London, Thursday 30 March 2006 - (Associated Mess): The latest round of formal diplomatic pleasantries between London Mayor Ken 'Red Ken' Livingstone and US Ambassador to the Court of St James's Mr Bill Swift-Tuttle entered an unprecedented level of mutual respect this week as Mr Livingstone ordered his Parking Enforcement Directorate Commissar to "clamp the shit" out of the US legation's fleet of armor-plated official limousines in retalliation for deliberate US over-payment of the universally-admired London Decongestion Zone Discharge.
At a mere £100 a pop, the decongestion discharge is seen as a massive bargain by most London-based embassies who use their fleets unspairingly in an effort to clock up as many air-miles as possible, with a view to later exchanging them for drinks' vouchers entitling them to a personal happy-hour audience with the Mayor at City Hole.
However, Livingstone's office has let it be known that he feels the American embassy is abusing its position in this respect - quite possibly in order to allot itself so many air-miles' worth of face time with the Mayor that it becomes eligible to take him for a little uninterrupted extraordinary rendition situation via an undisclosed military airfield nearby, where he can experience its low-cost no-frills flights service to a specialist-trained CIA mind-reading facility in Kabul.
The BBC world service reported this week that Mayor Livingstone had become somewhat flustered at the recent American embassy tactics and had likened Mr Comet Swift-Tuttle to a "chiseling little crook".
But experienced political analysts on both sides of the Atlantic Bar and Grill have noted that such teasing rhetoric is nothing more than playful sparring on the Mayor's behalf ahead of a well-practised and widely-expected public taunt which will invite the envoy to "return to his family roots in The Lublianka".
Mr Swift-Tuttle's legation was previously in the news way back in '96 when its flagship carrier had a much-publicised collision with an alleged gas giant called Jupiter, somewhere outside the decongestion asteroid belt off the Colonel Oliver North Orbital.
Since then Swift-Tuttle expanded his sphere of business activities into methane-emission futures-trading to the point of running a near monopoly for the Bush Administration's hot air team.
However, such a pole position may be unsustainable given next week's publication of the Official Memoir and Autobiography of recently-jailed Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, which is widely expected to name Swift-Tuttle, Livingstone and Condosleazer Rice as equal partners in the Bush/Blair 1980s oil trading giant Arbusto Corps.
"The game is up for Mayor Livingstone", said a US embassy spokesperson.