The past few days have been an edifying experience for those of us who thought the phrase “poor old Steve Esom” was not even syntactically possible in the English language. The word “poor” is in itself contentious since Esom was granted a cool half-million simply for leaving the blubbery clutches of Markup de Price less than a year ago, and his latest payoff will leave him more minted than a leg of M&S lamb, but you know what I mean.

There’s a certain macabre pleasure to be had in watching the jackals of Wapping devouring the still-warm cadavers of Messrs Esom and Rose. Who could not delight in the irony that this feeding frenzy comes even as M&S’s food ranges prove so ill-positioned that not even the steamy pantings of their luscious voiceover artist can flog so much as a single chocolate-coated cream horn? Well, maybe a couple.

We ministers of state are about the only customers left in Rose’s increasingly passé Simply Fraud stores - we do like to bear appropriate gifts when engaging in hands-on afternoon sessions with members of the Whitehall secretarial team.

Talking of which, it was no great surprise to find the fading Rose once again seeking solace at Pumsey Towers. He claimed simply to be seeking legal advice from the Lady Veronica QC, but even one as trusting and naïve as I could see there were more than legal briefs at stake. Still, as anyone unfortunate enough to be a regular listener to John Humphrys’ Little England Today Programme will know, Rose could talk the zimmer off a granny and soon we were swapping war stories over a jug or two of Pimms he had prepared with his own fair hand.

Don’t quite know what his secret recipe was but when I awoke the next morning I found myself on a bench in Regent’s Park, clad only in skimpy Per Una lingerie and a liberal application of M&S custard. Stuart, I feel an OFT dawn raid coming on.