Lucy Vickery

Spectator competition winners: Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Brexiteers

Spectator competition winners: Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Brexiteers
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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


Let getting Out, no deal or doubt, become our

      sacred covenant.

May tried negotiation but the Eurocrats all bested


Conservatives lost confidence — hey presto, my


It’s going to be a doddle, now we’re leaving


The EU gets more bijou while Great Britain

      blossoms naturally

Through trade deals with America and India,


And sundry other nations who don’t think free trade

      a failure.

Remainers spout their twaddle listing oncoming


Delusion and confusion are the products of their


Directives and perspectives backed by Juncker and

      his mountebanks

Are no match for my verbal wit and optimistic


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


Besides, who says it won’t fun to ration all our


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


Or has doubt made a worm that bores holes in your


‘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


I chastise any member when he’s found


And ban the use of language noted in this thick


You will not find a Europhile upon my hallowed


And as for von der Leyen I will be her private


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


I also sit on chat-shows, and they think me very


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


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 by midday on 4 September.