And, on this page, Rosanna Greenstreet asked some movers and shakers to choose gifts with a message for those they love to hate

SARAH KENT

art critic of

Time Out

TO

BRIAN SEWELL,

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'

ROY JONES

British Gas pensioner

TO

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'

GRAEME DUNLOP

Chairman P & O European Ferries

TO

SIR ALASTAIR MORTON, Chairman of Eurotunnel

Eurotunnel has just under 30 per cent of the tourist market, while P&O have 37 per cent

`Stress counselling'

DON RUSHTON

Chairman of the Stratford-on-Avon Conservative Association

TO

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

TO

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'

HELEN LEDERER

comedian and author of `Single Minding'

TO

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

TO

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!"'

MICHAEL HOLROYD

Biographer and former chairman of the Arts Council Literature Panel

TO

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'

JOHN MONKS

TUC General Secretary

TO

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'

CAROLE CARMAN

lottery scratch card winner

TO

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'

DUNCAN LUSTIG-PREAN

the gay former lieutenant commander

TO

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

TO

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'

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