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November 16, 2006

Competition, Competition!

Danny Finkelstein (pbuh) is running a competition over at The Times. Which political figures have you met? Got an autograph from, dined with, walked past in the street? And do you have pictures either of the person or the event?

Hhhm, not really sure that any of these would count.

I've served dinner to Ken Livingstone (yes indeed, I was a waitron unit for many years).

Err, I've delivered the newspapers to The Queen of England (Go on, gooo on, she's a political figure, she's the Head of State!).

I've seen William Walgreave waiting at the first class end of the platform at Bath Spa while I was waiting at the second class end.

Err, Some Lib Dem MP or other used to buy me the occasional pint out in Russia. He was there to observe the second Yeltsin Presidential elections and we had the office next door.

I used to share a flat (and a house at one time) with Adrian Flook who was, later, MP for Taunton.

I met David Cameron for about 20 seconds a decade ago: didn't like the speech he gave then either.

Err, I once tried to do business with Kruschev's grandson: at least I think it was, could have been the grandson of some other blood thirsty communist leader.

I've had a pint with John Bruton in a pub in Moscow. No particular reason, we were both just there at the same time.

Err, I was once involved in a successful attempt to bribe the Prime Minister of .....but no photos of that so it probably doesn't count, does it?

Update: Oh yeah, I forgot, I was at school with Bong Bong Marcos so I saw Ferdinand and Imelda once. Nice limo BTW.

Update II: Of course, forgot, I've met Nigel Farage a few times (pub in Brussels, a Harry Ramsden's!) Godfrey Bloom etc: but then I do move in slightly eurosceptic circles. Wimps the lot of them, of course, euronihilism is the only way to go!

November 16, 2006 in Politics | Permalink


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I think you must mean the Queen of Our United Kingdom, Tim.

Posted by: dearieme | Nov 16, 2006 2:14:45 PM

Right... here goes in no particular order, these are the ones I can remember:

Chris Patten, William Waldegrave, Richard Cottrell MEP (remember him?), Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Norman Tebbit, John McGregor, Norman Fowler, Ted Heath, Michael Heseltine, Lord Carr, Jonathan Sayeed (yes him), Tony Baldry, Edward MacMillan Scott MEP, Caroline Jackson MEP, William Whitelaw, Don Foster, Lord Young of Grafham, Adrian Flook (same school), Jack Aspinall, Michael Stern, Robert Boscowen,

I give up. There were others but these were the ones I shook hands with and spoke to. Except Don Foster. Have managed to avoid shaking his hand.

Do I win?

Posted by: Mark S | Nov 16, 2006 3:41:01 PM

I once shared a railway compartment with George Brown (yes I go that far back!. He left ALL the Sunday papers strewn over the floor and seats when he got off the train at Birmingham News Street. Litter Lout.

I took part in a meeting with Eric Varley when he was Sec of State for Energy.

Hosted a site tour at Donorwic power station for a Plaid Cymru MP whose name is now long forgotten (mercifully)

I took Tony Benn round Dungeness B power station while it was under construction. We went into the clean conditions area so I got to see him in his underpants.

Spoke with Tom King, keeping the industrial correspondents at bay, during the Isle of Grain power station laggers dispute (1979 and on, and on.

Met Stephen Dorrell, while he was still a prospective candidate.

Went to a reception at Edinburgh Castle with Richard Ryder while he was Arts Minister.

Met Malcolm Rifkind at a reception in the Scottish National Gallery while he was Sec of State for Scotland. My wife asked him what his job was!

Shepherded Margaret Thatcher round a Scottish factory.

Hosted a lunch for Arts sponsors and introduced them to David Mellor, Culture Secretary.

Bumped into Robin Cook in the Usher Hall. He got under my feet (I'm 6' 4")

Met Vaclav Havel at concert in Prague.

Met Lech Walensa at concert in Warsaw.

Posted by: Geoff | Nov 16, 2006 3:45:35 PM

Oh, I forgot Edwina Currie (Is that possible!)while she was still a Birmingham Coincillor. She attended an event I orgnaised and complained to the press about the lavish hospitality provided by a nationalised company to its guests (Girobank).

Surely that's worth a prize?

Posted by: Geoff | Nov 16, 2006 3:55:15 PM

Don Foster (LibDem MP for Bath). My mum used to be his constituency manager.

Posted by: Katherine | Nov 16, 2006 4:03:04 PM

Oh, and Ian Wriggleworth (ex-MP, no one will remember him). He was sort of the 5th member of the Gang of Four, as it were, who bunked off and started the SDP.

Posted by: Katherine | Nov 16, 2006 4:05:21 PM

Katherine... I don't wish to be unkind but this is a competition to list how many political figures you've actually met. You put down just the one... And does Don Foster really count as a political figure? Ask Timmy what his views on Dear Don are.

Posted by: MarkS | Nov 16, 2006 4:32:45 PM

I've slept on Sion Simon's futon - after having dinner at his place. I was very good friends with Angela Eagle before she became out as a Lesbian, also knew her twin sister Maria (also an MP) well, though any thoughts of a bit of Siamese action are well, actionable. Been sworn at by John Grogan, had a pint with Joshua Nkomo and got drunk with the Leader of the Wessex Independence Party, the now Lord Bath.

Posted by: The Englishman | Nov 16, 2006 7:56:54 PM