Nothing Armando Iannucci has written has been as funny as his acceptance of the Order of the British Empire. Iannucci had seemed so radical when he showed our politicians as sleazy, unprincipled cowards, so concerned with protecting their valueless careers they allowed a foul-mouthed spin-doctor to control them. His language in The Thick of It was violent; his caricatures merciless. Now this fearless debunker, this Swift of our age, has embraced the establishment he derided. And for what? For the most laughable bauble the Conservative-led coalition could dangle in front of him: the officership of an Order of a British Empire that no longer exists. As so often, the joke is not that men sell out but how little it costs to buy them.