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Which active UK political figures could you imagine wanting to have a pint and a chat with?

AJH and I got into a bit of a sidetrack while talking about Alan Johnson, and I threw out my old 'could you imagine having a pint and chat with this politician?' test, and we agreed that Johnson passed it. I owe that test to my father (God rest his soul), who always had a soft spot for Joe Gormley, despite being a straight arrow Tory and a long serving parish councillor.

The idea is not so much to pick ideological soulmates, or even those you could have a good argument with, but rather people who you imagine would be good company if you bumped into them in a pub. Feel free to elect for wine, a G&T etc if a beer isn't your thing.

I'll set the ball rolling by nominating Lynne Featherstone and Boris Johnson (original, eh?). And according to Wikipedia, LF's middle name is 'Choona'. Blimey.
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Anonymous ajh said... 11:48 pm

Am flattered you find my comments so interesting.

Boris does seem fascinating, incredibly knowledgable and could probably talk all day. Probably in Latin or something.

I have to include chatshow Charlie, seems a regular bloke (another irritating phrase). Im sure he'd get the drinks in.

I know I'd never want to talk to Oona King or George Galloway. For reasons too numerous to list.  

Blogger Praguetory said... 11:49 pm

I reckon David Lammy and Lorely Burt would pass if you were doing a swanky bar. Bob Marshall-Andrews and Frank Field down the pub.

I reckon Charles Clarke and David Blunkett would be up for it, but not quite pull it off. And I'd need earplugs for Ben Bradshaw and John Prescott. PS - you've just made me realise how few Tory MPs I know.  

Anonymous ajh said... 12:00 am

Im sure Bernie Grant would have be more of a man of the people type down the pub in Tottenham. I've never seen a wine bar anywhere in Harringey.

If I include ex-MP's in the Tory list, Matthew Parris definitely, and Steve Norris seems normal for a Tory.  

Anonymous rigger mortice said... 12:10 am

david lammy,he really is a smug prick,bit too much of the budvar there prague tory

going through the labour roll you'd struggle to find anyone who could laugh at themselves and to me personally that's a must.My offering-Dennis Skinner.you'd take Prezza along as someone has to be the butt of the gags.

will we have a separate thread for tories we wouldn't drink with?  

Blogger Matt Dean said... 1:30 am

I am very lucky in that having a pub,I have always enjoyed listening to what (most) of my political opponents have wanted to say and most of them have tolerated my views. Of the current crop of MPs, I would love to have a drink* with the following;
Ancram, Earl of, Rt Hon Michael (Con): to ask him about his experiences serving in opposition under Hague and share a mutual love of Wadworth 6X as brewed in his constituency. A great drinking buddy with many anodotoes of yesteryear! (Wadworth 6X)
Baker, Norman (LD) : well the Sussex Best Bitter and Pale ale are both outstanding as found on his patch but the key question would be to find out how on earth he manages to carry out so much research and be such an outstanding MP- in fact one of only 2 the Lib-Dems have (with Nick Clegg) who are actually OK…(Harvey’s Sussex Best and Pale)
Brady, Graham (Con) : To discuss how all the old dears rejected him from the seat of Southampton Itchen all those years ago! (Orange Juice!)
Cameron, Rt Hon David (Con) : must be OK as he keeps being invited to everybody drinks do’s! I have proof he drinks Brakspear and Wychwood beers; fair play! (Hobgoblin)
Kaufman, Rt Hon Sir Gerald (Lab) ; the only person left to give an insider view of the Wilson years. (white wine)
Meale, Alan (Lab); a few good stories of dissent no doubt but I once loved a girl from there very much! (mild)
Mullin, Chris (Lab) ; to thank him for ‘A very British Coup’ and ask him how he is getting on with the follow-up! (tap water)
Prescott, Rt Hon John (Lab) ; So much to talk about, so little time…(Moet… or Brandy and Babycham if Soames is on-board…)
Shapps, Grant (Con); Outstanding campaigner and signatory of Cameron leadership nomination paper- a true talent (no idea- Becks in bottles?)
Soames, Hon Nicholas (Con) ; The original Sir Bufton Tuffoton…on steroids! ( Port and Brandy)  

Anonymous rigger moritce said... 8:39 am

matt very thorough.are you sure DC didn't start drinking those ales cos he knew you were watching?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 8:51 am

Thanks everyone for your thoughts, but extra special thanks to Matt. And you are right about 6X - it is sublime.

Further thoughts on drink-worthy pols when they come to me.

Since we are also naming pub clearers, I'll nominate Bill Cash (a saintly man, but the archetypal pub bore) and Tessa Jowell who would probably lecture me on the evils of drink. Speaking of which, Teddy Taylor once stood me a pint at the Commons, even though he doesn't touch the stuff.  

Blogger Hello I'm Johnny Cash said... 12:27 pm

Nicholas soames in a Gloustershire Inn after a hard day in the saddle, he would probably down 5 pints, a bottle of port, several cognacs, feast on a side of beef, ravish the barmaid thrash an impudent stable boy then ride home for dinner (probably hanging a poacher along the way ).  

Anonymous ajh said... 5:44 pm

Brilliant description Johnny.

Frank Dobson could definitely clear a pub anywhere in London. As could south London's favourite bore, Simon Hughes.

I've heard Tony Wright is a laugh, just to redress the balance. Everyones favourite Tory other than Boris, Ken Clarke, hasnt had a mention yet.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 5:54 pm

Make that another vote for Ken Clarke.

Thinking about party leaders past and present, Alex Salmon seems like a laugh, as would Kinnock on a good day. Ditto Hague. Blair, Ming, Cameron and that dour lot from Ulster - no thanks.  

Anonymous ajh said... 6:58 pm

I was stuck in a lift once with Alex Salmond, he does seem quite normal. A bit indecisive though. I'd worry how long he takes to choose a drink then change his mind after you order, judging by his leadership of the SNP.

I was also stuck in a lift with Lembit Opek a week or so later. No, really. Portcullis House was falling apart one summer, this isnt an excuse I heard from Ron Davis.

He charmingly tried to buy my sandwich off me as it was lunchtime and he was hungry. He was very nice about it when I said no.  

Anonymous Verity said... 9:45 pm

Well, Boris is not my favourite Tory. William Hague is, and I'll bet he's wonderful company over a drink. And Michael Howard, who is articulate, quick witted and likes engaging in conversation.

I can't think of any political women I'd like to share a drink with. Nothing from the Labour trough, and I cannot think of a Tory lady I'd enjoy having a bevvie with.  

Anonymous Verity said... 9:47 pm

Hey! It includes journalists and no one's mentioned Mark Steyn! Dibs!  

Anonymous ajh said... 10:28 pm

In relation to Tory women, I'd have a drink with Julie Kirkbride, but not necessarily for her wit and conversation.

Verity, do you really think Wee Willy is the type who's good for a quiet drink or 14?!

Does John O'Farrell count? He's an ex-Guardian and Lab PPC. Funny bloke. Then there's our favourite Tory blogger mr. Dale in that journo/PPC category.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:19 pm

AJH - It's open house - feel free to claim J O'F.  

Anonymous ajh said... 5:21 pm

In that case in the journo's to avoid at all costs category, has to be Paul Dacre. Never met him, dont want to. He'd be pub bore King and the voice of the silent majority who apparently read the Mail.  

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