Three honoured denizens of The Huntsman’s Pantheon have been denounced as ‘disgraceful’ by that gimcrack twerp Geoff ‘Buff’ Hoon and been threatened with suspension unless they distance themselves from the cross-party group, I Want a Referendum, which plans to stoke the debate on the EU Constitution by running mini-referenda in the seats of pro-EU MPs. You and whose Army, Mr. Hoon?

Mr. Hoon seems untroubled by his own particularly rank hypocrisy. To call Frank Field, Kate Hoey and Gisela Stuart, Labour MPs who have decided to honour the commitment that they made to their electors at the 2005 General Election in, respectively, Birkenhead, Vauxhall and Edgbaston, to vote in favour of a referendum on the Constitution, ‘disgraceful’ when you yourself have engaged in disgraceful, dishonest and dishonourable conduct must rank as one of the most cynical acts of the pot calling the kettle black for many a long year.

Hoon stood on that self-same promise to his electors in 2005 but, like his dishonest, dishonourable and gutless Boss, has signed up to the lying account of the Treaty of Lisbon that the latter and his merry Boy Scout Troop have cobbled together in a modern version of Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Shocked to discover that some of his colleagues have a quite different concept of honour (actually, Hoon does not have a concept of honour, merely one of neck-saving expediency) from himself, he summoned the trio individually to a little tête-à-tête, apparently known by the highly menacing name of an ‘interview without coffee’ where, like the Head Prefect of some minor and rather seedy public school berating his fags for failing to warm his slippers properly before prep, he ticked them off in his best Mr. Angry manner.

The threat, apparently, is to suspend them from the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Who is he kidding?

Both Field and Hoey have been talked of as potential evacuees from the perma-slime (both would receive a warm welcome into Tory ranks) whilst Mrs. Stuart faces a distinctly tricky fight in her naturally Tory Birmingham seat. Labour simply cannot risk either defections or the possibility of by-elections now or independent candidatures in the future of any of these three. Thus Hoon’s buffoonery can be seen for what it is: a lot of hot, gaseous hooey, to coin a phrase.

I see from his antecedents that Hoon is indeed a public schoolboy, like so many of his hypocritical Labour colleagues, having attended Nottingham High School, the alma mater of such as Ed Balls, Ken Clarke, Ed Davey, D.H Lawrence and Albert Ball VC. Any Old Nottinghamians who can tell us more about his time there will find The Huntsman’s ear more than receptive.