Imagine the scenes in the Opposition Leader's office yesterday morning... I have...

JC: "Christ Seumas, this PLP meeting tonight is going to be pretty awful. They're going to monster me about the Zionists."

SM: "I always think in these circumstances about what Stalin would do, and like Lynton Crosby, he'd think of a dead cat to throw on the table. Indeed, he'd probably have killed the little pussy himself..."

JC: "I'm not with you."

SM: "Well what about this for a wheeze, why don't we announce we're in favour of a People's Vote?"

JC: "Are you mad? If we do that, we might lose it and not leave the EU? And if we don't leave the EU we won't be able to nationalise everything and subsidise all of the loss making industries..."

SM: "Oh don't worry, Jeremy, we'll never actually have the referendum, but if we say we will we'll stop any other of our brethren defecting to the Chuka Umunna Party, so job done. It'll keep our members happy as well, so a result all round!

JC: "But what about the 5 million working class Labour voters who voted Leave in the north and the midlands?"

SM: "Oh don't worry about them Jeremy, what else are they going to do at the next election apart from vote Labour? Marx was right. The lemmings will follow us where we lead them.

JC: "If you say so Seumas... You've never let me down so far. So what you're saying is if we announce this, this afternoon I'll get an easy time at the PLP and it'll stop more defections?"

SM: "Exactly. And it'll shut Kier Starmer up. He'll think he's won."

JC: "But what about 'Whispering Barry Gardiner? He will go spare."

SM: "Leave me to deal with Barry. He's rather good at dancing on the head of a pin and he's never let us down. We'll send him onto Newsnight  with Chuka. I'll tell him to keep touching Chuka's arm. That's discombobulate him.

JC: "But if we say we'll hold a referendum, surely we'll have to follow through with it?"

SM: "No, we put down an amendment on Wednesday or on 12 March in the full knowledge that dozens of our own MPs won't support it, which means it has no chance of getting a majority in the Commons anyway."

JC: "As usual, Seumas, you've got it all covered."