London - Preposterous New Labour apparatchick (sic) Barrenness Ashton thinks she's a general fighting some sort of holy Blairite war.
At NATO HQ in Brussels intelligence chiefs have laughed themselves silly at news of an Irish Republican Army ploy to talk up her credentials as a latter day EU Boudicca.
Po-faced and jowlly her myriad detractors described today's tabloid pix of the EU High Representative as uncannily care-in-the-community.
"It's just not politically correct to say 'Down's Syndrome expression' and rightly so," a Daily Smearer editorial thundered defiantly.
"Cross-eyed, scraggy-necked and daft-as-a-brush, however, are probably much nearer the mark."
The article blasts reports that France, Portugal, Italy, Germany and Spain want her to set up a European Army headquarters in what the CIA and MI6 have dubbed 'a classic KGB scam'.
Citing her decade-long CND involvement the paper reckons Ashton shagged Vladimir Putin in a Highgate lock-up circa 1981.
Also Colonel Gaddafi, Prince Charles, Pope JP2 and half the politburo during Boris Yeltsin's reign.
Upon her ridiculous $500,000-per annum EU appointment in 2009 the internationally respected Economist magazine noted Ashton was 'a virtual unknown with paltry political experience... no foreign-policy background and having never been elected to anything'.
And a noted Sunday broadsheet columnist described Ms Ashton as 'down-the-line Stalinist political correctness ...(with) all the charisma of a caravan site on the Isle of Sheppey'.
Her self-elevation to EU Commander-in-Chief may see Ashton eventually plead a moment of madness when push comes to inevitable shove.
General Sir Mike Jackson is 69.