The letters flooded in - both of them, in fact. "Congrats on your elevation," read the first. "DRIP will suit you perfectly, as you will be obliged to mess up what little work you may be required to do." Except it didn't say "mess".

Don't ask me how Archie Leighton got wind of my new job so quickly, but he clearly hasn't forgiven me for the rather grubby price war between Pumsey's Price Palace and everyone's third-favourite grocer way back when. No wonder he's reduced to sulking in Canada and stalking Brake Bros. Hope he succeeds. Serve them both right.

The other letter waiting for me in the poky office that still said 'Undersecretary, Min of Ag & Fish' on the door was more promising. Red, White and Blue lettering. Unfashionable postmark.

Life, dear reader, is like an Anya Hindmarch bag - never quite what it seems. This was no greeting from the Cheshunt bunker in the spidery hand of the Scouse Svengali - nor even a kind offer to swap vouchers acquired at a cost greater than the GDP of Venezuela for a ping-pong ball. No, the message was scribbled in crayon on a recycled sheet of medicated Izal and was, in fact, the work of the Tescopolizei.

"Hello Don," it read. "Well done. Do let me know if you'd like some help bringing all four retail monopolists to heel. There's a packet to be made out of kicking the capitalists and, well, you scratch my back, eh? I'm sure we could milk the subject for another tome. We like to call it New Economics. Yours ever, Andrew."

The phone rang. It was IGD, briefing in its new report. Apparently, small shops selling old food expensively are suffering at the hands of big shops selling new food cheaply. This, apparently, is bad. So I made the right noises ("interesting, will look into it etc.") and, my day's work done, retreated to the club for a long lunch. Lord Browne was notably absent.