Another caption competition – Mandelson again

The previous caption competition, featuring Lord Mandelson, attracted some excellent entries.  The winning entry (or rather entries) was submitted by Ken Batty; he got the most votes, including his own.  

Not being one to lose the opportunity to milk a successful formula, and having several pictures of the seminar addressed by the then Vice-President of the European Commission, I thought I would invite readers’ suggestions as to what Peter Mandelson may be saying to my colleague, Dr Rudi Wurzel.   Alternatively, feel free to suggest what I may be saying.

I thought I would also add to the challenge by including a quiz question.  Compare this picture with the one previously posted.   How would you know that this shot was taken when I was introducing the speaker and not concluding the session?

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About Lord Norton

Professor of Government at Hull University, and Member of the House of Lords
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24 Responses to Another caption competition – Mandelson again

  1. franksummers3ba says:

    1.Recalling a time when even Lord Norton failed to check the facts — Mandelson:
    ” I see he has this electronic keyboard on the podium damn it…”
    Lord Norton
    “Before speaking President Mendelssohn will play his grandfather’s most famous piece for us I hope.”
    2. Leaving out all the amusing and threfore uncharitable reasons I would deduce that the water bottle looks prisitin and that this overdetermined by the fold pattern in cloth and the microphone poition which are all relatively more pristine.

  2. franksummers3ba says:

    2. Additional and most of all Mandeslon place card would be more likely to disappear than to be placed in order in mid speech.

  3. kenbatty says:

    I shall be claiming my prize later – I hope its not the usual remaindered copies of some edited number with a chapter by the Lord himself….I have all of those.
    As to the mystery, its obviously before Mandelson speaks because no one is asleep.
    As for the captions Frank Summers has some good ones but here goes:-
    >> Try not to look too bored – it’s his “i have a dream” speech
    >> Do you think this is the button to make him shut up
    >>Typical Norton, a bottle but no damn glasses

    As I am going on holiday I will vote for myself now.

  4. ladytizzy says:

    PM: “Do you know what my granddaddy did in the war?”

    How would you know that this shot was taken… You had more hair in this photo? Or, as Frank notes above, Mandy’s seating card is whipped away in the previous photo, hence:

    “Mark my words: by the time Norton sits down he won’t be the only Lord in the village.”

  5. Ashley Roden-Bow says:

    It’s definitely the placecard that’s different… I was there and have a vague memory of Mr Mandelson (as he was then) knocking it off, looking confused, then carrying on.

  6. Catherine says:

    Some unkind souls might say it is clearly the start as everyone is still awake, and noone has inflicted GBH on the speakers…

  7. Frank W. Summers III says:

    Lord Norton,
    I see that despite your charitable rmarks about my line of jokes last time Commission Vice President Mandelson must surely be holding his glasses and not a pen in the earlier photgraph. This is of course a much more usual hand position for glasses than a pen. However, even now with my glasses on and blowing up the image as best I can on my computer (not much in this case) the glasses still look more like a pen to me than glasses. In addition I might have tried to make them a pen for the joke’s sake but am afraid apparent near blindness was the real reason. Thanks for your indulgence anyway.

  8. Frank W. Summers III says:

    This could argue the time line but glasses can go either way depending on the interval between shots…

    • franksummers3ba says:

      I try to use British English here when not wtiting about the US or its former possessions so clearly I meant – spectacles and not drinking vessels. Just to be clear.

  9. Paul says:

    Lord Mandelson to Dr Wurzel: “You didn’t tell me that it was advisable to bake a cake when giving a presentation in a seminar chaired by Lord Norton”.

  10. Lord Norton says:

    Thanks for some excellent entries. Do keep them coming.
    franksummers3ba: No problem at all. I speak, or rather I understand, American!

    • Frank W. Summers III says:

      Lord Norton,
      If it keeps slipping past my notice I may make you feel you are a graduate student again after all. I am repetitve of this lapse below.

  11. Lord Norton says:

    I should confirm that, as will be apparent (not least from Ashley Roden-Bow’s first-hand account), the answer to the quiz question is that Peter Mandelson’s nameplate has disappeared. It is clearly there in this picture but has disappeared in the second. The lectern was not a fixed one and at one point the speaker pushed it forward with the effect that Ashley Roden-Bow records. Well done to all those who spotted it.

  12. David Rostron says:

    1. Lord Norton “I would like to intrudce Lord Mandelson, the most important person in new Labour, or so he tells me.”
    2. Lord Norton ” Most guests come full prepaired but Lord Norton is here fully preened.”
    3. Lord Mandelson “I’m sure the invitation said I would sit to the right of The Lord not A Lord”.
    4. Lord Mandelson “Did I ever tell you my old uncle went to Germany, twenty four times in a Lancaster”
    5. Lord Mandelson ” I prefer informality, when I was at Buckingham Palace I told Her Majesty there’s no need to curtsey ma’am”

  13. Frank W. Summers III says:

    Remebering the warm intimacies of the program at Hull
    Vice President Mandelson
    “You see here on the clipping, Spassky moves pawn to king seven — surely that ridiculous?”
    Lord Norton
    “Have any of you got the recent grandmasters tounament games memorized? I am afraid our guest is going to be terribly distracted if he cannot resolve a few things before his speech. Also, the lad passing out flyers for the fish and chips shop could perhaps operate in the hall.”

  14. Frank W. Summers III says:

    Change hall to corridor– Americanism again. I am afraid I am becoming comfortable or something. I hope it will not lead to any strategic disasters…

  15. Lord Norton says:

    A late rush of entries leaves me spoiled for choice. I shall announce a winner shortly.

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