THIS year’s Conservative Christmas shindig was overshadowed by the realisation that the party had become a laughing stock. Although the alcohol flowed freely at the Windsor hotel, and the canapés were tasty and abundant, few were in the mood to celebrate and the party games tended to fall flat.
Sajid Javid’s ‘So What’ game required the participants to trawl through the 2019 Manifesto to see how many policies had been abandoned or diluted beyond recognition. The first group to find more than 20 had to shout ‘So What?’. The prize was a priority position in the queue for the spring ‘booster’.
Priti Patel’s contribution was a game called ‘Stop the Illegals’. Unfortunately, the rules were complicated and a fracas ensued between Eric Pickles and Matthew Parris. A slightly squashed Parris was rushed to hospital but his pomposity was found to be undamaged. The game was abandoned when all the players wanted to be migrants and no one wanted to play the part of a member of the inappropriately named ‘Border Force’.
The ‘HS2’ game was a challenge that no one admitted to designing. Teams were required to create the straightest, smoothest path for a clockwork train to travel from one side of the room to the other. The game rapidly descended into chaos as tables were overturned, chairs were smashed and carpets destroyed. None of the trains managed to reach its destination.
The ‘Green Game’, devised by Alok Sharma, was also a failure. Teams were tasked to find three items in the room which were not produced using so-called fossil fuels. No team was able to complete the challenge, and the prize, a bag of edible insects, was awarded to Jacob Rees-Mogg’s team, who found a dead fly and a discarded nail clipping.
For the penultimate game of the evening contestants were blindfolded and asked to pin a nose on a picture of Klaus Schwab. Very few stepped forward to participate as the majority did not wish to take part in a game which made fun of their mentor and hero.
However, everyone did enjoy Matt Hancock’s ‘Lockdown’ game. Groups of six were instructed to hide under the nearest table. As soon as anyone made a noise their group was disqualified. As a forfeit, a member of the group was expelled into the hotel garden for ten minutes and pelted with mini pork pies. At the end of the game the smirking Hancock led everyone in a two-minute clapathon for the heroes who work for the world-beating NHS.
The Prime Minister lounged on a golden chair eating grapes and fondant fancies, surrounded by baby elephants. Only Michael Gove seemed to enjoy himself. He spent the entire evening dancing alone in a corner of the room, even when no music was being played.
In the opposite corner from Gove sat a solemn-looking Sir Charles Chatterton accompanied by his secretary Catherine. They were drinking their way through a bottle of The Balvenie Thirty. From time to time she brought a smile to his face with a merry quip or a little dance, but for him the party was over.
As the dishevelled guests left the hotel, a coach pulled up to deposit 50 young men from Albania who had recently arrived on the south coast.