Kevin Maguire's village feast

A year of name-calling, backstabbing and plots: business as usual in the den of iniquity

All together now, to the tune of "Love Is All Around" from Four Weddings and a Funeral: "I feel it with my fingers, I snort it up my nose,/ The drugs are all around me . . ." Labour's tearoom songsmiths hope it will be a white Christmas for the Tories. The coronation of that Old Etonian toff David "Call me Dave" Cameron is viewed as a glorious triumph of style over substances after he steadfastly refused to answer questions about law-breaking now he wants to be law-making. Dave's tieless man-of-the-people act is hailed by fellow OE Nicholas "Fatty" Soames - a weighty testament to the enduring appeal of traditional English fayre and fine French wines - as a leap into the past. "Marvellous, absolutely marvellous," spluttered Fatty. "The natural order is reasserting itself." So you hope, Fatty, so you hope.

As our outgoing premier Tony Blair prepares to give Pickfords a call, to taunts from the opposition, the real enemy is preparing to push him closer to the door. Big Gordie's relaxed response to the economic slowdown is viewed in No 10 as a dastardly plot to leave Blair unable to pay the mortgage on that £3.6m retirement home. A Make Cherie's Poverty History campaign was briefly considered after Mrs Prime Minister scrambled for cash. Key demand of the campaign was debt relief, through cancellation of the £2.3m mortgage, and talk justice, as Mrs PM was paid a measly £30,000 for a 90-minute appearance. All proceeds from the sale of No 10 breadline wristbands were to go to Britain's most hard-done-by family.

An attack on urban intellectuals by Liam "Brains" Byrne, a Labour health minister thought to be bright because he wears glasses, raised fears a new offence is to be created - being found in possession of a good idea in a built-up area.

The magnificent response to the 7 July terrorist bombings in London saw Britain at its best. Heroic emergency teams battled to save lives, injured passengers helped those more hurt than themselves, worried members of the public never panicked, and the first meeting of the government's Cobra emergency committee broke up in disarray to watch Sky News to find out what was happening. Carry On Cobra ended with the Home Secretary, Charles "Chief Super" Clarke, boasting how he was in charge, unintentionally explaining the Whitehall disarray.

Maggie Thatcher proved that her neck's still brass even if her memory's gone. Clutching a whisky tumbler in an elegant Belgravia town house as Tory Boys cooed appreciation, ex-minister for Harrods Neil Hamilton remarked that, 20 years on from the great miners' strike, there are no pits left in Wales. "That's so sad," whispered the rusty lady. Behaving as if the colliery closures were nothing to do with her, Lady T held up her glass for a refill. At least she was soberly dressed. On election night at a party on the Silver Sturgeon moored on the Thames, thousands of sparkly beads on the Iron Lady's black ensemble left Maggie looking like a pearly queen on her way to toast the Tory demise.

Foreign Secretary Jack "the Lad" Straw's reaction as the Dutch Nee on top of a French Non killed off the ill-fated European treaty suggested the double blow wasn't entirely upsetting. Turning up early for a BBC interview to cry crocodile tears, Straw's demeanour said it all. The heir of Canning, Palmerston and Bevin idled away the minutes with his feet on a desk and a plastic toy crown on his head. The coronet, plaything of a BBC staffer, perhaps also signifies our boy's leadership ambitions. Surely not.

The former sports minister Tony Banks reported on dinner with Roman Abramovich, owner of his beloved Chelsea Football Club. Asked if he has any worries, Banksy replies: "Because of the turbulent political situation in post-Soviet Russia, I fear you could run out of money or be bumped off." Abramovich answers: "I won't run out of money."

Quiz question: Who did the tap-dancing, motorbiking minister Hazel Blears damn as "very pretty, but nothing between his ears"? Was it a) Alan Milburn, b) Alan Milburn, or c) Alan Milburn? I've made it easy just in case Mr Milburn tries to enter and thinks the answer is Stephen Byers.

Best quip at the Labour conference: what do Kate Moss and the Liberal Democrats have in common? Answer: both are trying to give up Charlie. Ian "Big Mac" McCartney demonstrated a grasp of Scottish stereotypes with a joke at Big Gordie's expense. Finding the Chancellor scraping wallpaper in his South Queensferry home, Big Mac inquired: "You decorating?" "No," came the reply. "Moving house."

Happy Christmas and peace to all men and women.

Kevin Maguire is associate editor (politics) of the Daily Mirror

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.