A good loser

Always first with the news, Tulkinghorn has heard rumours that there is a general election coming up.

This week he received a fax from the prospective Conservative candidate for Northampton South, Shailesh Vara, which has lots of fascinating facts, including that Vara once represented England at cricket in the Legal Rest of the World v Legal India match.

But one detail tugged at Tulkinghorn's true blue heartstrings: in the 1997 general election Vara “achieved a swing from Conservative to Labour of 4.9 per cent [in Ladywood, Birmingham] compared to the national average of 12 per cent.” In short, Vara lost – but not as badly as everyone else.