The two by-elections were held last Thursday - 'disrespectfully quick', according to the press, and, of course, relatives of the two MPs who'd died just a month before in a car crash, that conspiracy theorists hinted, and, in a few cases, stated with more conviction, was suspiciously indicative of murder; and, despite the reports from the Police Scotland, Road Traffic Forensics Team, part of the Forensic Science Department headed by Professor Carolina Moonbeam, stating that the crash was an accident, caused by a worn tyre on a slippery road and a rather worn brake-disk, combined with a slightly awkward camber at a notorious bend, the rumour was absolutely true; it had been, unfortunately, necessary, and the two candidates chosen in haste by the Constituency Conservative Associations, Sir Petulant MacFarlane and Mr Davidson Doubleday (thanks to lavish buttering up of the two Chairmen and envelopes of considerable and untraceable value stuffed into their pockets) whom Prime Minister Theresa May desperately needed in order to hold her minority government together through a series of votes in the House of Commons on Brexit; Mrs May had personally insisted that whatever other qualities the two Candidates might possess, absolute and unswerving commitment to The Great Withdrawal Bill was paramount – she has enough Rebel Euro-Tories, carrying the epithet French Fancies in certain of the less salubrious bars in the Palace of Westminster, cock-a-hoop that the absence of the two members from the Scottish Borders Constituencies might be just the arithmetic they need to stop Brexit in it's faltering tracks and the costly support of the Democratic – now that's a fucking joke name if ever there was one – Unionist Party looking increasingly likely to be derailed over the Irish Border impasse; the Labour, Scottish National and Liberal Parties forming a coalition with Remoaning Tory Minnies – with whom poor Theresa saw no possibility of rapprochement other than by bribery, but without a Money Tree to provide the cash, meaning that in this and next week's Amendments every single vote would indeed count; she had promised her petite husband that they would stay in Downing Street for five years and he had already been seen surreptitiously slipping desirable objets d'art and tins of caviare into boxes as if in preparation for a sudden and humiliating departure and one night she had woken to find him not in his usual twin bed and, hearing a slight contretemps in the garden below the bedroom window, had peeped down to see him skipping round a bonfire which her security staff had later told her consisted of copies of every book and Spectator article her nemesis, her loyal Foreign Secretary, had ever written – and there had even been an effigy of the porcine fellow himself, created out of Puff Pastry by her husband in the Number 10 kitchen, when he'd been believed to be practising for his participation in the Best of British Political Wives Bake-off, which Channel 4 planned to begin recording on Friday! so it was with Joy that she had welcomed the two new Members to her Private Office in the Palace, and offered them each a glass of Laphroaig, her PA having done her homework, "thankyou, Prime Minister," said Sir Petulant, "we are delighted to join you at such an important time when, as Verlaine said, did he not, quot homines tot sententiae, or perhaps more fittingly, Chairman Mao, with Let a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend!" at which Mrs May blanched and croaked: "you will vote in line with the Whip?" and Doubleday chuckled: "ye'll be feart o a skail, eh Missus? benefittin fi a surprise Dissolution an General Election isnae quite yer forte, but, is it no?" and when she managed to spit out: "what on earth are you talking about?" the door opened and some rather unsteady Members were shown in, and she recognised the Conservative Members of Parliament for the three Beddingshire Constituencies: North (Sir Pompus MacFarlane), Mid (Mr Digby Doubleday) and South (Ms Natalie Rhombus) and her ears were ringing when she heard Sir Petulant say: "you see, if we five vote with the Opposition – on matters of Principle and Conviction – that means ten votes against you, which of course can be avoided . . . ." and Sir Pompus said: ". . . . . on similar terms to your purchase of the DUP votes," and Ms Rhombus added: "on the strict QT, untraceable notes, no receipts, no trail!" and many of those who knew the Gang of Five as they were tagged on Facebook conscientiously and consistently voted with the Whip today, leaving Mr May to worry about what they might charge tomorrow!