Friday, April 03, 2009

Liveblogging The Rotten State of Britain quiz draw

The party is beginning to break up.

Thank you to everyone who took part and congratulations to the three winners. I shall be emailing you to ask for your full addresses.

I shall stay at the Hall for a while and help Lord Bonkers and Meadowcroft finish the Rutland champagne.

Good night.

Hazel probes the deepest recesses of the top hat and emerges with the third winner:

Charles Steward

Lord Bonkers remarks: Isn't he the chap who his up an oak tree?

The lovely Hazel has drawn the second winner:

Sue Richardson

And she's from Shropshire!

I think that was a betting slip left over from the Oakham races.

Hazel Grove tries again and the first winner is...

Jonathan Hill

Always nice to see a Jonathan doing well.

And the winner of the first copy of The Rotten State of Britain is....

Rutland Lad in the 2.30
5/- each way

We are back at the Hall, where Miss Fearn has made everyone "a nice cup of tea" and calmed their nerves.

Following a sensible suggestion in the comments, all the correct entries have been printed off and placed in Lord Bonkers' top hat.

Hazel Grove, her dress even further off the shoulder, has come forward to draw the first winner.

While we are waiting, here are Steeleye Span to sing "The Lowlands of Mulholland".

I am writing this in the Bonkers Arms where Meadowcroft has kindly bought me a pint of Smithson & Greaves Northern Bitter. (He warned me against the gassy Dahrendorf lager.)

We are staying here until things have been sorted out at the Hall. I should like to take this opportunity of thanking the men and horses of the Rutland Fire Brigade for their speedy response, though I am not sure the ARSE will ever be the same again.

We shall stay here until they are ready for us again at the Hall.

So Hazel Grove presses the button again. The machine lights up, the needles on the dials flicker, a steady hum is heard and

There appears to be blue smoke coming out of the ARSE. It's making it difficult to see my keybrod or evenn breeth

More apologies. The lovely Hazel pressed the switch, the lights went out and my laptop died.

But we are back now, Lord Bonkers had given orders for the boilers to be stoked and ready to go.

The ARSE is all connected up. The Professor of Hard Sums invites Hazel Grove to press the switch and

And here he is!

Stopping only to remove his cycle clips, the Revd Hughes takes his place beside the ARSE.

The chaps from the University of Rutland at Belvoir push their glasses up their noses. They clearly mean business.

Good news!

I have just been informed that the Revd Hughes has left St Asquith's by fast bicycle and will be with us shortly.

I am sorry about this.

But the delay does give me time to tell you about an incident involving the author of The Rotten State of Britain. Eamonn Butler was being interviewed by Canadian TV this morning. Iain Dale quotes his description of what happened:

There I was, this morning, doing an interview in the office for a Canadian TV station (they took shots of The Rotten State of Britain to use, and asked for a copy too). We'd finished the inside shots, so we went outside to do some set-ups of me walking down the street.

After about 2 minutes up screeched a red police car, and two armoured officers got out to ask our business. Pretty obvious, I'd have thought, since the cameraman had a huge camera on a tripod and the interviewer was carrying one of these big microphones like a shaggy dog. But they had to provide identification and fill in forms – name, address, date of birth, height...

Sure, we're in Westminster, but I wouldn't have thought that Church House, where we are, is a particularly sensitive building.

The cameraman suggested that it was obvious what we were doing, and why did he need to fill in his details. The police officer explained that since we were on at least four different security cameras, they just had to go through the procedure.

It just shows what a rotten state Britain is in.

While we are waiting for the Revd Hughes let me give the answers to the quiz

1. In which town was Adam Smith born?

The answer is Kirkcaldy.

2. Which Scottish Football League team plays its home games there?

Raith Rovers

3. Who was arrested outside the entrance to Downing Street on 18 June 2006 for carrying a placard saying: "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act"?

The answer we had in mind was Steve Jago. Some sources suggest that a Barbara Tucker was also present, so we won't object if she is mentioned too.

4. What is the name of the proposed government database that will hold details of every child in England?

ContactPoint (It was previously the Information Sharing Index. If they bring me any more Rutland champagne with these delicious canapes I may allow that too.)

5. Who was appointed to head the Better Hospital Food project in 2000? (Correct spelling please.)

Loyd Grossman. Any boy who wrote "Lloyd": see me afterwards.

Still waiting for the Reverend Hughes.

I am passing the time chatting with Philip "Whoopi" Goldenberg.

As the sun sets over Rutland Water with a loud hiss, we welcome you to Bonkers Hall for the draw of the winners of Liberal England's book quiz. There are three copies of The Rotten State of Britain to go to the lucky winners.

Lord Bonkers is here, having spent most of the day at the Bonkers' Home for Well-Behaved Orphans "negotiating with some American woman who drives a hard bargain".

As promised, Hazel Grove is here, wearing what I am told is an off the shoulder evening dress with a repeated Bird of Liberty motif. (A long way off, if you ask me.)

And a number of men in dashing anoraks have arrived from the Department of Hard Sums at the University of Rutland. They have with them a stack of computers, screens and dials. Together they make up their Automatic Random Selector for E-mails - or ARSE for short.

The Ballroom at the Hall is thronged with the great and good of the Liberal Democrats and Rutland society.

The only person we are waiting for is the Reverend Hughes.


ceedee said...

The country waits with bated breath...

ceedee said...

Am I the only stupid bugger 'watching' this exciting event?

ceedee said...

Who'd put there trust in modern technology?
Haven't you got lots of bits of paper and a top hat to hand?

ceedee said...

Look, I don't mean to hurry you but the dog is hassling to be taken for it's walk...

ceedee said...

Nipped out with the dog and missed all the excitement...
Good to hear the ARSE won't survive.
Less pleased with Steeleye Span -- if it's "the" Meadowcroft, get him to blow you a tune or two?

Settling down in nervous anticipation...

ceedee said...

Congrats to all.

Frank Little said...

The Rutland champagne seems to have got to you before posting the last message. Or was it the Smithson & Greaves? My father always said, never mix the grape and the hop.

Jonathan Calder said...

Upon sober reflection I have corrected the spelling in the last message.