On one side, the prime minister. Making eye contact, hands at chest height, fingers splayed, saying: ‘it’s like this’. Full-on explanatory mode, right? While the p-m continues to expound, on his right-hand-side (but maybe not his right-hand-man), Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister, fields a different question. Nick (David Cameron had to ‘Dave’ himself for a while but Nick was always Nicked) is leaning back slightly, arms folded, brow furrowed. The bouncer’s position. Listening to the loser who’s trying for a squeeze on the door, staying silent and at the same time saying: I’m taking this for now but I could rush you any time I like. Not clever, Nick, to let yourself be seen in this aggressive-defensive posture. Prompted, I’m pretty sure, neither by a barbed question put to you nor a sharp point sticking into you, but by the mere presence of a beautiful blond boy. Standing in between the politicians, immediately the centre of attention. Son of the mum you were photographed having coffee with earlier (minimalist white mugs on the kitchen-diner table), recent occupant of a new property in the housing development (Aldermere, Cheshunt, Herts) you came here to be associated with. Because Britain will boom if there’s a building boom, geddit? But their association with the son of the house, has left both ministers upstaged. Downing Street officials should have remembered the adage about (not) working with children and animals. The child in question has turned away from Nick to look up at Dave (well he would, wouldn’t he?), who is still expostulating to someone else. He would have to look up at Dave, wouldn’t he?, because the boy is a good foot shorter than the prime minister. Yet this line of sight, from junior up to senior, is richly ironic. In the boy’s eyes there is a look of wonder, amazement. But not, I wannabe like you, you’re amazing; rather, where on earth have you parachuted in from, stranger? They could be creatures from different planets, this boy and his uncles-for-a-day. He already knows that the avuncular ‘power duo’ (Hertfordshire Mercury) can do nothing for him.