Virginia invents a new parlour game

Yesterday, numbers 19 and 20 on a London evening newspaper's list of "who to be seen with" at a dinner party were, respectively, Shadow Chancellor Gordon Brown and Shadow Dark Force, Peter Mandelson. They were in odd company: others in the frame included luminaries such as Nastasha Drum (sic), "tall, dark door girl at the Atlantic Bar" and Tamara Yeardye, an "ex-Voguette".

Ownership of a silly name seems to be one of the main qualifications.

But I couldn't help wondering, as Heritage questions unfolded beneath me, whether there weren't other MPs - just as deserving - who ought to be considered for inclusion. So, as they spoke, I imagined myself seated next to them for a long evening. Would one have fun?

First up to be judged on his partyability was one of Labour's residual socialists, the earnest bearded member for Islington North, Jeremy Corbyn. Mr Corbyn has four appearances: wild-haired in windcheater, neat in burgundy jacket, wild-haired in burgundy jacket and neat in windcheater. He was cross with the idea of a millennium Ferris wheel on London's South Bank, when thousands are still homeless. They, he said, would not get "excited about Ferris wheels". So he failed the test. You could envisage a couple of guilt-ridden hours listening to Jeremy complaining about the food and drink being consumed while millions starved - your glass undrained, your fork permanently poised above the foie gras.

Up bounced the ruddy, enthusiastic, bespectacled Labour member for Greenwich, Nick Raynsford. Where Corbyn was sour, Nick was sweet. The Millennium Exhibition (to be hosted in his constituency) would represent "all that's best in Britain today, and be a worthy successor to the Great Exhibition of 1851". It will also, presumably, be somewhere for the homeless to go during the day. This English Tourist Office guff would be all right for the first five minutes, while Raynsford waxed lyrical about the area he lived in, the frequency of refuse collection and the shops in his local High Street. But after ten, you'd want to kill him.

What about Dennis Skinner, much loved by right-wing journalists, who long for the days of lost Labour certainties? Dennis had worked out that loads more lottery money had gone to the Tory bits of Derbyshire than to Labour bits. So would he spend the whole of a dinner party eyeing the food suspiciously, muttering under his breath that the scallops never quite seemed to make it up to his end of the table?

Then there was the licensed rude guest, Tony Banks; the one who is always determined to be a naughty boy at the age of fifty, cracking risque jokes and threatening to take his trousers off.

He followed a sanctimonious question from Sir Michael Allison about the "Millennium Christian Village" (Probably to be built in Sir Cliff Richard's garden), with a reminder that the year 2000 would be 5757 for Jews, 1417 for Muslims, 2054 for Hindus and 1403 for someone else (Zoroastrians, I think) and that he couldn't bear the thought that - with so many millennia to be celebrated - Ginny Bottomley would be in charge of all of them.

She, of course, would be the hostess of the party. "I happen to be a Conservative", she reproved Mr Banks, "and this is a Christian country ...and this is a Christian millennium". With one answer Virginia had invented a new parlour game: Quasi Sequiturs.

You start off by saying "I am (something)", and everyone else has to guess what the second part is. How about: I am a tall man and this is short sketch?

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Consultants - OTE up to £35,000

£15000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Franchise Operations Manager - Midlands or North West

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The position will be home based...

Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent publishing and...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue