Petronella Wyatt

Revealing yawn

The ongoing escapades of London's answer to Ally McBeal

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Please excuse my returning to the subject of teeth, but I've had molars on my mind. Since my trip to America where my British teeth were looked upon with horror, I have been examining them day and night. It would be fair to say that this has become an obsession.

In restaurants with friends and colleagues I will lose my train of thought and start thinking of teeth. Instead of asking the waiter for some hollandaise sauce with my asparagus, it will come out as, 'Could you please bring me some hollandaise teeth.' When I excuse myself to go to the loo it is invariably my intention to open my mouth like a hippo and stare into the mirror.

At home I have tried to remove stains with household items varying from kitchen knives to a needle. I did quite well with the needle, actually. I managed to remove a stain of about half a millimetre, after sticking the point in my gum by accident.

My teeth remind me rather of British people. You rub along, not really noticing or caring about things until someone points them out to you or all your teeth fall out – metaphorically speaking. I mean, take the abolition of the Lord Chancellor. I have spent the last few days chatting to that strange creature known as the man on the street. You mention the Lord Chancellor and he yawns – showing his teeth which are, comfortingly, even worse than mine. What does it matter? he sighs. He is only a man in a wig. Then you tell him that the post has been part of our constitution for 1,400 years and he might mutter something along the lines of what a pity it is getting rid of another tradition, etc.

But the point of the Lord Chancellor is not 'tradition' as in providing something jolly for tourists. He is there to help check the power of the prime minister. He is one of the cogs in our constitution which prevents a return to the days of any one man or woman wielding absolute power. So, in that sense, the Lord Chancellor is very modern indeed.

This is why Mr Blair has abolished him. But, the media ask, why has he shown such a lack of political skill? He, the alleged master of presentation, the Cecil B. De Mille of politics. One answer is that Mr Blair has always suffered from a Napoleon complex, which is now entering its last stages.

It is 2006. The Windsors are in exile in Bermuda, though Charles argued vociferously for Tuscany. Tony Blair is about to be crowned king, although the hereditary peerage has been abolished. Gordon Brown has been sent to rule the Falkland Islands and David Blunkett has been made Prince of Gibraltar.

It is the rehearsal for the coronation of Tony and Cherie. Tony has announced his intention of abolishing the post of Archbishop of Canterbury, but his friend Lord Falconer has kindly agreed to take on the role before it disappears. The Blair and Booth families are arguing. Lauren Booth is refusing to carry Cherie's train. She is furious because Carole Caplin has been created a princess. Tony is wearying of all the squabbles so he agrees to make Ms Booth a royal highness.

The coronation goes ahead. Mr Blair hurriedly crowns himself. This is to prevent the guests from staring at the large bald patch he has acquired. Cherie looks resplendent in an Indian-style outfit by Ronat Zilka. Her joy is not to last, however. It is 2009 and the other European powers are beginning to question Tony's legitimacy. He divorces Cherie in order to marry the young daughter of Queen Caroline of Monaco. (Prince Albert has relinquished his rights to the throne in order to remain a bachelor.) Cherie goes into exile in Australia where she starts a pearl farm with Derry Irvine. The couple live out the rest of their lives talking about the good old days.

Yes, the British electorate had better examine their teeth at the next election.