(Cabinet meeting ends. The Foreign Secretary approaches the PM.)
FS: Prime Minister, wonder if I could have a word with you.
PM: Can't stop now.
FS: It is a matter of some delicacy. Need to get something off my chest.
PM: What is it?
FS: (Cautiously) I'm sorry to say that I've been... I've been sleeping with your wife.
PM: No, no, no. For God's sake! This isn't right.
FS: I know, Prime Minister. And all I can say is how sorry...
PM: No, I mean, this is not how I find out.
FS: I don't follow.
PM: Why has this not been leaked, man?
FS: Leaked? But, I thought....
PM: I don't care what you thought. You know the procedure. The first I should hear of this is via a third party. You don't tell me this kind of thing to my face.
FS: Oh, I see. Are you saying, I leak it? And that is how you find out?
PM: Of course, man. I shouldn't have to tell you that. And while we're at it, what of Anne? How does she intend to tell me?
PM: Yes, how, you idiot? Will I find out through an intimate, sofa based chat with Fearne Britton, or with Piers Morgan, or possibly Kirsty Wark - I hear she's trying to break into this kind of thing nowadays?
FS: (Puzzled) I see. I'm not sure. I had assumed Anne, I mean your wife, would come clean, this evening.
PM: Come clean? Sorry, is this some kind of a joke? Enlighten me. What is 'come clean'?
FS: I suppose, what I am getting at is... She'll tell it as it is, to your face.
PM: Where have you been? (Grabs the Home Secretary who is hovering nearby). Moment of your time, Al.
HS: Yes, Prime Minister?
PM: Right, can you tell me, Al, what you think of my wife? And please give me the so-called 'straight answer'.
HS: (Awkwardly) Prime Minister... I desperately want to sleep with your wife. I am head over heels in love with her and long to dress her in lace and be tied...
PM: (Grimaces) Yes, that will do, Al... Right, now how would I get to hear about your seedy fantasies?
HS: Well, I suppose that... Andrew Marr would interview me next Sunday. After a long discussion on the subject of ID cards, he will slip in a question - he'll ask whether I want to sleep with your wife and perform certain, shall we say, acts with her. I will naturally reply: "The Prime Minister has a lovely wife who is pure of heart. I can without hesitation say that I have no designs on her at the current time, and moreover I have no knowledge of the acts that you describe."
PM: Very good. Thanks, Al. Talk later, if that's ok. (The Home Secretary nods and leaves the room. The PM turns to the FS.) See. He knows how its done.
FS: Well, yes, of course, I do understand... but, you know, I thought that when it came to one's private life, it was a little more... er...
PM: Oh dear oh dear oh dear. You've spent far too long in the Foreign Office, haven't you? You need to move with the times, you really do! Let me remind you: Correct procedure will be followed at ALL times, and I mean ALL times. Is that clear? No allowances to be made for one's 'private life', whatever that is.
FS: So sorry, Prime Minister. I understand. How foolish of me.
PM: OK, now go and do this properly. (Foreign Secretary nods and nervously leaves the room. PM smiles then calls after him). And just one other thing.
FS: (Looking back) Yes, Prime Minister?
PM: Since on this one occasion we have thrown all caution to the winds, I may as well tell you now that I will be recording an interview with Piers Morgan later this week. He will be asking me some very, very searching questions on the subject of my private life... about possible marital difficulties. He'll also ask whether there is any truth whatsoever in the rumour that my Foreign Secretary is about to resign - and leave the Cabinet for good... I will, of course, look sombre, but reply that there is no truth in any of these allegations - and that what we should really be discussing is this party's vision for a fourth term. I will add: It is not the role of politicians to address these kind of issues in the public arena.