'The highlight will of course be Nigel and Gill doing the I'm More Important Than You foxtrot'

To: Don Wise, chief executive

From: Paul Servant, assistant chief executive

Re: The Con is On

Dear Don,

It's off to Docklands we go for this year's annual booze fest at the Confed conference. It's difficult to know which part of the exciting agenda I'm looking forward to most. The highlight will of course be Nigel and Gill doing the I'm More Important Than You foxtrot at the dinner dance; probably a case of Simply Come Prancing.

The organisers are finding ever more exciting attractions for delegates with too much time on their hands. Last year we were enticed with the new Selfridges in Birmingham and this year we are getting guided tours of Tower Hamlets PCT.

The Inner City Transformation Tour, which sounds quite disgusting to me, is obviously being sold to people who don't know East London very well - if tempted, just make sure your BCG and tetanus are up to date.

They are also offering group discounts this year. Bring five board members and the chair goes free. How unpleasant. I'm sure the last thing you want to do is bump into the chair or NEDs (although I have just realised what the East London tour is for - brilliant!). At worst we can pack them off to the Intelligent Board session, hosted by Willie Wells, who has appointed so many intelligent boards.

Then there'll be the guess the colour of the jump suit competition, sorry Patricia Hewitt's keynote address. A rather futile activity given that she'll be exiting stage left from Gordon's executive assessment centre the following weekend. No doubt she'll be doing a little parting pas de deux with David Nicholson. For his part he will be grinning ear to ear, thinking this is definitely goodbye and not adieu.