Is there a glass of Pol Roger champers in your hand? Have you spied former Telegraph editor Charles Moore without a tie? Is Piers Morgan getting hot under the collar with newsreaders Emily Maitlis, Andrea Catherwood, and girlfriend Celia Walden? Yes? Then you're at the 2009 Spectator summer party. And that's more than could be said for the magazine's former editor, London Mayor Boris Johnson, whose tardy arrival at the mag's Westminster offices last Thursday was greeted with the words: "The bar is closed, move along please."
After paroxysms by his handler, BoJo joined his father Stanley, sister Rachel and successor Matthew D'Ancona, only to find himself in an unlikely photocall with Brown loyalist Shriti Vadera. The Baroness, she of the infamous "I see green shoots" comment, further evidenced her sunny disposition as she ostentatiously cuddled Tony Blair's ex-speechwriter Phil Collins. Had Blairites and Brownites reached détente in the Spectator garden?
Labour tensions were not the only custom seemingly dispensed with here. Traditionally, the magazine's guests massively exceed capacity and elbow room is further shrivelled by hacks gate-crashing in search of a story. Not this time.
Rather, the magazine borrowed an adjoining garden and hired colossal henchmen sporting buzz-cuts to keep out those who weren't "in". While comedian Barry Humphries and columnist Taki relished the space, the revels came to an abrupt end when these "bouncers" stretched out their arms and gently eased the crowd to the door. "We're being kettled!" shouted one carouser as the party crushed inwards. Some habits die hard...