Lucy Vickery

Let’s twist

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In Competition No. 2977 you were invited to submit a Christmas carol with a topical twist.

‘In the bleak midwinter’ just about captures the general tenor of the entry, although George Simmers injected a lighter note with his invitation to ‘Deck Ed Balls with boughs of holly…’ and W.J. Webster, too, was looking on the relatively bright side: ‘God rest ye merry, gentlemen,/ Let nothing you dismay;/ The world is not on course to end/ That January day…’

Commendations go to Albert Black, Gordan Macintyre, Paul Carpenter, Tracy Davidson and Ian White.The winners, printed below, take £25 each. And the festive fiver is Martin Parker’s.

Merry Christmas, one and all — I look forward to being impressed and amused by your entries over the year to come.

We the three chief Brexiteers are

Charged by May to follow a star,

Little knowing where we’re going,

Or when or quite how or how far.

Oh, oh! Great our cause and its reward.

Britain’s national pride restored.

Remoaners’ goolies served as coulis,

And each of us soon made a Lord.

Negotiations? Simply a breeze!

EU nabobs beg on their knees.

Then, each evening, Bolly at Chevening —

If Boris still has the keys.

Oh, oh! Twenty-nineteen is the date

When, we can confidently state,

Our gift to Her will make her purr —

Herr Juncker’s head upon a plate!

Martin Parker

While Klansmen cleaned their guns by night,

All full of booze and dope,

A hero with mad hair appeared

And promised them new hope.

An orange future was his vow,

A losers’ dream come true,

Where every day was Christmas Day

And years were always new.

They shared his vision of a wall,

His pussy-grabbing zeal.

A man like them, a manly man,

How proud he made them feel.

His Christmas message spread the fear,

The loathing and the scorn.

The Klansmen lapped it up like dogs

And partied on till dawn.

Basil Ransome-Davies

Ding dong! Merrily the tills

With loads of cash are ringing;

Let’s forget about the bills —

Black Friday’s just beginning.

Gloria! For reasons to be jolly.

Gloria! For weeks of Yuletide folly

I must have that huge TV,

So I’ll just have to borrow;

And the ten-foot Christmas tree,

For party-time tomorrow.


Who knows what next year will bring,

So eat, drink and be merry;

Buy the turkey, get the bling,

And then roll out the sherry.


Virginia Price Evans

O little towns of Syria

And cities of Iraq,

Above, in constant barricade,

Aggressors still attack,

And in your dark streets shatter

More ruins through the night,

While children die in innocence

For someone else’s fight.

How stridently, relentlessly,

Rogue rockets all explode.

If angel voices could be heard,

If starlight faintly showed,

Could they bring promises of aid

A chance that strife may cease,

And in their Christmas messages

Some hope of earthly peace?

Alanna Blake

In the bleak midwinter

Such a lack of cheer

Hear remoaners cursing

Every Brexiteer.

Hear the traitors whingeing

Whinge on whinge

In the bleak midwinter

Hear the cultural cringe.

European Union

That is what they crave

But their stock has fallen

Just like poor old Dave.

Nigel is the people’s man.

Nigel is the most.

European Union

Now completely toast.

John Whitworth

The holly and the ivy —

there’s not too much at hand.

Their native haunts are cleared away

and classed as ‘building land’.

Oh the snarling of the chainsaw,

and the fleeing of the fox,

the whining of the chip machines,

and chain fences, heavy locks.

The holly bore a berry;

the people’s flag was red.

But who can slow the builders’ march?

The woods are falling dead.

Oh the silencing of birdsong,

and the loss of habitat,

and sad substitutes to decorate —

all imported plastic tat.

D.A. Prince

No. 2980: comic effect

You are invited to submit an extract from a politician’s speech ghostwritten by a well-known comedian (150 words maximum). Please email entries, wherever possible, to by midday on 4 January.