Competition - Win a bottle of champagne

No 3573 Set by George Cowley

Jane Jakeman recently wrote in the NS: "New Labour is undoubtedly the Mills & Boon of politics." We asked for an extract from a Mills & Boon novel featuring a well-known member of the Labour Party.

Report by Ms de Meaner

You made quite a good approximation of a Mills & Boon - all except N Syrett, who made a good approximation of something else, of what I'm not sure. "The people of London loved Tony and he, in his fashion, had some regard for them, doughty, rosy-cheeked burghers that they were, always pressing apples on him when he walked the cobbled streets . . . " £15 to the winners; an hon mensh to John O'Byrne for these words, spoken by Gordon Chancellor, Lord of Treasury Manor: "You will not have control of the Monet supply. I am resolute in this. It would be foolish to allow Lady Laboria's artistic inheritance to be frittered away." The bottle goes to Ian Birchall.

The tannoy at St Dobbos boomed: "Will Sister Blair report to Theatre Six." The nurse looked at herself in the mirror, her heart beating fast, making sure her lovely oval face was framed by that lustrous dark hair, for she knew that Mr Gordon Brown, St Dobbos' charismatic top surgeon, was operating in Six.

As she entered he was sweeping a shining scalpel across the distended stomach of a northern mayor. The piercing eye met hers as she took up her station, then returned to its task. A surge of joy shot through her body.

When the operation was over, GB turned to her and said, "Thanks!", but her eyes were fixed on his fine hands, hands that had saved so many lives, hands that looked so commanding and strong.

Antonia's meditation was interrupted by that intrusive Tannoy:

"Here are the results of the staff vote for the chair of the hospital management committee: Mr Gordon Brown 542, Sister Antonia Blair 636."

Suddenly a deep chill froze the air. GB put his majestic face near Antonia's. From one eye a blankness unnerved her, from the other there burnt a wild fury which seemed to shrivel her soul.

Antonia knew there would be no warm evenings together, no deep kisses, no close contact with those marvellous hands.

Mo Wood

The chauffeur-driven Jaguar drew to a halt. Toni contemplated the mansion, silhouetted against the deep blue evening sky. So this was Rupert's home! Its sheer size, the magnificence of the architecture left her stunned. This would be something to tell Clare and Harriet about.

She couldn't help remembering Peter's shabby, cramped little house in Notting Hill. What a contrast! She was not a snob; deep down she believed, in a peculiar way that had nothing to do with wealth or possessions, that all human beings were equal. But now she knew that Peter was banished from her life for ever, Rupert would always be her one true love, and she would submit to his every demand.

She cast an eye over the valuable Chinese treasures that adorned the entrance. But Rupert led her upstairs; this was the magic moment when she would become wholly his possession.

Rupert preceded her up the magnificent staircase. He was a tall, powerfully built man, and she found directly in front of her face that part of his splendid anatomy that had always held the most attraction for her. As she followed him, her tongue quivered with a little frisson of delightful anticipation.

Ian Birchall

"Before we get engaged, Diane," Tony said apologetically, "I'll have to ask my Scottish guardian. He's investing my inheritance for the third term."

"Does he live in a castle at Gretna, Tony?" she breathed.

"No, just next door. Uncle Gordon, this is Miss Abbott. We want to spend my trust fund on a better life for everyone."

"Ye'll dae nae sich thing, laddie," barked Gordon, his brow black. "Restrain yersel'. Jist ten mair years o' chastity."

"But Uncle Gordon," Tony pleaded, "won't you allow us some light Keynesian stimulation?"

"We'll hae none o' yon Bloomsbury practices under mae roof. It makes yer blin' and yer hair falls oot, and we canna upset the opticians and hairdressers. They're vital pairts o' the sma' business sector."

"Tony," said Diane huskily, "if you're not going to stand up to your uncle, I shall find a man who can satisfy my needs for socialism in my own lifetime."

* * *

"Oh John!" sighed Diane, "diving on this coral reef has been so romantic. I'll be yours completely when you've delivered a unified transport policy!"

"Don't worry your pretty little head about that, lass," laughed John. "I'll be publishing my green paper as soon as you've slept with me. Now give me a hand with this wetsuit."

Nick MacKinnon

No 3576 Set by John Buckman

Bill Giles and the the BBC weathermen have come up with a nice little number at public expense for travelling round the world in the guise of The Weather Show. What other groups might come up with something similar? Describe how they might justify their proposals (exclude MPs' fact-finding tours of the Caribbean) in not more than 200 words by 29 April.

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This article first appeared in the 19 April 1999 issue of the New Statesman, Prepare for a brave new world