Spot the plant in the Widders pot plot

At last it can be revealed by me – Super Spy Sharanski – that Ann Widdecombe and Melita Norwood are one and the same person. Only top M.I.3½ intelligence like myself were privy to the fact that after Norwood finished active service in the former USSR she was recruited by the Labour Party to infiltrate the rank and file of the Tory party.

Taking on the life and persona of devout Christian and abstainer from all pleasures, Ann Widdecombe, she was briefed on her mission: to cause maximum possible embarrassment to the Conservative party whenever trouble was brewing for New Labour (or whenever Alastair “darling” Campbell smiled at her nicely, whichever was the sooner, and often both).

Still not convinced? Well just take a look at the transcript of a top secret GCHQ-scrambled telephone conversation I taped a few weeks ago …..

Campbell: Hello, Ann … sorry, I mean, Melita, darling. It’s Alastair here!

Widders: Oh, Alastair, Alastair. How I long to hear your soft dulcet tones…

Campbell: Me, too, Melita dearest. But it’s that time again. I’ve got a mission for you!

Widders: A mission? For me? Poor,lonely, old, little me?

Campbell: But of course, darling. You are the best. Now, look here. The Labour Party have been getting completely slated in the press over the petrol crisis and the lousy inadequate amount we pay pensioners.

Widders: I know… it’s about the same as what we were paying pensioners when we were in power.

Campbell: That’s just it. Seems the electorate could take it from the Tories but have this fanciful notion that New Labour is going to do something about it.

Widders: And you’re not?

Campbell: Not unless Gordy can do some more creative accounting PDQ, we’re not, no.

Widders: So what are you going to do?

Campbell: We’re going to legalise pot – you know, cannabis, marijuana … soft drugs.

Widders: I thought you’d never do that – too unpopular with the electorate and everything.

Campbell: But that, my dear is where you come in. First of all, you’ve got to create a spectacularly embarrassing diversion for NewLab to take some of the pressure off the pensions and oil crisis.

Widders: By saying that nobody over the age of 15 should ever have sex?

Campbell: No… by starting an anti-pot smoking conspiracy within Tory ranks. Get that wimp Hague to suggest that anybody caught smoking dope in the street will be subject to random testing and on-the-pot-spot fines… something like that.

Widders: And then what?

Campbell: Wait for the row to escalate – you know, all the woolly libertarians coming out of the closet admitting they once lit a woodbine … that kind of thing. And when the public are completely fed up with it and have realised that the row over such tame drugs is ridiculous, THEN we’ll legalise it.

Widders: Oh wow! And what will the upshot be, Ally-pally?

Campbell: We’ll tax it, of course! And if Gordy gets his sums right we might even be able to increase pensions, by – ooooh – at least £2.35 a week!

Widders: Oh, Alastair, darling, you’re so clever? When will I see you again?

Campbell: Well, we’ve gotta be careful for the next few weeks, babe. Don’t want the press to realise we’re a double act, do we?

Widders: No, of course not.

Campbell: But soon after that, babe, I promise. I’ll take you out for a slap up meal at The Ivy or Le Gavroche – anywhere you like, Melita.

Widders: Oh fantastic! I’ll create the best diversion ever, for you, sweetie-poo!

Remember where you heard it first!