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Editor’s Letter: The Monty Python sleaze shop sketch

St Anthony of Persil and Ariel: Eh?

Lord Sleaze: Some sleaze. I’d like to buy some sleaze, please.

St Anthony: Oh! Certainly sir. What can I tempt you with? I could
lend you a peerage.

Lord Sleaze: ‘Tempt’ – like it. Thank you. But I already have a
peerage. What about a mortgage scandal for myself and the good lady wife?

St Anthony: Umm, fresh out of those today, sir. 

Lord Sleaze: What a shame. How about a pile of expensive consultants
to tell me why the health service is running out of money and cancelling

St Anthony: Never on a Tuesday, I’m afraid.

Lord Sleaze: Okay, then. Perhaps a nasty little war got up on the
back of some dodgy evidence?

St Anthony: Sorry. Try the BBC. It was their fault. Them and a wonky

Lord Sleaze: Doesn’t seem to be my day, does it. What about some
fiddling of the statistics to make the economy look good?

St Anthony: Not much call for that around these parts.

Lord Sleaze: Not much call for that? The economy is the single most
important part of the election manifesto!

St Anthony: Not around here.

Lord Sleaze: And what, pray, is the most important thing in this
parish that will get you re-elected?

St Anthony: Water metering!

Lord Sleaze: Water metering???

St Anthony: Certainly, sir. Water is a public good that shouldn’t be
bought and sold by the pint…

Lord Sleaze: So…?

St Anthony: We’re selling it by the litre.

Lord Sleaze: Is that the best you can do? It’s not much of a sleaze
shop, is it?

St Anthony: Finest in Whitehall, sir!

Lord Sleaze: And what, exactly, makes you say that?

St Anthony: Well, it’s so neat and tidy!

Lord Sleaze: Well, it’s certainly uncontaminated by sleaze…

St Anthony: Yes, sir. That’s because I wash my hands of it so often.

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