Saturday, November 07, 2009

Your Ideal Political Dinner Party

I was talking to someone the other day about the demise of the dinner party. And it set me thinking. If I held a dinner party for twelve people in politics who I know, who would I invite to guarantee the sparkiest conversation? Anyway, this is the list I came up with...

Christine Hamilton
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
Gyles Brandreth
Professor Peter Hennessy
Jeremy Paxman
Michael Cockerell
Ann Widdecombe
Emily Maitlis
Shirley Williams
Tony Benn
Professor Mary Beard


The thing is, would I get a word in edgeways? Probably not, but for once in my life I think I would enjoy just listening!

So if you were doing the inviting, who would you choose?

50 comments:

Demetrius said...

Um, I suspect I would just want to turn the music up.

Glyn H said...

Good set but Emily Maitlis must be doubtful and as for Yasmin (I can't be arsed to check how her name is spelt) is a squawk to far.

How about Mary Anne Big Head for the other baddy and Betty Boothroyd (although her biog was an awful lot of what Betty did next..)

londonmuslim said...

are you sure Emily Maitlis is being invited for a "sparky political conversation"

arthur said...

None of the above except maybe Gyles Brandreth and Ann Widdicombe.
Frederick Forsyth, Daniel Hannan, and of course Boris!

Goodwin said...

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown? Halloween was last week so you might want to plan for sometime around the next Crufts.

Not a sheep said...

Tony Benn, I would not break bread with that man.

tankus said...

Osama bin laden , and all the current cabinet , Dress code ...armed !

Ed the Shred said...

I think it would be unfair to invite Paxo to such a gathering.

Are you sure he is up to having a conversation? My impression is that his default mode is one way, like as in a preacher.

Libertarian said...

Says everything you need to know about you Mr Dale.

What a load of pompous, boring self opinionated under achieving windbags.

Prodicus said...

Roger Scruton
The lovely Trixy

The even lovelier Er Indoors
Boris Johnson

Gillian Tett
Matthew Parris

Tamzin Lightwater
Fraser Nelson

Rachel Sylvester
Rod Liddle

Shami Chakrabarti (token house-trained leftie)
Yer humble servant

No. Not a single MP.

Oscar Miller said...

George Osborne
Matthew Parris
Melanie Phillips
Michael Gove
Clarissa Dickson Wright
James Purnell
Hazel Blears
Rory Stewart
Laura Kuensberg
Sayeeda Warsi
Ayan Hirsi Ali
and Iain Dale of course

David said...

Andrew Neil
Alister Campbell
Gerry Adams
Ian Paisley
Michael Portillo
Diane Abbott.
Iain Dale (as long as he does not secretly tweet under the table)
Kenneth Clarke
Nigel Lawson.

Thorpe said...

(Assuming that among the living, I could resurrect dead people, not that I have Godlike powers...)

Winston Churchill
Teddy Roosevelt
Chinggis Khan
Margaret Thatcher
Charles de Gaulle
Alexander the Great
Leon Trotsky
Ernest Shackleton
L Ron Hubbard
Martin Luther King
Jesus Christ
...and me, to listen in.

The Grim Reaper said...

I'd invite Kerry McCarthy. Mainly so I could throw a meat pie at her.

seebag said...

Not another list. Please place me on your list (you must have one) of people who have stopped reading your blog and taken you off their favourites list.

Iain Dale said...

Seebag, if only I had known it was that simple. Bye then.

Paul Linford said...

Wasn't there an old Tory joke about the reverse concept, ie the dinner party from hell, in which the hostess greets each guest with the words: "Do come in, Sir Geoffrey's on sparkling form tonight."

Gallimaufry said...

Have you checked your invitees to establish whether they are vegetarian, vegan, gluten intolerant, allergic to certain foods, follow religious diets, or simply don't like pot noodle? I find it easier to ask guests to bring sandwiches.

John Moss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

How about having?

Gordon Brown
John Wilkes Booth
Jose Manuel Barosso
Ramon Mercador (with Ice Axe of Course)
Harriet Harman
Lee Harvey Oswald
David Cameron
John Bellingham
Anthony Charles Lyndon Blair
Marcus Junius Brutus

Jabba the Cat said...

Why anyone would sit and listen voluntarily to Alibaba Brown talking her usual drivel is quite beyond me.

paulstpancras said...

My choice:

Anita Anand
Peter Oborne
Lady Helena Kennedy
Charles Kennedy
Naomi Klein
Timothy Garton Ash
Shirley Williams
Bianca Jagger
Rhod Sharpe
Tim Franks
Michele Obama

Does it matter who I am? said...

Gordon Brown
Alister Darling
Jack Straw
Harriet Harman
Ed Balls
Jacqui Smith
Peter Mandleson
Peter Hain
David Blunkett
Beatrix Campbell
Keith Vaz
Tony McNulty
Vernon Coaker

Venue:The Fat Duck, Bray, Berkshire, as featured in:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/sep/10/fat-duck-food-poisoning-sewage

Unfortunately, the table available is not big enough to invite the rest of the deserving participants

thespecialone said...

Anyone who drinks copious red wine, loves real ale and likes a few malt whiskies. Oh and Dawn Primarolo to try and tell us all how bad we are for drinking more than 21/14 units in one night. Then she gets pissed having half a shandy!

As an ex-navy man. Definitely any MP who is ex-service and let the wine flow to know what they really think about government defence policy. There is an old service saying...what goes on in the mess, stays in the mess (as long as it is quite legal of course!).

Anyone serve in Germany been to a mess dinner and ended up having a fruhstuck???

Chekov said...

David Cameron
Liam Fox
Vladimir Putin
Mikhail Saakashvili


Ho hum.

Unsworth said...

None of the above.

tapestry said...

David Trimble
Owen Paterson
Douglas Carswell
John Heyes
Roger Helmer
oh yes and of course Iain Dale himself - the only one I haven't had dinner with previously.

And with my selection Iain you would be able to talk as well as listen. The bullshit factor would be absent. You might find yourself learning a few things.

If there are to be females,

Theresa May
Kate Moss
Cheryl Cole
Edna Everidge

Warsteiner said...

John Redwood ? Douglas Carswell ? William Hague ? and to be honest, I would like to shoot the breeze with George Osborne-I really want to know his angle on the financial mess we're in

John Moss said...

Michael Burleigh
Niall Ferguson
Michael Gove

to discuss islamism and fanatism generally

Clarissa Dickson-Wright
Anne Widdecombe
Lord Terry Burns

to discuss hunting

Ronnie Corbett
Alan Carr
Shazia Mirza

to tell funny stories

and Emily Maitliss just to sit next to me!

killemallletgodsortemout said...

Boris (Buffoon)
Nick Griffin & Yasmin Alibaba (The entertainment)

Matthew Parris (Gay lobby)

Old Holborn
The Beast Of Clerkenwell
Rantin Rab
Old Rightie
(For some sense of decorum)

Quentin Letts - brilliant write up of the party.
Paxo - sneer factor

Kirsty Squawk - to see if she speaks better when she is pissed

Michael Martin - someone to beat up when they all get pissed.

True Belle said...

Stephen Fry
Prince Phillip
Emily Maitlis
Shami Chakrabarti
Diane Abbott.
Russell Brand
Alan Carr
Kirsty Young
Ian Hislop

And IAIN DALE, who will report on the guest list and the conversations and fall outs that I am sure will happen. Or have I got news for you!

MikeyP said...

DoesItMatter: 8:29
You forgot Klaus von Stauffenberg!

Frugal Dougal said...

Like you:

Tony Benn
Christine Hamilton

And:

David Cameron
Gillian Anderson
Matthew D'Ancona
Paul O' Grady
Paul McCartney
Stephen Hawking
Richard Normington
David Bellamy
(And of course yourself)

Moriarty said...

If it's "not getting a word in edgeways" you're after why not just stick at Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. You could just have her on a loop.

Daniel Earwicker said...

From Tony Benn's diaries I got the distinct impression that Shirley Williams is almost brain-dead, though this may just be a bitter Labour left vs Labour right thing. Might be amusing to put them next to each other so they can have a nice chat about nuclear power and oooh, I don't know, party loyalty?!

denverthen said...

That list is just weird. Maybe it's just designed to provoke comment.

Oh, I fell for it. Durr.

Cazzy Jones said...

I am reminded of the comment made by Reggie Perrin in the original, when told to cancel his dinner party with Mr & Mrs CJ because of his wife's illness, but deciding instead to invite David Harris-Jones, Davina Letts-Wilkinson and his Uncle Percy Spillinger: "if that doesn't put the cat amongst the pigeons, I don't know what will". Applying those principles: -

Simon Heffer
Jo Brand
Danny Finkelstein
Ruth Lea
Richard Littlejohn
Polly Toynbee
Matthew Parris
Edwina Currie
Christopher Booker
Shirley Williams
Al Gore
Susan Greenfield

Let those feathers fly!

................................. said...

Michael Howard
Alistair Campbell
George Osborne
Peter Mandelson
Peter Hitchens
Christopher Hitchens
Prof. David Nutt
Mary Whitehouse

Yes, I realise I'd probably have to use paper/plastic tableware...

John said...

Jesus... Yasmin Alibhai-Brown???

If you wanted a racist at the table why not just go straight to the source and invite Nick Griffin?

Squiffy said...

I think I would go for:

Harold Wilson
Margaret Thatcher
David Starkey
Tony Benn
Claire Short
Douglas Murray
Lance Price
Edwina Currie
Kenneth Clarke
David Owen
Germaine Greer
Professor Peter Hennessy

Please let it happen!

The Grim Reaper said...

I would invite Harry Hill, yourself and He Who Shalt Not Be Named. You know, the crap blogger who is always slagging you off under his "Mental" pseudonym. Or some name along those lines. The one Dizzy refers to as Lassie - you know who I'm talking about.

There's only one way to sort this out... FIGHT!

strapworld said...

I would wish to learn what my guests do not like so I can arrange the menu accordingly.

Initially I would just like an intimate one to one dinner party and my first guest would have to be Gordon Brown.

Having discovered his least favourite dish,I would serve it with a flourish. With just a little extra helping of garlic!

He will discover plenty of wine, (bought from Lidl or Aldi), decanted into the more expensive looking bottles, from the evening before! Plenty of Brandy and Whisky -just to get his tongue loose!

Of course the room will have plenty of microphones and hidden camera's to catch his every word- so I can reveal to the world those secrets he may well tell me.

My next one to one guest would have to be Blair, followed by David Cameron during which Cameron will finally tell me what drugs he took and what political party he feels more attachment to, as it certainly cannot be the Tory party!

Twig said...

If you're going to invite Shirly Williams, then drop YAB and Benn replace with Christopher Hitchens and Salman Rushdie.

neil craig said...

Nigel Farage, George Galloway, Richard Branson

If English speaking foreigners were to be allowed in:
Le Kuan Yew
Professor Laffer
Sarah Palin
Newt Gingrich
Professor Fred Singer

not an economist said...

Robert Murphy - American Austrian economist who thinks the stimuli packages and bank bailouts have gone way too far.

Paul Krugman - an American economist in the NY Times who thinks the stimuli and bailout packages haven't gone far enough.

Peter Schiff - to provide morale and ideoligical support to Murphy.

Nigel Lawson.

Melanie Phillips

David Starkey

Roger Scruton

Gordon Brown - just to give him the chance to learn sthg.

Ronald said...

As I am unable to get my mind out of the cess pit my first thought was there is only one woman on the list that I would want to stay for afters.

Alcuin said...

Far too many of those have seriously impaired moral compasses (Benn, Yasmin, Hamilton, Williams), and such a confused, inconsistent and muddled world view as to make you wonder which way the world turns round. What you need to balance the nutters is a serious historian, like Sir Martin Gilbert.

For a real bunfight, why not ask Chomsky, Pilger and Red Ken?

Pogo said...

I'd pay good money not to attend!

James said...

Lady Thatcher - I've got questions about Poll Tax and Nurses Pay

Churchill - For advice on how to deral with Nazis

Nick Griffin - So Churchill can slap him and make him apolgise for the slur on his name

Kenneth Williams - The man was a God, genius and very good at a dinner party

David Cameron - I need some champagne autographed

Christopher Biggins - Star quality

Michael Caine - To discuss social inequality

Boris Johnson - Another damn fine fellow

Bonnie Greer - Impressed by her on QT

My mum and dad - Add some normal, everyday edge to the chat

Monty - I want some insights into figthing the Desert Fox

The Iraqi Information Minister - Remember him????

Sound fun?

Jonforest said...

The only way I would want to go for a dinner with Yasmin A-B present is if she was on the menu - though I suspect she would be a bit gristley.