Sometimes you've just got to laugh.
Last night, two weeks after it was confirmed that pubs minister John Healey would meet two MPs - Greg Knight and David Clelland - and me to discuss our campaign to amend the smoking ban, Healey's office got cold feet and decided that I couldn't attend today's meeting after all.
I was informed by text at 7:30, just as Coronation Street was about to start.
I don't know whether it was the piece in the Morning Advertiser (original headline: Anti-smoke ban campaigners to meet Healey) or the 120+ comments on this blog that frightened them off, but the result is that I have been barred from attending a meeting that I suggested to discuss a campaign that I organise!!
You couldn't make it up.
I am told that Healey's office is "very apologetic" about the confusion. Funny that, because I have in front of me a letter that states very clearly that the MPs will be accompanied by "campaign organiser Simon Clark". In fact, until last night there was never any suggestion that my presence would be a problem.
Frankly, their protestations that the minister only meets fellow MPs doesn't hold water. And nor should it. HERE, for example, is another minister, Peter Mandelson, meeting representatives of the Fair Pint campaign last week. Now that wasn't so difficult, was it?
The good news is that the meeting goes ahead with Greg and David representing the Save Our Pubs and Clubs campaign. Report and photo to follow.
Above: Greg Knight, yours truly and others (including Antony Worrall Thompson) at the launch of the Save Our Pubs and Clubs campaign last year.
Now there's a thought: do you think Healey would have refused to meet AWT because he's not an MP either?