The tranquillity of the writers’ wing at Knocklofty Towers was disturbed the other day by what we later discovered to be the emanation of an overwrought spirit.

A loud crash of breaking glass was followed by the sound of a rather large wireless set landing on the cobbled courtyard below. The apparatus was over fifty years old and was acquired before the transistor was little more than a wriggle in Shockley’s trousers, and the bursting of all those vacuum tubes made a noise that our resident composer described as worthy of Stockhausen at his most dissonant apogee.

Our security and medical staff responded quickly and discovered one of our older writers about to light a bonfire of old Hansards in his room, from which the wireless set had been hurled.

Putting him under mild sedation, they learned from him that he had been working on an analysis of parliamentary language when he decided to pause for a cup of Knocklofty’s Bodhisatva’s Own Extra Fragrant Lapsang Souchong tea (an exclusive blend the firm has imported from a very remote part of Asia for more than two centuries) and switched on the wireless hoping to hear some news of a game of cricket.

His timing was poor. Instead of the murmur of the crowd and the well-worn wit of the commentators, what he heard was a statement by one of the more bulbous and aggressively voluble members of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition in the Parliament of Australia.

He asserted — and our use of modern technical means verifies it — that this was what he heard:

‘At the end of the day, when the rubber hits the road, the bottom line is that working families…’

It was the fourth in this concatenation of cliché that proved too much and that was why the wireless went through the window. The Board, at an extraordinary meeting to consider what action might be taken, agreed that they would all have done the same.

Knocklofty’s technical staff are now hard at work on systems designed to detect and eliminate that sort of political talk from the airwaves and the web, and they predict that when they succeed there will be more bandwidth for everyone.