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.
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 And John Reid’s given us a signed copy of habeas corpus – which’ll be quite a rarity once it’s been repealed.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?
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.
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.