It’s been a while since I was in the Presence of our Gord, but the other night I was hauled out of a high-powered DRIP fact-finding mission to probe the pricing structure at Stringfellows, bundled into the PM’s Jag and whisked up to RAF Northolt. I thought for a moment that some of my more recent indiscretions (notably my sideline as theatrical costumier to Max Mosley) had resulted in a sudden promotion to drugs tsar in Afghanistan, but no. 

It was not until Gordo’s private plane turned left at Almaty that I twigged we might just be heading for this year’s G8 jamboree. And in fact it was not until we landed in Tokyo that I realised the Divine Windbag had been in the back of the Cessna all along. The rasping sound that I had mistaken for Rolls-Royce’s new biodiesel jet engine was in fact the flappy-cheeked snoring of our elected President.

Gordo doesn’t do ‘happy’ at the best of times, but he came pretty close to ‘murderous’ as he wiped the sleep drool off his cheek. “Pumsey,” he boomed, “ya wee ned! Gin awa’ doon the toon n git mi a bottle o Irn-Bru n voddy, n dinnae hing aboot neither!”

Perhaps the in-flight refreshments had got the better of him. Lunging for the drinks trolley, our steamed leader tripped and fell, hitting his head on the door of what he might have referred to as the cludgie, cursed and lapsed back into slumber.

Happily for him, some of the two dozen spin doctors on board were able to explain Gordo’s intentions. Writ large in red at the top of the Downing Street PR Manual (subtitled Never Underestimate the Stupidity of the Voter) is the legend When All Else Fails, Blame The Supermarkets.

And what could be easier than to pen a little briefing to the Wapping low-lifes, blaming the UK grocery industry’s nasty habit of running promotions for, well, the Global Food Crisis? What indeed?