Oh, to be a fly upon on the gilded walls of the royal palace this week! Not since Machiavelli have we ministers enjoyed such scheming among the princes, double-dealing by the courtiers and backstabbing among the nobility. I'm referring, of course, not to the Qatari House of Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani, but the rather shabbier court of King Justin Hasbin Fired Al-Sainsburi, whose position on the throne of the country's third-favourite grocer is looking decidedly wobbly. All the not-impecunious Arab gentlemen need to do is come up with an extra £2bn in loose change, and poor old JK will find himself pressing his nose up against the (thankfully ground-level) windows of the Holborn Coliseum with hardly more to his name than his namesake Ms JK Rowling. I must declare an interest. Propping up the bar at Annie's the other night I was tapped rudely on the shoulder. Now, the said gentleman must remain nameless, but he has a not inconsiderable interest in this matter and also - since the happy conclusion to the cash-for-peerages inquiry - a bit more time on his hands than some of us were expecting. "Pumsey," he bawled, "I've been speaking to that worthless incompetent of a boss of yours, what's his name? Ricky Hatton? Mickey Mutton? Anyway, he tells me you're probing this blasted takeover. Be a good man and screw it up for me, would you, old chap? Mickey tells me you're good at that sort of thing. Or at least get the buggers to cough up a bit more. Pumsey Place was looking a bit seedy last time I was visiting Veronica. Looks like you could use a bit of spare cash. Say no more." I've never been one to look a gift peer in the mouth and so it was off to Lilywhite's to pick up the new Chelsea strip. I'm told David Mellor is advising Delta Two and the Qataris, and a little undercover work may be in order - not literally, you understand.