Putting the ‘party’ into party politics
Christmas means good old-fashioned fireside fun for all the family – and here’s some suggestions for new politically-influenced party games.
With Christmas coming, and the latest Westminster Theatre pantomime in full swing (runs to Tuesday, future then uncertain), it's time to add some zest to the festive season with some Parliamentary party games to keep our MPs in good cheer.
You can play some of these at home. Here we go...
BLIND MAN'S BUFF: An old favourite, and no blindfold is needed in this modern all-gender version. First, get MPs to call a public referendum and promise to respect the result. Secondly – and this is the hilarious twist – ensure the referendum result instructs the 650 MPs to do something they didn't expect to do and don't want to do. Then enjoy the fun as they wander blindly in all directions without a clue what they're doing, where they are, where they're supposed to be going, and how to find their way out of this predicament that they unwittingly brought on themselves.
CHARADES: The first team (called May UK) has to journey to a European city and their task is to negotiate a "deal" and then convince others that it is a "deal" worth having. An opposing team (called Brussels Barnier) also has to negotiate the same "deal" but their task is to give absolutely nothing away in the process and to get the other side to accept it. Extra points can be gained by convincing acting and plotlines to increase the dramatic tension and give us all some cliffhangers.
MUSICAL CHAIRS: Everybody can enjoy this game. All you have to do is pretend that you are in Theresa May's cabinet. Hang on to your hats – and your seats – as turnover can be swift and sudden. This used to be a popular game in Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet too until they ran out of players.
LIAR LIAR: Put Remain MPs on one side of the room, and Leave MPs on the other side. The rules are simple. The Remain MPs have to say repeatedly: "I accept the referendum vote." The Leave MPs have to say repeatedly: "Brexit will have no impact on jobs." The first one not to keep a straight face is eliminated, and then you start again.
BACK TO THE BACKSTOP: Players have to give a comprehensible explanation of the Northern Ireland backstop agreement in 60 seconds.
TREASURE HUNT: Only to be played after March 29. Your mission is to find £350 million every week for the NHS while other players pretend to be buses.
WE ALL FALL DOWN: Bring down a Government! All in the interests of the country of course. Then go to Brussels to renegotiate the Brexit deal to get a Better Brexit For All Britain. Leading the negotiations for a Better Brexit For All Britain will be Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer (Remain, MP for Holborn & St Pancras, London), supported by foreign secretary Emily Thornberry (Remain, Islington South & Finsbury, London), and home secretary Diane Abbott (Remain, Hackney North and Stoke Newington, London), and overseen by party leader Jeremy Corbyn (Leave – but Sir Keir and Emily are still patiently explaining things to him – Islington North, London).
ROBBERS: Previously known as Cops and Robbers, before policing cuts took effect. Those taking the role of the Cops do not chase the Robbers any more as they're too busy with such activities as trawling through moronic late-night tweets by immature drunken students (penalty for a first offender of good character: immediate 56-day prison sentence).
TRUMPS: This is a great one, as there are no rules at all. Bash your fellow players. Call them names. Hold their hand embarrassingly. And whatever you do, make sure you are first at all costs.
PIN THE BLAME ON THE DONKEY: How's your timing? Choosing your moment is everything in this game. Player A, who for sake of argument we shall call Theresa, is given the donkey work while everybody beats her with sticks. Her turn finishes when the rest cry: "It's time for somebody else to make an ass of themselves." Then a new player takes over. Who, for the sake of argument, we shall call Boris. Or Jacob.