There's nothing quite like challenging meteorological conditions to bring out the best in this noble breed.

The hideous, hellish blizzards we are enduring (known in the rest of Europe as 'winter') and the national paralysis caused by the onset of a new ice age ('some snow') have seen neighbourly love return across the land as we all seek to extend a helping hand.

Why, even your humble minister of state was next door for most of yesterday, heavy implement in hand, aiding and comforting the rather winsome and helpless wife of an army chappie who my friends at the MoD have helpfully had posted to Helmand for the duration. I sorted out all her passages (and I even got around to clearing some snow).

Even among the grocers of this stricken land there is deep public concern - more specifically, deep concern that the public won't get to the shops. Hence no-doubt scurrilous reports of Sainsbury's gritting the entrance to its car parks but not the exit, where the lightness of the punters' wallets will in any case cause a loss of grip.

Talking of losing grip, King Justin was once again at his blinding best on the TV sofas as he puffed up JS's seasonal trading figures. KJ certainly has a lot of bottle by which I am referring to the source of the increasingly absurd tan that is now rivalling that of Tory Boy David, retouched or not. By the way, has anyone ever seen KJ and Cameron in the same room at the same time?

Meanwhile, the Cheshunt spin factory went into hyperdrive this week as Crimbo trading surpassed Asda and JS for the first time since the Nativity. But as one or two cynics unkindly pointed out, a good dollop of this was actually based on the double Clubcard points scheme, which is a bit like Bugatti doing a bogof on Veyrons and claiming a 100% uplift in sales.

Still, it keeps the great unwashed (analysts) happy. And amid the blizzard of PR bullshit paralysing the land, that's something at least.

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