A bit of an ironic laugh, it's true, but I thought I would share it with you all.
At last Gordon Brown decided to throw the towel in and resign. His cabinet colleagues decided it would be a worthy gesture to name a railway locomotive after him.
So a senior 'Sir Humphrey' went from Whitehall to the National Railway Museum at York, to investigate the possibilities.
"They have a number of locomotives at the NRM without names," a specially-sought consultant told the top civil servant. "Mostly freight locomotives though."
"Oh dear, that's not very fitting for a prime minister," said Sir Humphrey. "How about that big green one, over there ?" he said, pointing to 4472 Flying Scotsman.
"That's already got a name" said the consultant. "It's called 'Flying Scotsman'."
"Oh. Couldn't it be renamed ?" asked Sir Humphrey. "This is a national museum after all, funded by the taxpayer."
"I suppose it might be considered," said the consultant. "After all the LNER renamed a number of their locomotives after directors of the company, and even renamed one of them Dwight D Eisenhower."
"That's excellent", said Sir Humphrey, "So that's settled then...let's look at renaming 4472. But how much will it cost ? We can't spend too much, given the expenses scandal !"
"Well", said the consultant, "Why don't we just paint out the 'F'?"