Spin Doctor! It's just a game

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The Independent Online
WELCOME to Spin Doctor!, the entertaining new board game for discerning Sunday newspaper readers. Besides providing hours of rib-tickling amusement and moments of genuine excitement, Spin Doctor! will also serve as a useful reminder and guide to some of the more outstanding events of 1995 without making the irritating demands on memory of the conventional form of disguised newspaper news reviews of the year, The Quiz.

As you can see, Spin Doctor! bears a passing resemblance to that old favourite, Snakes and Ladders. Players cast themselves in the role of the spin doctor and proceed through the year and around the board relying on the luck of the dice (the similarity to real life is intentional). The squares contain good and bad news for your clients, to be rewarded accordingly.

Your counters, bearing the names and faces of your role models, Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell from Labour, Charles Lewington, the new Tory man, Sir Tim Bell, the perennial Tory man, Charles Anson, of Buckingham Palace, and, of course, Max Clifford, are printed to the right. Simply cut them out and, using skills acquired through watching Blue Peter, stick them to bits of cereal packet cut out for the purpose. In product testing, Mr Mandelson did particularly well. Provide your own dice. Throw a six to start; alternatively, in the best traditions of your profession, convince the other players that a lesser number is just as good as a six. Happy Spinning!

FINISH!

Well Spun! Now work on that turkey!

And just when you think you've made it, you slip on a fish. Go on, get down that fat cat with the pounds 5m pension!

Fergie loses those jewels. The Queen of Hearts. Royal divorce. This patient may be beyond spin medicine. Snake.

More lottery trouble. Free trips, Richard Branson,

aaaarrggh!

FINISH! Land here and you've won. The hair marks the spot of that Panorama interview. But

there may be

a price...

Canadian DJ hoaxes palace spinners and is put through to Queen. Snake.

Ah, those Railtrack timetables. And we haven't had the leaves or the wrong type of snow yet.

Your clients are claret importers, onion sellers and Pacific islanders: yes, it's those French nuclear tests!

How can you be too gung-ho for a Tory Party conference? Spin despair as Polly Portillo blows it!

Alan Howarth joins Labour. Can't think why the artist has put a snake there.

John Gummer, tough client,

urging water

saving, loses temper when asked the colour of his washing-up bowl (and doesn't know).

Down!

Oh, Calamity! The Rev Chris Brain and The Nine O'Clock Service. Naught to do but go with the serpent.

Talking of men

with floppy hair: Hugh Grant, and Divine Brown. We give you, as spin doctors, a rare chance to make a moral decision: snake or ladder?

John Major wins Tory leadership. A brave campaign on that record. Redwood, Portillo outflanked. Up! But watch out for man with blond, floppy hair.

Will Carling

remains England rugby captain

despite calling the Twickers high-ups "old farts". Up you go! September, though, will be more difficult. Think gym.

Help! US space shuttle is

delayed after woodpeckers drill 135 holes in it, completely undeterred by plastic owls.

The perfect client, with

hardly a

worry

these 30 years. Arise and take Sir Cliff up that

ladder!

Ultimate spin nightmare: Jonathan Aitken's man faxes wrong number with

advice that the gig is nearly up. And we get the fax. Big slither!

Is it worth winning the Lottery? You'd better believe it. But Mark Gardiner, winner, hated by girlfriends, wives mothers (adopted and original) and everyone, gives

pause

The perfect spin: Mr Tony

Blair rewrites Clause 4 after widely touted but mostly imaginary struggle.

And now Ken Clarke confesses he's never used a calculator! Put your head in your hands and take that snake again!

Damage

control is hard

when you're deputy governor of the Bank of England and an ex-lover says you made love in the Governor's washroom. Down you go, Rupert Pennant- Rea!

Stunning

coup for John Birt: the BBC sells all 158 episodes of Eldorado

to Russia.

Rungs!

Oh, dear. Kenneth Clarke thinks the Consett steel works is still open.

START

Whoops! William Waldegrave, Agriculture Minister, has a farm. And on that farm, we reveal, they are selling calves for live export to Holland.

That's better for government spinners: widow Mrs Elsie Bushen of Torquay leaves pounds 2m to the Treasury to help pay off the national debt. Climb that ladder!

But the month's real winner is Eric Cantona, whom you make a martyr after he kicks Crystal Palace fan. Up those rungs!

Play the

bit-of-a-lad card after it is revealed that John Major was once toyboy to a divorced Streatham mum.

Up you go!

Let's be positive about Stephen Fry's disappearance: the play wouldn't have lasted long anyway; and Simon Gray gets a wonderfully bitchy book out of it. Climb!

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