In a gesture which may show that she has finally buried the hatchet, Baroness Thatcher has agreed that her trustiest of handbags will be auctioned for charity.
The handbag in question, a classic 1979 Asprey, is expected to reach a value of £100,000, with the proceeds going to the Lady Thatcher's favourite charity, the National Mining Museum at the old Longhirst Colliery, near Morpeth.
The handbag was one of Lady Thatcher's more recognisable accessories, being present at many historical summits and events. It was this very handbag with which she threatened both Reagan and Gorbachev, should they have been unable to reach agreement in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
The 1979 Asprey was also her weapon of choice when it came to keeping unruly cabinet ministers in line.
In preparation for auction, the handbag has been meticulously authenticated by the eminent forensic pathologist, Sir Peregrine Sputum-Flatus. He has examined the handbag and declared it a genuine piece of British political history. Sir Peregrine said, "On close examination, we found a tooth belonging to Geoffrey Howe embedded in the base of the handbag, along with some mucus belonging to Michael Heseltine. There are also traces of blood, sweat and tears which come from Nigel Lawson, Norman Lamont and Ken Clarke. Under the handbag's clasp, there is enough of William Hague's hair to explain his premature baldness. The one really bewildering find was the semen stain which, we believe, came from Arthur Scargill. This must date from the time when she fucked the miners, so to speak".