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Cover: Photo (c) J. G. Betts. A feline double header by Sita and Rama.

Political leaders fall on their swords (in one case ensuring it is made of rubber) or over their feet, bite the bullet and walk the plank, but LUPO imperturbably sets sail, the shrivelled seagull-molested remains of a pollster swinging from a yard-arm, on its post-election June voyage from Toryland to Goreyland with a cargo of bats, bones, cats, cuckoos, jellyfish, mosquitoes and statues. In-ship entertainment includes reminiscences of boyhood, Eden, excursions, love affairs, Montreux, and Dante Gabriele Rossetti. The facilities include a café, a stage and a branch of IKEA. Among the international crew are armrest-wrestlers, fortune-tellers, knuckle-dragging offspring, sourcemongers and Prince George’s Georgian amanuensis.

Safely on the books are new recruits Meg Barton, Jane Blanchard, Laura J. Bobrow, Jan D. Hodge, Charlotte Innes, Thomas Land, Birthe Noer Myers, David Smith, Ethan Taylor, and Robert West, no doubt eager to be shown the ropes and tropes by the old hands. Welcome aboard!