I saw Christine Lagarde outside The Wellcome Trust with a trolley case.
She was wearing my scarf — the scarf I had when I was thirty two:

a scarf with white dots on royal blue, or should I say French navy? —
the very essence of what a scarf should be,

12 issues for £12

which, in red, would be the scarf of the swagman or children’s book burglar
but in blue remains jolly while suggesting tradition.

Now, I admire Christine Lagarde and I support her policies.
I believe the life of Christine Lagarde is something worth aiming for.

I admire Christine Lagarde, but that is no reason to confer on her my scarf —
the best scarf I ever had, the perfect scarf, which I have looked for ever since.

You have taken a liberty, Christine Lagarde, guardian, lawmaker.
Where is the life I would have led if my scarf had stayed with me?

This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated