Are you a regular guy?
William Hague is to be reinvented as an ordinary bloke by his new spin doctor Amanda Platell. Does he have what it takes to become one of the people? Do you? Test your man-in-the-street cred in our exclusive questionnaire
Tuesday 13 April 1999
When you hear the word "Sheffield", do you immediately think of:
b) Your canteen of hallmarked fish cutlery?
c) "Six seats, five Labour, one Lib Dem, ie Sheffield Hallam, present incumbent Richard Allan, 8271 majority last election, possible marginal for 2001?
As far as you know, Catatonia is:
a) a Welsh rock band with a rather splendid girl singer;
b) a form of schizophrenia involving seizure, trance, loss of consciousness and rigidity of the body;
c) an entirely familiar state that follows a select committee report on Euro number plates.
Meeting people (1)
At a fundraising dinner, you are introduced to someone called Patel. Do you say:
a) "I'm delighted to meet one of the new breed of Asian entrepreneurs who are injecting so much vital new blood into the British economy"?
b) "Forty Marlboro Lights and one of those throwaway lighters, please"?
c) "Are you related to my new Director of Communications?"
Meeting people (2)
You are in a nasty pub. The landlord is covered in tattoos. The bar is covered in broken glass. The darts players are throwing arrows at each other. Someone has taken a sledgehammer to the juke box. Suddenly, a drunk lurches to his feet, comes over, sticks his face uncomfortably close to yours and says, "What you looking at?". Would you reply:
a) "I've no idea. The label must have dropped off"?
b) "Put your dukes up, you steaming pile of ordure"?
c) "You're looking at a new kind of conservatism, a new face of conservatism, more responsive to what people actually feel, more alert to the very real needs of modern Britain. Does that answer your question?"
After an evening's drinking and discussing football, cars and Eva Herzigova with your mates, you feel like a little snack. Do you most fancy:
a) a doner kebab?
b) a dozen No 1 oysters at Wheeler's of Duke St?
c) a peanut butter sandwich? Oh, and some custard creams as well.
What is the biggest EastEnders crisis currently under discussion:
a) Whether Melanie should have let her flatmate Ian snog her, when she obviously isn't That Kind of Girl?
b) Why all the cast are leaving to pursue abortive singing careers?
c) Whether a new mayor will hold executive, or merely advisory, powers over the infrastructural budgets in the more problematic, outlying wards of the metropolis?
If someone asks you, "What did you think of the Pollocks?", do you reply:
a) "Is that what we had for lunch? I assumed it was cod..."?
b) "Stunning, apocalyptic, marvellous. His use of paint is, in a very real sense, beyond painting..."?
c) "I'm sorry, I rarely listen to anything Kenneth Clarke says these days"?
How do regular guys order a pint of bitter in a pub:
a) "Pint of Abbot please. Straight glass"?
b) "Come landlord, set me a stoup of your finest Theakston's Hand-Pulled Olde Farte, that I may quaff my fill"?
c) "Can I have some beer please? No I haven't got my identity card. Oh all right, just some Tizer then"?
With which leisure pursuit is the word "rubber" associated:
a) Bungee jumping?
c) Eating chicken?
Which of the following statements is most representative of you:
a) "I drive a Ford Mondeo because I am a regular kinda guy, neither too flash nor too conservative"?
b) "I drive a Mitsubishi Shogun because I like to be at least a foot higher than anybody else on the road"?
c) "I drive a Fiat because it helps me remember my wife's first name"?
What does the phrase "Kitchen-table conservatism" mean to you? Is it:
a) a forum, at once convivial and domestic, where important political issues can be debated at a grass-roots level in language that all can understand, without spin, bias or party rhetoric?
b) a sort of lower-class dinner party where people complain that the rubbish collectors in their street seem to be working rather awkward hours?
c) a place where you tell your wife how you plan to stay in power for the rest of the week?
You are due a holiday in August. Will you plump for:
a) two weeks in Ibiza, with lots of para-gliding, jet-skiing, and dozens of tequila slammers on the beach?
b) a month at Floors Castle, Scotland, tramping the moors with the Duke and Duchess and one or two good beaters?
c) a motoring tour of 19th-century electoral registers in the North Riding of Yorkshire?
You have retired to bed with a 48-hour virus and been ordered to do no work, though a little light comfort reading is allowed. Would you turn to:
a) What Ho, Jeeves by PG Wodehouse?
b) Fermat's Last Theorem by Simon Singh
c) The Collected Works of Walter Bagehot (Vols 1-8) edited by NAF St John-Stevas?
Imagine yourself, in the fullness of time, having three children. Will you name them:
a) James, Elizabeth and Max?
b) Beauregard, Ptolemy and Thor?
c) Winston, Margaret and Enoch?
What is your opinion of the Notting Hill Carnival?
a) It's a chance for Londoners of all ages, classes and colour to mingle in the streets and share the vibe in a wild, democratic party atmosphere, derived from the traditional "mas" carnivals of the Caribbean.
b) It's a shocking racket, it's full of drug dealers and pissed low-lifes, and it forces decent local residents to relocate to Madeira for three days.
c) An amusing occasion, but one that in no way eclipses the excitement of the Oswestry Young Conservatives' Charity Hop in the summer of 1985, with music by the Squadronaires.
You harbour a secret passion for the mediababe of the moment. Is she...
a) Denise Van Outen
b) Anthea Turner
c) Amanda Platell
You are pushing 40. Which childhood pin-up decorated your bedroom wall?
a) Farrah Fawcett
b) Sally James
c) Margaret Thatcher
Who is your current sporting hero?
a) Prince Naseem Hamed
b) David Ginola
c) Sebastian Coe
How did you score?
Mostly a) You seem a decent sort of chap, right-thinking, straight-dealing, sussed and modern. Ever thought of going into politics?
Mostly b) You have some way to go if you want to be considered truly ordinary. Bit of attitude-striking here, bit of elitism and pretension there. I'm afraid that neither of the major parties would want you.
Mostly c) Congratulations. You're William Hague.
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