastly oil spills in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, Queensland, and our very own Milford Haven (not that I'm claiming responsibility for any of these disasters). Through my lobbying organisation, CLEANUP (the Campaign to Legitimise the Extension and Acceptance of Nuclear Power), I supplied the world's media with prize-winning images of ruined beaches, clogged-up puffins and suffocating salmon. The subliminal subtext, naturally, was that nuclear power is, by comparison, pristine. When my former fag Cameron and his current fag Huhne announced that nuclear power would be a vital part in our nation's energy strategy, my share portfolio tripled in value overnight. I was thrilled.
A few short weeks later, the Fukushima reactor was hit by the triple whammy of earthquake, tsunami and incompetent management. I mean, am I unlucky, or what?
Next week: Gideon Donald