Caption competition

I have just been filing some photographs that have been lingering for rather a long time as e-mail attachments.  There is rather a large number.  I thought I would share some of them with readers (no thanks necessary) and to begin the process I am reproducing one as the basis for a caption competition.

Some years ago, while he was still Vice-President of the European Commission – and shortly before he rejoined the Cabinet – Peter Mandelson came to speak to the Centre for British Politics at Hull University.   I chaired the meeting and the picture shows the then Mr Mandelson saying something to me.  I cannot remember what it was.  Any suggestions?


About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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39 Responses to Caption competition

  1. Wannabeexpatlaments says:

    ‘So tell me Lord Norton, how many people who have resigned from the Cabinet twice become Cabinet ministers for a third time?’

  2. ken batty says:

    1) So Lord Norton, when did you discover you had no legs ?
    2) I look down on him because I am have a big department; he looks up at me because he only has a little one
    3) Is there any reason why we are both on the same side of this table?
    4) Lord of Darkness meets Peter Mandelson
    5) I can recommend my toupee manufacturer

  3. franksummers3ba says:

    1. I saw you eyeing the water bottle. I have this pen and I am prepared to use it!
    2. You left this pen on my chair and now you are willing to smile innocently? These trowsers were made by the King of the Belgians’ tailor.
    3. European politics is about grography. If Lord Norton will allow me I will draw a simple map on his scalp — Philip?

  4. Carl.H says:

    £373,000 that`ll just about buy you a passport or part of the Millenium Dome. I`m not staying here to be insulted, I can go anywhere for that, I`m off for a drink with Gordon & Tony, real friends.

  5. Carl.H says:

    How about a competition to redo your site, or at least get your man to make some simple changes. Set the background a dark colour, gives definition to the page and put in a picture appropriate to Lord Norton.

    Quick example :

  6. ladytizzy says:

    “Don’t be ridiculous, Philip. You don’t have the right face to be the President of the European Council”

  7. Chris K says:

    “Ever been on a yacht, Lord Norton?.”

  8. Lord Norton says:

    Excellent. Some of these are hilarious. Do keep them coming. I may award a prize.

  9. Carl.H says:

    “Upper House ? What twaddle any fool can be a member!”

    “Oleg`s or Larry Ellison`s for dinner, what do you think ?”

    “When you said Hull I was at least thinking yacht.”

    ” And on the third day I shall rise.”

  10. ladytizzy says:

    “Praying won’t help.”

  11. ladytizzy says:

    “Does my tum look big in this?”

  12. David Rostron says:

    When you annouced the ‘Prince of Darkness’ would speak the students seem to be expecting Ossie Osbourne.

    Will I be invited back when I’m Prime Minister

  13. Carl.H says:

    “Igor fetch the carriage, it`s nearly sunrise.”

  14. Croft says:

    Is LM saying – “When I usually enter a room they shower the floor with rose petals and play Handel’s Messiah.”

    Perhaps LN you were asking him to autograph a copy of the ‘The Big Red Book of New Labour Sleaze’

  15. Jana says:

    LM: (in hushed whisper) “What was my name, again?”

  16. Liam says:

    ‘Ah! A Tory! Who let you in here?’

    ‘You really don’t think universities should all be privatised? How astonishing!’

    ‘… then I told Tony, “Just leave Gordon alone, or: I’ll tell the press what you did to Humphrey the cat; I’ll swap all the sugar in the sugar bowls of number 10 to salt; and I may — if I get really upset — kick you in the goolies.”‘

  17. Liam says:

    ‘Typical Conservative, you’ve got your facts completely wrong, Barbie Goes to College was introduced in 1964 not 1965. You’re thinking of Astronaut Barbie.’

  18. Carl.H says:

    “Please get it right, it`s
    The Right Honourable Baron Mandelson of Foy in the county of Herefordshire and Hartlepool in the county of Durham, Lord President of the Council, First Secretary of State, and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Honorary Freeman of the borough of Hartlepool.”

    • Lord Norton says:

      Carl.H: Except, of course, he isn’t Lord Mandelson of Foy in the county of Herefordshire and Hartlepool in the county of Durham. There is an all-important comma missing!

  19. Carl.H says:

    I`m afraid I copied and pasted the title from another site, not very many of the 45 afore mentioned words enter into a conversation when I talk about him.
    On checking relevent pages online I find no different….

    I would imagine a lot of people know where his colon is but to his comma, please do tell ?

  20. djb13 says:

    Is Lord Mandelson asking Lord Norton why it is that all four people have been lined up from left to right by how likely it is that they also go by the name ‘Lord Evil’?

  21. Lord Norton says:

    I can’t help noticing that following mention of a possible prize the number of responses increased! I am rather spoilt for choice. There are some excellent suggestions. I was rather tempted to give the prize to Carl.H but then I realised his ‘Don’t worry, this man knows the answer..’ wasn’t actually a suggestion for the caption.

    Do readers have any favourites?

    • franksummers3ba says:

      Both deft and democratic today Lord Norton. Croft is not the only one who play at “refer and defer” we see.

      • Lord Norton says:

        franksummers3ba: Exactly. If I choose a winner, I become popular with one person and unpopular with all the others. If I leave it to the readers to choose, they have only themselves to blame.

    • Liam says:

      Are we deciding a winner via FPTP or AV voting? As if you need to answer that. 😉

      My vote is for Ken Batty’s response, although I had the biggest laugh at your reply to Frank Summers. You could give the prize to yourself, which strikes me as quite a Mandelsonian thing to do.

      Another lame attempt at a caption from me:

      I don’t have bad breath, do I, Phillip?

      The chap on the left is thinking, ‘Hah! Thank goodness he isn’t asking me.’ while you’re cringing due to the appalling stench and trying to quickly think of a good answer, while the chap on the right is thinking, ‘Please don’t ask me next, please don’t ask me next.’

      • franksummers3ba says:

        My memory grows dim on conventions in British sport reporting. However, as a US sportswriter (inactive) we give credit and keep stats for assists. Therefore I would sort of see this as giving me a one to LN’s three or something on your score. Of course, still below KB though.

      • Lord Norton says:

        Liam: I like your way of thinking (about the prize, that is)….
        For the avoidance of doubt (and any legal action) I should report that Lord Mandelson’s breath is fine! For the record, the ‘chap on the left’ is Dr Rudi Wurzel, Director of the Centre for European Union Studies, and the ‘chap on the right’ is Dr Matt Beech, Co-Director of the Centre for British Politics.

    • Chris K says:

      Liam’s barbie doll one.

  22. Carl.H says:

    David Rostron`s
    Will I be invited back when I’m Prime Minister

    Made me lol.

  23. franksummers3ba says:

    While i really think we should consult at least the UN and possibly both the IOC and the Vatican about protocols fo candidate voter pools I will plunge ahead anyway:

    First place for unassissted goals:
    So Lord Norton, when did you discover you had no legs ?

    First place overall:
    Ever been on a yacht, Lord Norton?.”
    With credited assisst:
    “When you said Hull I was at least thinking yacht.”

  24. David Rostron says:

    A late addition :
    “I may be as important as I think I am”

  25. AlaninLondon says:

    I think the selection from Ken Batty was hilarious…..of course!

  26. Ken Batty says:

    Can you vote for yourself – its site run by Norton, of course you can vote for yourself. So I thought my answers were best. What might I win?

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