"The new PM said I could keep my job as Secretary of State," said Timothy Michaelmas-Daisy, as he and Mr Scratch drank their coffee and watched the dawn come up like thunder, "do you think I should agree?" and the old man stared at the burning cigar he held up, then grunted: "do you believe in faeries, Tim?" and Tim laughed: "not a single one, not even the Tooth Fairy, but why is he making them?" and Scratch regarded him as a horse-trader in Ultima Thule might size up a mare, before offering a risible amount, just to get the bidding started: "you might suppose that he is setting you all up, so that if the projects you're working on collapse in ashes, he can blame you and hold up his hands, clean and innocent and evince to the electorate that he and they are all in the same boat, betrayed by his Ministers pissing in instead of out; but to tell you the truth, Tim, I'd say he's planning an early election and these are his campaign promises, hoping to get enough voters so desperate that they'll forget that he has actually never fulfilled any of his promises, but his optimism sounds a whole lot better than the more accurate but boring pledges of the other parties, and they'll vote for him, just like turkeys voting for Christmas – he wears a Teflon suit, nothing sticks to him, and mark my words, like Nero, he'll skronk on his fiddle while Britain sinks beneath the waves, but he'll be lifted from the Tower of Big Ben by one of Trumpet-Trousers' Presidential helicopters and spend his early retirement playing golf at one or other of the President's luxury courses, and even be occasionally granted the honour of caddying for the Great Man himself," and Tim felt obliged to ask: "so what should I do, I feel I'm stuck in a swamp and don't know how to get out, I'm not a brawler, I'm not even a diplomat!" so Mr Scratch clapped him on the shoulder: "make an honest woman of Fenella, that will give you some security, eh?" but Tim blushed to his roots: "the thing is," he began, then stopped, unwilling to have to Out himself: "the thing is. . . . ." and Scratch cut in: "you're a shirt-lifter, a queer, homo, man's man, you're gay, is that right? it's not easy to remember the current socially acceptable term for what used to be called sodomites!" and Tim nodded, silently, so Scratch continued: "well, Fenella's a lesbian, so you could have a marriage of convenience – each do your own thing, while presenting a prurient public with an image of a happy young couple doing whatever they think happy young couples do, and the fact that you each might be doing it with others is neither here nor there – you have as much right to privacy as your butcher, baker or bookmaker!"