Several of our local members have been invited to a reception. The invitation said, "at a location near Orpington - venue will be confirmed later."
I immediately started receiving calls and emails asking if the Prime Minister was attending, as the invitees correctly recognised the form of words used on invitations where he is coming, but it cannot be confirmed for security reasons.
Obviously at my pay grade I am not privy to the PMs diary, but I did my best to dampen expectations. I did, however, mention this to the organisation's Regional Chair, just in case the rumours got out of hand and hundreds turned up and were disappointed. She confirmed that the PM wasn't coming (though she would have been delighted if he was). Matter closed.
Or perhaps not!
The Regional Chair obviously phoned the host of the event to mention that rumour and dampen expectations. The host (who had no knowledge of my conversation the previous day with the Regional Chair) then phoned me to say, "I don't know if you have heard, but lots of people think the Prime Minister is coming...." "Really?" I said, sounding surprised whilst trying to dampen expectations. "Who told you that...?" "I cannot say - but it was someone senior..."
So the rumour gets new legs!
Now either this is a triple bluff and he is coming - or I fear (more likely) there are going to be a lot of disappointed people. Including the host who has probably spent the last week scrubbing her house from top to bottom in expectation of a visit from the First Lord of the Treasury!