Here is what to do if you want to get anything from Eric Pickles: forget it. He is one of the most unpleasant people in the Galaxy. Not actually evil, but bad-tempered, bureaucratic, officious and callous. He wouldn’t even lift a finger to save his own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters. The best way to get a drink out of Eric Pickles is to stick your finger down his throat, and the best way to irritate him is to feed his grandmother to the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal. On no account should you allow Eric Pickles to read poetry at you.