I was resting my eyes in the Lords; when I opened them, there was the prime minister In Our House. What immortal rind! And she was staring at me. I wasn’t having that so I stared right back. When that didn’t work I went through my full gamut of faces: the lovesick Frisian; the angry walrus; Roy Jenkins on the lavatory.
That, I thought, had done the trick when she hurried out, but her place was taken by a Cabinet colleague. It was clear that a more organised approach was needed, so I took a party of Liberal Democrat peers (you may have noticed we are not exactly short of them) off to the tearoom for a spot of training in Hard Stares and pulling the aforementioned faces (though the Jenkins is not one for novices).
I am proud to announce that, after I had left for home, one of my pupils made a junior minister cry.