The state rooms at Number 10 Downing Street were positively crammed with worthies: Mr Sutton himself, Joan Sallis, Margaret Maden, Peter Downes, Ruth Gee, Simon Goodenough and on and on and on.
The purpose of this indoor garden party?
To celebrate the good work done by a group of people normally known to Mr Major as "the education establishment" and blamed for all manner of social and moral disasters.
Contrary to all expectations, the gathering was neither bombed nor harangued. Indeed the nation's foremost educationist, John Major, was there in person, gladhanding most affably amid the sausages on sticks. How puzzling.