I've been swanning round all evening engaged in artistic pursuits, one of which involved four exploding cannons (note the precise spelling of this artillery considerately ensures no confusion within the Church of England which has enough problems thank you very much) that showered the very select (hem, hem) crowd in golden confetti and vanilla-scented fog. It passes for fun in this neck of the woods and all miles better than the whippet-whittling and cheese-rolling of my youth.
I intend to cram as many cannons into my social life as possible before the austerity measures kick in and museums have to start charging an arm and a leg (or, in the case of the Chapmans, a penis and a pudenda) for entrance. Who knows when you'll next be able to afford to view Napoleon's bed chamber or a head made of frozen human blood? Never mind the Minton tile collection.
Still, in our make-do-and-mend political agenda, I expect this Yorkshire-heavy cabinet (Eric-been-at-the-Pickles, Hague et al) with their flat feet and vowels will insist on the reinstatement of whippet-whittling in the National Curriculum. And if whippets are whittled even just a little bit, they'll resemble Giacomettis and have some artistic merit so it doesn't do to be too pessimistic about the future. I've often heard it said (mainly in The Mirror) that the new cabinet are a bunch of artists.
Back to my Night of Art. Toulouse-Lautrec - now there was a man who knew a floozy or two (or forty-four). Yet he was ever so kind to them in his drawings and prints. (Not like Klimt with his less than quaint queynte complex. Did you know Adele Bloch-Bauer is in a state of rudity under her golden frock?) High kicks, opera glasses and flophouses; dashing lines, splashed reds and yellows, a thick swirl of black ink. Only a few hours have passed and already I am eager to revisit the exhibition; absinthe makes the heart - No! I cannot do it to you! Forgive me.
There's money in Art. In 2005, a Lautrec painting sold for £12.6 million. That would plug a few holes in the deficit so, as they appear to be on a winning streak, is it too late for Camclegg to enter The Turner Prize? Forty grand would be a sure start - especially as they are guaranteed first and third prize.
Why stop at art? Perhaps they could co-write a book? A heart-warming tale of triumph over adversity. Proof that it doesn't matter what unlucky hand life deals you: where there's a will - and a large inheritance - there's a way. Published by Faker & Faker, it will be a shoo-in for The Booker, T.S.Eliot, Costa and Nobel. The prize-money (they'll walk it) will go some way to addressing the pot plant and paperclip bill of the Cabinet Office. What have they - or we - got Toulouse?