Competition - Win a bottle of champagne

No 3553 Set by Gordon Gwilliams

The year 2000 is the Labour Party's centenary. We asked for fly-on-the-wall reporting of new Labour's strategy session to discuss the "opportunities" presented by the occasion.

Report by Ms de Meaner

Not bad. I quite liked John O'Byrne's suggestion from Peter Mandelson: "This would be a smaller dome, more of a cupola . . . " But sadly, we could only have three winners - who can have £15 each. The bottle goes to Anne Du Croz.

Tony Blair But surely, what we need to commemorate this occasion is a new name. A change for the millennium. For the people. Our people.

Gordon Brown What about Peter?

TB The Peter Party? Peter. Rock. Strength. Church. Yes, I like it.

GB No, no . . .

John Prescott Peter out, more like.

Robin Cook Look, what we have is an absolutely disgraceful state of affairs. The discussion has absolutely no focus. The Labour Party has a reputation as a canny, up-to-the-minute . . .

TB Oh, I see. You mean, what would Peter think?

GB What about 100 simultaneous seminars on the economy to mark the event? That would be stimulating.

TB But aren't there 1,000 years in a millennium?

RC Look, this is absolutely ridiculous. The Labour Party has only existed for 100 years.

TB Has it?

JP Well I think we should have - could have, because the Labour Party is commemorative, let's face it - 100 bands or, as I was saying, 100 street parties.

TB Is that new Labour? What would the Queen think? Or Alastair?

RC Look, this is absolutely absurd, and quite frankly we should celebrate with a song. "Free for 100 Years".

TB Free! What a terrific band that was.

Will Bellenger

"Dome! I'm thinking dome!"

"No, a cake! Anniversary . . . birthday . . . cake!!"

"Yes, a giant, dome-shaped cake . . . "

" . . . cake-shaped dome . . . "

" . . . twice the size of Canary Wharf, with 100 candles on top, all 100 feet tall . . . A floating cake-shaped dome, with candles and a frill with giant red roses around it, moored right outside the Palace of Westminster . . . "

"With giant walk-in interactive models of . . ."

" . . . great Labour Party figures. Come on, come on . . . I'm thinking Keir Hardie . . ."

"Aneurin Bevan . . . "

"Glenys Kinnock . . . !"

"We need some spin on this . . . where's the Minister certainly Without Handbag? Peter . . .!"

"Focus groups. We need a National Millennium Total Third Way Consultative Focus Group Process Initiative . . ."

"Exactly. Total consultation! That's 55 million people. 10-12 in each group . . . Gordon? - Calculator!"

" . . . Fifteen million focus groups! But where are we going to hold them?"

"In on-line networked domes! I'm thinking huge purpose-built domes in every town in England . . . "

David Silverman

"OK then chaps? Celebration! Education! Membership! And, er, fund-raising. Not a focus group: more a brainstorming session. Recording? Fine . . . "

"Say Ainsley Harriott does a welcome-all 'Labour Party of a Lifetime': gets special dispensation to use the precincts of the House; red flags and roses; Treorchy Male Voice Choir; colliery band; Woodcraft Folk dancing on the terrace; tripe and onions; cow-heel; beer and sandwiches . . . "

"Beatrice Webb's beef tea; roasted Tuscan veg: from chips to conchiglie, from mushy peas to guacamole . . . "

"Tony plays classical guitar at centenary sales stall; revellers buy Sort the Labour Heroes sticker books . . . "

"Mixed six-packs: Attlee, Bevan, Foot, Gaitskell, George-Brown, Healey - Delicates and Roaring-boys! Workers and Toffs! Bullies and Charmers! Arseholes and Smarmers!"

"Shut up, Frank!"

"Sidney, Bea and GBS toby jugs: the Fabian Set . . . "

" 'Stalwart and Turncoat' PlayStation battlegames: General Strike, Nationalisation, Fight, Fight, Fight, In Place of Strife and Orgreave . . . "

"Mini-millennium domes full of Indian sweetmeats and spiritual tracts . . . "

"Third Way Moral Monopoly: pay a fine or take a work-chance; Welfare Chest empty; do not pass Go, do not collect benefit . . . "

"And at the door, free to all party members, unisex think-twice bracelets inscribed WWTD? - What Would Tony Do? . . . "

Anne Du Croz

No 3556 Set by Leonora Casement

A poll commissioned by the BBC found that many people in the 18-30 age group felt that they had successfully "cooked" something if they reheated a prepared meal. An earlier MORI poll found that, of people who claimed to have "cooked", 36 per cent named sandwiches, 31 per cent toast and 20 per cent cereals. We want recipes/instructions for these cuillers de bois from a top chef of your choice. Max 200 words and in by 3 December.

E-mail: comp@ newstatesman.co.uk

This article first appeared in the 20 November 1998 issue of the New Statesman, A prejudice as American as apple pie