The latest caption competition produced some excellent entries. The problem for me has been choosing between them. I was impressed by how observant many readers were. Some based their entries on the fact that I appeared to be clenching my fist; Dean Bullen noted that I looked as if I was about to do the Twist. Others drew on the surroundings, be it the provision or otherwise of drink or cake, or posture of members of the audience – maude elwes clearly mistook the momentary closing of the eyes of the student on the right, where he is obviously pausing to absorb my latest profundity. Others were more esoteric – Ilona Wheldale seemed to be on another planet or at least lost in another galaxy. franksummers3ba lapsed into poetry, with an entry that may not win him the contest, but would merit being on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Poetry Please’ – and be much better than many of the poems they do use. I am pleased that the competition has also facilitated a Transatlantic embrace between him and maude elwes.
Anyway, on to the serious business. Who has won? I went through the entries a number of times and narrowed it down to two or three. DF Rostron was a serious contender with ‘Coalition Government, I can see you are all successfully containing your excitement on the subject’. However, based on the actual posture I was adopting, it came down to a choice between Tony Sands (‘I suppose I am the Carl Froch of Parliamentary Studies’), Tory Boy (Lord Norton informs students how to make a right hook in the House of Lords) and Dean Bullen (‘Before moving on to what I see as the unforeseen consequences of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act of 2011, I will briefly demonstrate how to do the Twist’). I think Dean Bullen has the edge in terms of the laugh-out-loud factor and he is therefore the winner. If he gets in touch, the prize will soon be on its way.