Lucy Vickery

Political clerihew

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In Competition No. 3003 you were invited to supply clerihews about contemporary politicians. In an enormous and excellent entry, popular rhymes included ‘charmer’ and ‘Starmer’; ‘Boris’ and ‘Horace’; ‘Sturgeon’ and ‘burgeon’; ‘Corbyn’ and ‘absorbing’. Putin likes to ‘put the boot in’, apparently, and that David Davis is, by common consent, a ‘rara avis’.

There was much to admire and it was tricky to sift the best from the merely good. Those that made the cut are printed below and earn their authors £8 each. Commiserations to the rest.

Alex Salmond

Has been grilled, gutted and gammoned

And got porridge poured over his wee bit of glory

By a big evil Tory.

Frank McDonald

Ed Balls

Rises and falls:

They say he’s a Blairite

Fred Astaire-ite

David Silverman

Angela Merkel

Is one of the (small) magic circle

Whose country rates ’em

As statesmen.

D.A. Prince

Ian Paisley

Ranted crazily.

But is Ian Paisley junior


Nicholas Stone

Theresa May

No longer holds sway —

For seeing off Corbyn and his iffy cult


Iain Morley

Justin Trudeau

Looks like a great North American leader, although,

To be fair, the guy next door

Has made that easier than it was before.

Chris O’Carroll

To where has Diane Abbot Got?

‘No idea,’ said Theresa,

Glancing at her freezer.

Brian Murdoch

Lady Nugee

Is far richer than me,

But to seem ordinary,

She goes by Thornberry.

John Oxley

Ben Gummer

Couldn’t be glummer.

It’s not much fun

Being John Selwyn’s son.~

Alex Galloway

Yvette Cooper

Made not a single blooper,

In the election campaign, reckoning it wiser to be invisible

Than risible.

Adrian Fry

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Is a Thunderer sprog:

But his manner is less irate

And he lives in 1798.

Bill Greenwell

Mike Pence

Is considered in the future tense

Should Trump

Go bump.

Frank Upton

Donald Trump

Resembles a lump

Of misshapen fat

Topped by an overweight bottle-blond rat.

Basil Ransome-Davies

Angela Merkel

Squares a circle by producing a squircle:

As her party trick

It seems to click.

W.J. Webster

Angela Merkel’s

Inner circle

Would never choose

Theresa’s shoes.

Tim Raikes

‘Should I dye my hair auburn?’

Asks Jeremy Corbyn,

‘Or should it be red


Carolyn Beckingham

Nicola Sturgeon

Is a would-be political surgeon

Who’d gladly effect a wee


Rob Stuart

Mike Pence

Waits in suspense,

Hoping that they’ll dump


Nick Hodgson

Emmanuel Macron

Wears suits made of dacron.

OK, I made that up, but President Macron’s chief crime

Is that he doesn’t rhyme.

Brian Allgar

Nicola Sturgeon

Thinks that Scotland needs purgin’,

She can’t wait to see the backs

Of the Sassenachs.

Sylvia Fairley

No. 3006: laughing matter

You are invited to submit a sonnet that takes as its opening line Keats’s ‘Why did I laugh tonight? No voice will tell:’. Please email entries, wherever possible, to by midday on 5 July.