The bid's with you over there, sir! Jolly good sheow!
Among the eminently avoidable guests attending were professional dirty old man Peter Stringfellow, and totally non-partisan Pimlico Plumbers founder Charlie Mullins, fresh from his joining in the ritual kicking of Mil The Younger, not that he’d told of his allegiance, for some reason. And, if the upfront costs were not enough for those suitably overmonied attendees, there were a number of “Silent Auction Lots” one could bid for.
The opportunity for parody was too much for the excellent Doc Hackenbush. But here a problem entered: it was difficult to distinguish between the actual auction lots and the good Doctor’s alternatives. On the one hand you had “Shoe shopping with Theresa May”, “Dinner with Sajid and Laura Javid at the Carlton Club”, and “2015 Manifesto personalised and signed by the Prime Minister”, which have a uniform grimness.
Or how about some “Very Silent Auction Lots”, which included the equally grim prospects of “A trip to the eighteenth Century with Jacob Rees Mogg”, “Authentic workhouse tour with Iain Duncan Smith”, or “2 half price places on Grant Shapps’ ‘Be Grate In Internets’ seminar”, which latter may be supervised by Michael Green in the event that “Spiv” Shapps double books himself? Decisions, decisions.
Perhaps one might care to peruse some more real “Silent Auction Lots”? There’s “Collection of Budgets signed by George Osborne”, for anyone short on waste paper, “Dinner for four with Michael and Sarah Gove” for those without any paint to watch drying, or how about “Tea & Book Review with Boris Johnson”? Here, London’s occasional Mayor reviews the latest Very Wonderful book by Himself Personally Now.
You may, instead, prefer the choice of some more “Very Silent Auction Lots”, such as “Condescension lessons with Esther McVey” (possibly not available after May), “Spa weekend with Eric Pickles” (he’s going to eat his way round Cheltenham), or the pièce de résistance, “‘Everything you wanted to know about Leon Brittan’ dossier, signed by entire Thatcher cabinet”, the last subtitled “Ah, never mind. We’ve lost it now”.
Can anyone blame Alex Andreou when he peruses the genuine auction lots and concludes “Torn between shopping with [Ms] May, dinner with Gove, tea with BoJo, or just setting myself on fire and running into a wall a lot”? Perhaps we mere mortals do not appreciate the fare on offer. Perhaps it really is an uplifting experience having a chicken dinner chez Gove. Perhaps someone else would like to volunteer for that one first, thanks.