An office in the Department for Work and Pensions. The duty minister is standing on a chair in shirt sleeves lunging at a bluebottle with a copy of the Daily Mail. There is a Tupperware box on the desk. His private secretary puts her head round the door.
Hermione: Someone to see you, minister.
Minister (irritably, climbing off chair): I thought everyone was in a villa or caravan by now. Who is it?
Hermione: Chap from the... what did he call it?... Office of the Third Sector.
Minister (winces): Third what?
Hermione: Charities and so on, minister. It's how we're saving money these days.
Minister (flops in chair, sighs): Ah, that one. And what's it all about?
Hermione: Lunch expenses, he says. Apparently volunteers can't charge them without losing benefit.
Minister: Well, that's just tough. And talking of lunch, he's not having any of mine. He opens a drawer, drops in the Tupperware box, and slams it. OK, show him in.
The lights dim and the sound of Common People by Pulp fills the air, reaches a crescendo and fades. The lights go up again to reveal the minister flopped on the sofa with his tie askew. Hermione looks anxiously round the door.
Hermione: How did it go, minister?
Minister: What? Oh yes... I told him we make the rules round here.
Hermione: Oh, jolly good show.
Minister: And then I gave in.
Hermione: Oh no! Why?
Minister (waves arm vaguely): This stuff's all the rage these days. Quoted the PM at me... some chap called Bubb on his back... every department's a third sector department, apparently. I even gave him a sandwich.
Hermione: You didn't, did you? Oh dear.
Minister (gets up, joins Hermione at the front of the room): Nice enough bloke. What was his name again? Molly? Milly? Mandy?
Hermione: Definitely not Mandy, minister. He's running trade in Brussels now.
Minister (dreamily): Ah, yes, Mandy. Those were the days, eh? Blair babes... Cool Britannia.
Hermione: John Reid still in his box.
Minister: And now we've just got Iraq.
Hermione: And Prescott. And Lebanon.
Minister: PM's in orbit... No sign of Brown.
Hermione: No... but at least we're a third sector department.
Minister: Yes, there's always that.
They stand staring hopelessly into the distance. The bluebottle is still buzzing. Lights fade. Curtain falls.