And, on this page, Rosanna Greenstreet asked some movers and shakers to choose gifts with a message for those they love to hate
art critic of
art critic of the Evening Standard
Brian Sewell is famously disapproving of contemporary artists
`I'd like to give him a large tank of formaldehyde in which he can pickle his bitches'
British Gas pensioner
CEDRIC BROWN, chief executive of British Gas
British Gas has stopped funding its Christmas dinners for pensioners who worked for its London headquarters
`A bag of humbugs'
Chairman P & O European Ferries
SIR ALASTAIR MORTON, Chairman of Eurotunnel
Eurotunnel has just under 30 per cent of the tourist market, while P&O have 37 per cent
Chairman of the Stratford-on-Avon Conservative Association
ALAN HOWARTH Labour MP
Alan Howarth deserted the Conservative Party for Labour in October
`A one-way ticket to Timbuktu'
YORKSHIRE WATER CUSTOMER
who wishes to remain anonymous
TREVOR NEWTON Chairman of Yorkshire Water Services
Trevor Newton claimed not to have had a bath for three months during the drought. He later owned up to cheating - he used a relative's bathroom who didn't live in Yorkshire.
`Wet Ones wash wipes'
comedian and author of `Single Minding'
JOHN REDWOOD Conservative MP
John Redwood said in August that teenage single mothers should give up their babies for adoption
`I'd send him a packet of condoms in a jiffy bag, and when I stapled up the jiffy bag I'd accidentally-on-purpose pierce the condoms. Then he would realise that unplanned pregnancy can happen to us all'
REV CANON VIVIENNE BALL
vice provost and canon pastor of Coventry Cathedral
RICHARD CHARTRES the new Bishop of London
Richard Chartres opposes the ordination of women priests
`I'd send him a Christmas card of the shepherds arriving at the manger with a bubble coming out of their mouths saying, "It's a girl!"'
Biographer and former chairman of the Arts Council Literature Panel
VIRGINIA BOTTOMLEY Secretary of State for National Heritage
The literati feel that the lottery is being made a substitute for government funding of the arts
`A bundle of scratch cards and a few odd lottery tickets in place of salary so that she can share the dramatic uncertainties of the arts organisations she represents'
TUC General Secretary
LORD ALLEN SHEPPARD of Burger King
Burger King recently compensated 900 workers after a Glasgow employee revealed that he earned pounds 1 per hour
`A plastic holder for seven pound coins, so that he will not forget what a day's pay looked like for some of his fast food workers'
lottery scratch card winner
STEFAN BRONIEWSKI her ex-boyfriend
Stefan claimed he gave Carole pounds 1 with which to buy the card and that they had agreed to share the winnings. In July Cartman paid him an out-of-court settlement of pounds 13,000
`I'd lend him a pound so he could buy his own bloody scratch card. And if he won pounds 50,000, I'd take him to court'
the gay former lieutenant commander
NICHOLAS SOAMES Minister for the Armed Forces
When the courts upheld the Armed Forces' policy not to emply homosexuals, Nicholas Soames was, `absolutely delighted'. The Armed Forces, he explained, `do not go along with politically correct claptrap'
`I'd give him a commission in the Gay Hussars and poetry by Siegfried Sassoon. I'd also shove in a year's subscription to a GU Clinic - the ultimate claptrap!'
CHRIS HEAPS solicitor, passenger and former deputy of the London Regional Passengers Committee
SIR GEORGE YOUNG Secretary of State for Transport
To some, commuters are the `sacrificial lambs' of transport policy
`He's already got a bicycle, so I'd give him a free bus pass, transferable to all government ministers, which would enable them to travel on the buses and the underground like ordinary people - perhaps with an undertaking that they throw away their ministerial cars'
Life & Style blogs
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