New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Long reads
15 December 2003

The New Statesman sexed-up quiz

It's been a year of unprecedented spin, unscrupulous exaggeration and hidden agendas. Can you spot t

By Staff Blogger

Questions set by John Kampfner, political editor of the NS

1. How many standing ovations did Tony Blair get when he addressed the US Congress in July? a 7 b 17 c 107

2. How many Labour MPs have rebelled against the government in parliament since 2001? a 97 b 147 c 197

3. Which world leader did Tony Blair promise George Bush he could “turn” to support the Iraq war?

a Gerhard Schroder b Jacques Chirac c Vladimir Putin d All of the above

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

4. According to Iraqi doctors who treated US Private Jessica Lynch, what were her injuries caused by?

a A traffic accident b Saddam Hussein’s fedayeen forces c A runaway donkey

5. Who said of Saddam Hussein in 1991: “He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction”?

a President Assad of Syria b President Mubarak of Egypt c Colin Powell, then chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff

6. When the sports minister Richard Caborn was ordered back from Sydney for the vote on hospitals and missed the Rugby World Cup final, he said he couldn’t give his reaction because it was “before the watershed”. Does this mean he was: a Delighted that Tessa Jowell, his boss, could go in his place? b Delighted that he could go to Huddersfield instead to watch England v Australia in the Rugby League? c Delighted that the government was wasting taxpayers’ money by sending ministers across the world in rapid succession?

7. Who asked of George Bush at his recent press conference in London with the PM: “What is your conclusion as to why apparently so many free citizens fear you and even hate you?”

a Sky’s Adam Boulton b ITV’s Nick Robinson c The BBC’s Andrew Marr

Bonus point Did Tony Blair:

a Smile? b Laugh? c Wince?

Extra bonus point

How did Bush reply?

a “You’re wrong, they don’t”
b “They hate your Prime Minister more than they hate me”
c “I’d say freedom is beautiful”

8. When Michael Howard was employment secretary in 1991, how many homes were repossessed on average per week?

a 40 b 400 c 1,400

9. On his flying visit to Baghdad in November, what reason did George Bush give troops for his trip?

a It was a good photo opportunity
b He was
looking for a warm meal
c His wife, Laura, put him up to it

10. Why did Jack Straw send Tony Blair a confidential personal memo on the eve of war suggesting that Britain might not join the US in combat against Iraq?

a He had reservations about the war b He wanted to give the Prime Minister “another option” c He was mindful of the history books d All of the above

Questions set by Rosie Millard, arts correspondent of the BBC

1. What has prompted the first ever age restriction for a display at Tate Britain?

a Grayson Perry’s satin dress b Jake and Dinos Chapman’s bronze blow-up dolls c Tracey Emin’s bath d A retrospective of nudes by the Stuckists

2. The latest Harry Potter has caused a sensation – and some American children to suffer “Hogwarts headaches” – because of its extraordinary weight. How many pages does it have?

a 770 b 950 c 1,080 d 1,290

3. What caused Meg Ryan to go from faking it with Harry to taking it with Malloy?

a An extreme reaction to Botox b An extreme reaction to Michael Parkinson c Her recent role in In The Cut d An extreme reaction to Russell Crowe’s wedding

4. This year’s Academy Awards darling Catherine Zeta-Jones took court action over her wedding photos principally because a snap showed her eating what?

a A statue of Oscar b A slice of cake c A gingerbread doll shaped like Renee Zellweger d Her prenuptial agreement

5. How much money has the film Calendar Girls taken at the box office since its release in September?

a £2m b £6m c £20m d £25m

6. As she left hospital after a knee operation earlier this year, what was the Queen wearing that caused a sensation?

a A trouser suit made by her personal tailor b A Julien Macdonald sequinned cape c An Armani gown d A Vivienne Westwood bustier

7. At which event was Madonna’s famous conical bra on show at the V&A?

a The “Gothic” exhibition b The Summer Fete c Jean-Paul Gaultier’s “Fashion in Motion” show d A live reading of her children’s book

8. Which star’s turn was it to appear naked on the London stage?

a Kristin Scott Thomas in Three Sisters b Joan Plowright in Absolutely! (Perhaps) c Kenneth Branagh in Edmond d Natasha Richardson in The Lady from the Sea

Questions set by Jason Cowley, editor of the Observer Sport Monthly

1. Who is the Cambridge blue, author and essayist who played international cricket for England this summer?

a Andrew Flintoff b Gareth Batty c Ed Smith d Jimmy Anderson

2. Whose house was Sven-Goran Eriksson seen entering for a clandestine meeting?

a David Beckham b Roman Abramovich c Ulrika Jonsson d Jimmy Hill

3. Who said: “I was slowly killing myself, driving myself crazy trying to prove there was nothing wrong with me – that I could cope . . .”?

a Tony Blair b Iain Duncan Smith c Boris Becker d Frank Bruno

4. Which football chairman claimed an expense allowance for his pet goldfish?

a Roman Abramovich b David Dein c Elton John d Peter Ridsdale

5. Who robbed George Best in a hotel room?

a His doctor b Two prostitutes c His wife d His accountant

6. What happened to the ball with which Jonny Wilkinson dropped the goal that won the Webb Ellis Cup for England?

a It is on display at the Twickenham museum b It has disappeared c Wilkinson has it at home in Newcastle d Tony Blair has it at home in Downing Street

7. “I can’t do anything if the crowd fucking call it. Absolutely fucking ridiculous. At least replay the point. Fucking ridiculous. Fucking ridiculous. It’s fucking ridiculous. Frigging ridiculous. Some wanker in the crowd changes the whole match. Well done. Well done. Absolutely shit.”

Whose words were these during a fleeting visit to Wimbledon?

a Tim Henman b John McEnroe c Greg Rusedski d Serena Williams

Questions set by Lisa Allardice, arts and books editor of the NS

1. To whom was the novelist Tibor Fischer referring when he wrote that reading their latest novel was “like your favourite uncle being caught in a school playground masturbating”?

a J G Ballard b Martin Amis c Don DeLillo d Paul Theroux

2. On the BBC’s The Big Read, which politician championed Sebastian Faulks’s novel Birdsong and raised sales by 382 per cent?

a William Hague b Clare Short c John Major d Estelle Morris

3. Which celebrity wrote a children’s book called The English Roses?

a Charlie Dimmock b Sophie Dahl c Madonna d Sarah Ferguson

4. What is the title of Germaine Greer’s latest provocative offering on the subject of male sexuality?

a The Male Eunuch b The Whole Man c The Boy d The Naked Chef

5. Which famous mistress was described by her biographer as a “cushion-plumping sex-motherer”?

a Madame de Pompadour b Edwina Currie c Joan Bakewell d Camilla Parker Bowles

6. To which bestselling book was A S Byatt referring when she described it as having been written for people whose imaginative lives are confined to the “worlds of soaps, reality TV and celebrity gossip”?

a My Side by David Beckham b A Royal Duty by Paul Burrell c Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J K Rowling

d Yellow Dog by Martin Amis

7. Which much-hyped book begins with a graphic description of anal sex?

a A Royal Duty by Paul Burrell

b Yellow Dog by Martin Amis c Vernon God Little by D B C Pierre d Politics by Adam Thirlwell

8. Which journalist was shortlisted for the Literary Review Bad Sex Prize?

a John Humphrys b James Naughtie c Andrew Marr d Rod Liddle

Questions set by Tristram Hunt, historian and TV presenter

1. Who wrote the 1924 “Zinoviev Letter”, which led to the downfall of Ramsay MacDonald’s government?

a Comintern chairman Grigory Zinoviev b MI5 officers Sidney Reilly and Arthur Maundy Gregory c MI6 officer John Scarlett

2. What was the Donation of Constantine?

a An imperial decree issued by the Emperor Constantine in 317 describing his conversion to Christianity and temporal obedience to the papacy

b An eighth-century forgery by the papal curia exposed as such by the Renaissance scholar Lorenzo Valla

c A “complete Horlicks” cooked up by the Joint Intelligence Committee

3. Was Piltdown Man:

a The bona fide remains of a 500,000-year-old human? b Planted in an elaborate hoax by the Sussex geologist Charles Dawson? c In charge of Saddam Hussein’s biological weapons programme?

4. Who wrote the “Black Diaries”?

a The Irish nationalist, anti-imperialist and promiscuous homosexual Sir Roger Casement b Alastair Campbell c The 19th-century diarist and courtier Charles Greville

5. Who said “Fuck Dacre”?

a Polly Toynbee b Christopher Hill

c Rupert Murdoch, after the historian Hugh Trevor-Roper (Lord Dacre) expressed some last-minute doubts about the veracity of the Sunday Times‘s “Hitler diaries” scoop

6. Was the Eikon Basilike:

a A book of prayers and meditation composed by King Charles I in the months before his execution?

b A hugely successful work of royalist propaganda written by the Anglican cleric John Gauden?

c Signed off by Sir Kevin Tebbit?

7. What is the Shroud of Turin?

a A 14th-century medieval relic put together by the papacy b The burial shroud of Jesus Christ

c A new style of pashmina scarf enjoyed by Carole Caplin

8. Who exposed the fraudulent reporting of Stalin’s Russia by the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Walter Duranty?

a Malcolm Muggeridge b Jayson Blair

Content from our partners
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors
How the apprenticeship levy helps small businesses to transform their workforce
How to reform the apprenticeship levy

c Dr Glen Rangwala

Questions set by Patrick Hosking, deputy City editor of the London Evening Standard

1. Warren Buffett, investment guru and the world’s second-richest man, stunned the financial world by warning that derivatives could pose a serious threat to capitalism. What did he call them?

a Financial weapons of mass destruction

b Nuclear warheads of the capital markets c Bankers’ napalm

d Money-market missiles

2. Which organisation claimed it had sufficient lines of credit to meet its obligations, only to have to resort to a multibillion-pound government-backed rescue?

a National Air Traffic Services b Royal Mail c British Energy d The royal family

3. A company investigation revealed that outside shareholders of Hollinger International have been helping to bankroll a string of perks enjoyed by the Daily Telegraph proprietor Conrad Black. But what item did he pay for entirely out of his own pocket?

a Wages of the butler, chef, chauffeur and maid at his Kensington town house

b Insurance on his vintage Rolls-Royce

c An $8m collection of Franklin D Roosevelt memorabilia

d An antique chair used by his hero Napoleon Bonaparte

4. Which boss earns 247 times the average pay of his employees (£2.9m against £11,696)?

a Terry Leahy of Tesco b Fred Goodwin of Royal Bank of Scotland c Clive Thompson of Rentokil Initial

d John Browne of BP

5. Normally timid institutional shareholders achieved some rare

coups this year, but which of the following did they NOT manage to do?

a Topple Michael Green from the planned chairmanship of a merged

Carlton/Granada b Prevent Rupert Murdoch having his son James appointed as chief executive of BSkyB c Put a stop to a new £21m golden parachute package for the GlaxoSmithKline’s boss, Jean-Pierre Garnier d Win boardroom reforms from British Land’s John Ritblat

6. The stock market’s low point of the year was on 12 March. Since then, share prices have rocketed by more than 30 per cent. When was the turning point?

a Seven days before the first bombs were dropped on Baghdad b The day the first bombs were dropped c Seven days after the first bombs were dropped d The day Saddam’s statue was toppled in Baghdad



1. b (according to Fox News, which is always to be believed)

2. c 3. a

4. a 5. c

6. Neither a, b nor c

7. b, c, c

8. c (according to the Labour Party, which is collecting stats on him)

9. b

10. Take your pick, but I know it was a


1. b (because they were indulging in oral sex)

2. a

3. c (the film in which she has a heady relationship with the character played by Mark Ruffalo)

4. b 5. c

6. a 7. c

8. c


1. c 2. b

3. d 4. d

5. b 6. b

7. c


1. b 2. a

3. c 4. c

5. d 6. c

7. d 8. d


1. b 2. b

3. b 4. a

5. c 6. b

7. a 8. a


1. a 2. c

3. d 4. c

5. b 6. a


1. Prince Harry and the wife of the England rugby coach, Clive Woodward, after England beat Wales in November

2. Singers Justin Timberlake and Kylie Minogue at the Brit Awards in February

3. The pop duo Jemini, who failed to score at the Eurovision Song Contest in May

4. Zara Phillips and her jockey boyfriend Richard Johnson after his win at Cheltenham in March

5. No one (it was plastic)

6. The Deputy PM, John Prescott, sticking two fingers up at journalists outside No 10 in June

7. Michael Moore at the Oscars in March, after his anti-war acceptance speech

8. The Labour MP Chris Bryant exposing himself on the internet, spotted in November

9. Jamie Oliver (with his wife, Jules) receiving an MBE at Buckingham Palace, without a tie, in October