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13 August 2014



By New Statesman


No 4334

Set by J Seery

We asked for congratulations from one unlikely person to another, inspired by those that David Cameron sent to Jean-Claude Juncker on his appointment as president of
the European Commission – clearly through gritted teeth,
as he’d fought so hard to stop him getting the job.

This week’s winners

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You took very different tacks this week to obey the “unlikely” stipulation in the rules. Some entries, which might have appeared sincere, were set in the past and achieved their unlikeliness from the knowledge of what came after. Others were congratulatory words that could be taken in two ways and were clearly dishonest, or that stretched credulity but even so obeyed a strange sort of twisted logic. The winners get £20 each, with £5 extra going to Brian D Allingham.

Steve Ovett, my dear friend,

That was an awesome 800 metres and I rejoice on your behalf. No, really. I had the best view in the whole Lenin Stadium. And you’ll not believe what your win has saved me
from: Sports Personality of the Year. Becoming Tory MP for some Cornish outpost. Judo with the party leader. Companion of Honour. Baron Coe in the Other Place.

Honorary doctorates galore. Organiser of the home Olympics sometime next century. And what a smack in the eye for Maggie, who didn’t want any of us to be here in Moscow – and you just a working-class lad from a Brighton comprehensive. Fantastic. The 1,500-metre heats are on Thursday. Don’t think I’ll bother. Better just to settle for silver and get a life.
I cannot thank you enough.

Warmest possible congratulations, Seb Coe

Mike Douse

Dear Alex,

As Prime Minister of the rest of the United Kingdom, it is my duty to congratulate you on winning the referendum for independence. Of course, the margin of 19 votes was not large but we both agreed to accept the result, so it’s farewell to Scotland and farewell to 41 Scottish Labour MPs. We will miss Scotland.

You fought a distinguished campaign, although there is no doubt that the result was affected by your announcement on 16 September that oil had been found off your west coast. I will be apologising in parliament for the decision to withhold this announcement until after the vote. You now have 18 months to persuade the EU and Nato to let you join on your own terms. Good luck with that. And, no, you still can’t use the pound, so you’d better start minting groats.

Yours sincerely, David

Brian D Allingham

Dear Mr Pasolini,

I feel I must write and inform you of how much I enjoyed your new film Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom. Although constant streams of full-frontal nudity, graphic sex, coprophagia, rape, mutilation and murder are not usually my “cup of tea”, I found it all to be quite justified artistically in this particular instance, representing as it does a sober warning to our young people
of the blasphemy of mixing with homosexuals.

I have written to Sir Charles Curran at the BBC to request that your film be broadcast nationwide, perhaps in the early evening “prime-time slot”. If you are ever disposed to produce a sequel, I have an idea for a scenario involving a live walrus and a couple of elastic bands, which I would
be more than happy to share with you.

Yours, Mary Whitehouse (Mrs)

Rob Stuart

Dear Tony,

Events in Gaza have prompted me to write to tell you how much I have appreciated your
performance as Middle East peace envoy. What you have achieved has been remarkable. It is clear that you are as capable a peace envoy as you were a prime minister. I am told that, in respect to you, the Israelis and Palestinians have demonstrated that rarest of things: a united front.

I know it must be a difficult and frustrating job, having had a similar experience myself over a period of a decade (with the additional complication of a very unhelpful colleague). Of course, I was lucky to have strength of character, instilled in me by a modest upbringing and a state education, along with the honesty inculcated by my parents. Such advantages are not given to everyone.

Yours, Gordon Brown

C J Gleed

Dear Davros,

I wanted to congratulate you on your invention of the Daleks. While we have never seen eye
to eye on matters of intergalactic politics, it wouldn’t do for us
all to be the same. Besides, you’re a tremendous role model for those of restricted mobility and it was astute of you to
pass those restrictions on to your creations.

A Dalek autocracy will be
a small price to pay if it means the establishment of ramp over staircase as the galactic standard between floors. I’m not – OK, not often – getting any younger and it’s surely only a matter of time before I reincarnate wheelchair-bound, a levelling of the playing field you’ll doubtless appreciate.

The Doctor

Adrian Fry

The next challenge

No 4337 By J Seery

You are the “Subscriber of the Week”. Name the political figure you would least like to be stuck in a lift with . . . and why.

Max 150 words by 28 August

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