Nominate a government minister to reenact Alan Clark’s finest hour

Since taking office on 12 May, the Tory Lib Dem coalition has spent £18,000 on restocking the government wine cellars. We know this through the good work of Tom Watson MP, who made a suitable fuss about it over the weekend.

As well as the famous first growth clarets in the government cellars, it also holds the super-stylish third growth, beloved of the English upper classes, Chateau Palmer.

The greatest Palmer ever was the 1961.  Indeed, it is one of the most elegant and glamorous wines ever made.

In 2005, millionaire Tory minister Alan Clark’s widow, Jane, sold a case from his cellar for £7,700.  A single bottle of Palmer ‘61 currently retails for £1,800.

And it was Palmer ‘61 that Clark had been “tasting” – along with Palmer ’75 and “a really delicious Pichon Longeuville” – on the legendary occasion in 1983 when Clare Short denounced him for being drunk at the dispatch box.

His not terribly penitent account of that evening is a high-point of his diaries.

Increasingly in recent years, that has seemed like another world.  But now those days are back.  The Tories have returned to government and reclaimed its wine cellars. And, as brother Watson has shown us, they have already started to spend.

The time is ripe, in which case – the people poised – for a reenactment of Alan Clark’s finest hour.

Labour Uncut pledges to find a sponsor for this unique historical tribute. Admittedly, £5,000 is a lot for three bottles of wine, but it is lovely stuff and nothing is too good for a minister in the line of duty.

It only remains for Uncut readers to nominate the minister.  Which of our national political leaders could follow most convincingly in the footsteps of Alan Clark?

Which of them can match him for arrogance and wealth? With 17 millionaires in the cabinet alone, the choice is wide.

Clark sneered at Michael Heseltine for having “bought his own furniture”, though Clark himself bought his own castle. You’re not rich, he says in the diaries, “unless you can live off the interest on the interest”.

But which of the current crop could drink £5,000 of wine in 2 hours, then turn up at the dispatch box drunk, stumble, slur and giggle their way through half an hour, and still be quite pleased with themselves when writing it up afterwards?

Or, at least, which of them could do it best?

Uncut will not cast the first stone.  We will leave that to you.

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One Response to “Nominate a government minister to reenact Alan Clark’s finest hour”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by sion simon and Alice Pilia, Labour Uncut. Labour Uncut said: COMPETITION: nominate a government minister to assume Alan Clark's mantle […]

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