It seems that Gordon Brown is determined not to leave any evidence for the photographers of his signing away the independence of the United Kingdom in Lisbon next week. Not for him the waving of a scrap of paper at the airport announcing ‘Peace in Our Time’ or whatever today’s whopper is. Instead David Miliband is to take the rap.

Rather he has arranged to appear before the Commons Liaison Committee, where he is due to have at least an hour’s grilling on topical subjects. One wonders which is the more important of the two events, distasteful and shameful though the Lisbon event surely is. But here is a man with a weather eye on history (or ‘legacy’ as Vanity Blair would doubtless have it). He hardly wants to have the image of his treachery burnt into the memory of every freeborn Englishman for evermore, so Miliband is fingered as the one who has to do duty as Quisling of the Day.

Meanwhile we shall all recall yet another germane section of T.S. Eliot’s Macavity the Mystery Cat:

And when the Foreign Office find a Treaty’s gone astray

Or the Admiralty lose some plans and drawings by the way

There may be a scrap of paper in the hall or on the stair

But it’s useless to investigate – Macavity’s not there!

And when the loss has been disclosed, the Secret Service say:

‘It must have been Macavity!’ – but he’s a mile away.

You’ll be sure to find him resting, or a-licking his thumbs,

Or engaged in doing long division sums.

What a dreadful coward he is! And how convenient is his appearance before this committee, which, if asked nicely, one is sure would have rearranged their sitting for so momentous a betrayal.

Instead it’s another case of “Not me,Guv!”