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One of the staff writers here in the war room at British Intelligence Towers is currently to be found muttering in the corner of a local dive-bar, downing scotches faster than Michael Moore goes through pies, and bemoaning the fact that Sir Keir Starmer – who tends to drop the ‘sir’ part these days – is favourite to accept the strychnine-laced chalice that is the Labour Party leadership.

The reason for our scribe’s descent into alcoholism? It seems that he had intended to have a bit of a flutter on Starmer the Charmer a while ago but, like all failed punters, ‘never got round to it’.

But wait. It seems there is more to this than meets our beady eye. It transpires that our man was actually at school with the potential leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, a year above the man they could soon be calling Keir Leader, at Reigate Grammar School, a Gothic pile nestling ‘neath the rolling hills of Surrey.

Not only this, but the Reigatian candidate was at RGS at the same time as Fatboy Slim, née Norman Cook and previously of beat combo The Housemartins, and even more née Quentin Cook, fledgling of Reigate’s stockbroker belt and really rather posh.

So, then. The real reason our hapless hack has put his sorrows in a hempen sack, tied a rock to it, and thrown it into Reigate’s Priory pond is that he failed to take the opportunity to flush either of these two’s heads down the bog when he had the chance. How history might have been altered.

We informed our scribbler that, while we were not prepared to cover his bar bill in toto, we would pay half as he told us he once snogged Quentin’s sister at a party.

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