Skip to Content

Culture House Daily

Spectator competition winners: Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Brexiteers

25 August 2019

10:25 AM

25 August 2019

10:25 AM

In Competition No. 3112 you were invited to submit an extract from Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Brexiteers.

The title of this new addition to the G&S canon was, of course, a nod to The Gondoliers. But in an entry both serious and silly, full of wit and whimsy, you also plundered The Mikado (‘Four little maids in politics, we,/ Boris-resistant as can be…’), Iolanthe (Lord Chancellor’s ‘Nightmare Song’) and H.M.S. Pinafore (‘Ring the merry bells for Brexit!’), among others.

There were stellar performances from Max Gutmann, Sylvia Fairley, David Shields and D.A. Prince. They were only narrowly outstripped by the winners below who earn £30 each.


Adrian Fry
Mine is the tousled noddle at the head of Brexit
      government,
Let getting Out, no deal or doubt, become our
      sacred covenant.
May tried negotiation but the Eurocrats all bested
      her,
Conservatives lost confidence — hey presto, my
      investiture!
It’s going to be a doddle, now we’re leaving
      unilaterally,
The EU gets more bijou while Great Britain
      blossoms naturally
Through trade deals with America and India,
      Australia
And sundry other nations who don’t think free trade
      a failure.
Remainers spout their twaddle listing oncoming
      catastrophes,
Delusion and confusion are the products of their
      strategies.
Directives and perspectives backed by Juncker and
      his mountebanks
Are no match for my verbal wit and optimistic
      countenance.
In time Mammon and God’ll bless me for my Brexit
      bonhomie —
Who wouldn’t rather hear a joke than yet another
      homily? —
We’d better keep our peckers up in spite of deeper
      deficits.
Besides, who says it won’t fun to ration all our
      requisites?

W.J. Webster
On the fence, in a dither, a Brexit MP
Sighed, ‘Will he, oh will he, oh will he?’
So I said to him, ‘Brexiteer, how sad to be
Sighing, “Will he, oh will he, oh will he?”
Are you mentally troubled by something you’ve
      read?
Or has doubt made a worm that bores holes in your
      head?’
‘It’s a worry,’ he muttered, ‘but not what you said.
Oh will he, oh will he, oh will he?’
He mopped at his brow, his complexion quite grey,
Wailing, ‘Will he, oh will he, oh will he?’
Then he lowered his voice but I still heard him say,
‘Oh, will he, oh will he, oh will he ?
Will he win what we’re wanting and set us all free?
Will he prove he’s the leader we need him to be?
Will he call an election with a safe seat for me?
Oh, will he, oh will he, oh will he?’

Bill Greenwell
I am the Leader of the House, exacting and funereal,
And with my rod or pole or perch, all measures most
      imperial,
I chastise any member when he’s found
      un-parliamentary,
And ban the use of language noted in this thick
      inventory.
You will not find a Europhile upon my hallowed
      premises,
And as for von der Leyen I will be her private
      nemesis.
We should not trade with Francophones or any
      other aliens,
But do our deals with colonists (Americans,
      Australians) —
I champion free markets when I’m thinking
      economical.
I also sit on chat-shows, and they think me very
      comical.
We must return to golden days that called for Anglo
      Saxon flair,
When men wore decent breeches, and each wife
      of theirs had flaxen hair.
If you are poor, then have no fear, the Trussell Trust
      will feed you all,
Which leaves me free for Erskine May, and matters
      more procedural:
We must bring down the socialists whose dogs will
      come to slaver us.
I am the Leader of the House, my manner most
      cadaverous.

Basil Ransome-Davies
When you live all your days in a paranoid haze that
      induces a fear for your sanity
As you read in the press of the howling success of a
      monster of falsehood and vanity,
You feel helpless and fraught at the horrible thought
      of the ghastly impending disaster,
But what else can you do when the nightmare comes
      true and your frantic pulse beats ever faster?
So you binge on the pills that relieve nervous ills or
      you comfort yourself alcoholically,
Then you tear out your hair in a state of despair, a
      procedure that injures you follically.
You are cursing out loud at the oncoming cloud of
      dejection and immiseration,
While the mind reels in shock as you hastily stock up
      with foodstuffs of long preservation.
In the faltering hope that you’ll finally cope you
      imagine a fortunate Brexit,
Which you greet with a smile but it only lasts while
      no ensuing catastrophe wrecks it
As you queue in disguise for the food-bank supplies
      out of shame for the forced importunity,
Giving Europe a cause for sardonic applause as the
      nation dissolves in disunity,
Or your back-garden war with the bruiser next door
      to decide who will get the rat dinner
And you fight for a bit till you have to admit that
      your muscular neighbour’s the winner,
And the Scottish secede in a sudden stampede, and
      the A2 is stifled with lorries
On the Island of Fools where delirium rules and the
      Lord of the Revels is Boris.

You are invited to submit a fable for the 21st century complete with moral. Please email entries of up to 150 words to lucy@spectator.co.uk by midday on 4 September.


Show comments
Close