February 7th, 2012

Dickensian Dave

The workhouse is not coming back just yet, but what larks at Cabinet this morning as Jeremy Hunt gave out copies of Dickens’ classics to each Secretary of State.

The choices were apparently based on their character:

  • David Cameron – Great Expectations & Hard Times
  • Nick Clegg – Oliver Twist
  • William Hague – The Uncommercial Traveller
  • Andrew Mitchell – Dombey and Son
  • George Osborne – A Tale of Two Cities
  • Danny Alexander – Hard Times
  • Kenneth Clarke - Little Dorrit
  • Theresa May – Little Dorrit
  • Justine Greening – Dombey and Son
  • Philip Hammond – Dombey and Son
  • Vince Cable – A Christmas Carol
  • David Willetts – The Haunted Man and Ghost’s Bargain
  • Iain Duncan Smith – Oliver Twist
  • Ed Davey – Little Dorrit
  • Andrew Lansley - Nicholas Nickleby
  • Michael Gove – A Child’s History of England
  • Eric Pickles – A House to Let
  • Caroline Spelman - Bleak House
  • Owen Paterson - Pickwick Papers
  • Michael Moore – Pickwick Papers
  • Cheryl Gillan – Pickwick Papers
  • Baroness Warsi – The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Francis Maude - The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Oliver Letwin – The Old Curiosity Shop
  • Lord Strathclyde – Bleak House
  • Sir George Young – Bleak House

Lansley left early and paused for the cameras. He was backed by the Prime Ministers spokesman too. It hardly seems like Hard Times are ahead, despite this morning’s excitement. 

What are your suggestions for what Huhne would have been given? Guido would have recommended Dickens’ 1862 short story “Somebody’s Luggage”…


  1. 1
    Ian says:

    Not being a book fan i would suggest “Goin Down” by Mel C as a track that he should listen to.

  2. 2
    Allan D says:

    Surely it can only be “Our Mutual Friend”?

  3. 3
    Ah! Monika says:

    Oliver Twist
    The Artful Doger

  4. 4
    Ah! Monika says:


  5. 5
    The last Quango in Paris says:

    Some other short stories:

    Mugby Junction
    Perils of Certain English Prisoners
    Somebody’s Luggage

  6. 6
    bergen says:

    I seem to recall that Barnaby Rudge involved an unfortunate journey through Essex.

    Years since I read it though-could be wrong.

  7. 7
    Displaced Brummie. says:

    Sadly for Gordon Brown Dickens never did get around to writing a novel called: “The Scots Tosser.”

  8. 8
    Chris Huhne says:

    Misery by Stephen King.

  9. 9
    Straggly Dan says:

    Or perhaps…The Old Curiosity….Shopped.

  10. 10
    Anonymous says:

    Slightly off topic but Trollope’s “The Way We Live Now” seems seems a very modern satire. This is what Trollope said about it:

    “Nevertheless a certain class of dishonesty, dishonesty magnificent in its proportions, and climbing into high places, has become at the same time so rampant and so splendid that there seems to be reason for fearing that men and women will be taught to feel that dishonesty, if it can become splendid, will cease to be abominable. If dishonesty can live in a gorgeous palace with pictures on all its walls, and gems in all its cupboards, with marble and ivory in all its corners, and can give Apician dinners, and get into Parliament, and deal in millions, then dishonesty is not disgraceful, and the man dishonest after such a fashion is not a low scoundrel.”

    Peter Mandelson, anyone?

  11. 11
    albacore says:

    Shirley it can be only “Bleak House” with its echoing theme of a judgement, a judgement.

  12. 12

    Pity Chris Huhne has gone as he could have been Edward Murdstone from David Copperfield.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    ta4nowt says:

    Don’t bother with a novel for Huhne, he’s too green & will only worry too much about where the paper has come from. But, among Dickens’ works are some wonderful journals, one of which is entitled Wapping Workhouse.”. Send Huhne there & throw away the keys.

  15. 15
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    Road Traffic Law (Blackstone’s Practical Policing)

    I’d love to see the look on Huhne’s face.

  16. 16
    amongomous says:

    How long before they move into Jackboots sisters back bedroom.

  17. 17
    Rat's arse says:

    Ed Militw*t….. Great Expectations
    Gordon Brown……….King Rat
    Ed B*llocks………….. (any suggestions?).
    Sorry for going beyond Dickens. I’m not that au fait with his works!

  18. 18
    ToonBob... says:

    Ed B ?? How about Thomas the Tank Engine, seems to be the limit of his knowledge of the real world :)

  19. 19
    ToonBob... says:

    or The Highway Code ?

  20. 20
    Rat's arse says:

    Nice one Toon!

  21. 21
    Loungelizard says:

    Basic Maths Vols ! & 2

  22. 22
    Chuckus Yamoney says:

    Dickens reading for the Hoon Huhne should be

    “Prince Bull” (1855)


    “Hunted Down” (1859)

    perhaps even

    “No Thoroughfare” (1867)

    and for future reference

    “The Perils of Certain English Prisoners” (1857)

  23. 23
    a non says:

    Whore and piece?

  24. 24
    jgm2 says:

    It was ‘The Pickwick Papers’ that got me into Dickens. And ‘Bleak House’ that had me vow never to read anything by the man again.

    If ‘Har*ry Potter’ could be said to have started the nation’s kids reading again then they’d better burn all the copies of ‘Bleak House’.

  25. 25

    Dickens’ short story Hunted Down should not be forgotten.

  26. 26
    Elizee says:

    Chris Huhne
    Great explanations

  27. 27
    jgm2 says:

    Chris Huhne should get ‘Great Expectations’ too. Wasn’t that Magwitch bloke transported to Fucking Australia for 20 years to reflect on his crimes?

    That should do it.

  28. 28
    Jimmy says:

    “What are your suggestions for what Huhne would have been given? ”

    The man who got someone else to take his punishment for him?

    That’s a tough one.

  29. 29
    Grommit says:

    Bleak Expectations…my favourite…

    …ooooh I see ;)

  30. 30
    The Dirty Rat says:

    How about,

    The sale of Two Titties.

  31. 31
    jgm2 says:

    The man who got someone else to take his punishment for him?

    In a similar vein perhaps he should write a book. So, in the manner of the Maximum Imbecile, write a book blaming somebody else for destroying the UK economy. Call it ‘Beyond the Crash’. Or write a book about a quality he does not possess. ‘Courage’ for example. Or, in the case of Huhne, ‘Integrity’.

  32. 32
    Tuscan Tony says:

    Gordon Brown – Spartacus.

  33. 33
    Put Housing Benefit Claimants into Caravans says:

    Politics for Dummies for Dedward and Economics for Dummies for Balls-up.

  34. 34
    Jimmy says:

    Perhaps you should read one.

  35. 35
    Bubba says:

    Moby Dick

  36. 36
    jgm2 says:

    Tony Blair – The Importance of Being Earnest

  37. 37
    jgm2 says:

    Read anything written by the Maximum Imbecile? Why would I want to read a pack of self-serving lies and enrich the c*unt further?

  38. 38
    Spotty Lizard says:

    Huhne doesn’t merit an entire book of Dickens. He could just have been given the relevant chapter from “Great Expectations” — the one about pork pies.

  39. 39
    Rat's arse says:

    Diane Fatbutt – How to look good Naked
    The Eagle Sisters – Little Women/Little Men
    Harriet Harpic – The Female Eunoch
    Yvette Balls – Peter Pan(ts)

  40. 40
    The Dirty Rat says:

    Manelson: The importance of being IN Earnest.

  41. 41
    Don't Know says:

    or Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

  42. 42
    jgm2 says:

    Laurie Penny – Men are Rapists, Women are from Venus

  43. 43
    Maximus says:

    Ballard’s Crash is not a bad cipher for the moronic Five Bellies and her criminalization of cartoons — a law so bizarre that it poses as a test of its transgression “Well, how old do you think that cartoon character is?” But Beyond the Crash by the Scotch McCyclops? Have Waterstones ever sold a work of fiction composed entirely of blank pages?

  44. 44
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    26 Books given out to Cabinet Members.

    How much? I expect we’ll find out when he claims his expenses.

  45. 45
    Some Geezer wot laughed all the way through that book says:

    How about Martin Chuzzlewit? Everyone in that story is a prick except for Tom Pinch and Mark Tapley, and both of those gentlemen are fingers-in-the-ears-la-la-la-can’t-hear-you “loyal” types who seem not to be all that bright. If he’s not the sort to see himself in other characters, perhaps Huhne can get a good laugh at the book’s depiction of everyone being on the make– might remind him of people he knows.

  46. 46
    Whats good for the Scots is good for the Brummie says:

    Nor indeed “The Midlands fraudster who claimed to live with her sister”

  47. 47
    Maximus says:

    Mandelson surely: The Importance of Being In Earnest and Young.

  48. 48
    Albert M. Bankment says:

    Well, Dickens was an uninjured passenger in the fatal Staplehurst train crash of 1865, when he was travelling with his mistress, Ellen Ternan, but managed to cover up the ‘scandal’. Given the train crash that Huhne has made of his life, because of his mistress, it does make an engaging metaphor.

    I don’t know about an appropriate Dickensian text for Huhne, but he puts me in mind of 2 Kings 9:20 –
    “the driving of the chariots was like the driving of Jehu, son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously”

  49. 49
    Loungelizard says:

    Luvies..Labour’s Lost. For all at the BBC

  50. 50
    Marcus Aurelius says:

    Let’s hope they read the books instead of endlessly medling with us. I’m so sick of hearing that we are too drunk, too fat, too unwilling to be modern or European. It’s none of the cabinet’s damned business.

    It is doing very badly on the core tasks : the defense of the realm, the administration in the name of the Queen of justice and providing sound money. Oh and running the post office. until it can do better on these I think a period of quiet relection and reading Dickens would be appropriate.

  51. 51
    Golly says:

    After what was being mentioned here barely 24 hours ago should these books not have been downloaded from iBooks direct to iPads.

  52. 52
    Anonymous says:

    A tale of Two Titties

  53. 53
    Albert M. Bankment says:

    Sydney Carton, in ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, is wrongly guillotined after having been drugged by the ‘guilty’ Darnay to whom he bears a striking resemblance. It was indeed “a far, far better thing” that Vicky Pryce did than Huhne ever deserved of her. It is far, far better place that he is to end up in than we could ever have wished for him.

  54. 54
    Tooth fairy says:

    Huhne ………………. as Edward Leeford (alias Monks) Villainous son of Edwin and half-brother of Oliver Twist who plots with Fagin to corrupt Oliver, in which case Leeford will inherit all of their father’s property. After the plan is foiled Leeford is forced to emigrate to America where he dies in prison in Oliver Twist.


  55. 55
    This is what corruption looks like says:

    Thats when the corruption becomes institutionalised. Its where theft and fraud become perks of the job, everybody does it , thats just the way it is, fill yer boots.

  56. 56
    Rat's arse says:

    Mike Handycock – From Russia with love
    Chris Bryant – Photography for Beginners
    Peter Mandlebum – Slime
    John Bercow – ?????????

  57. 57
    Perse O'Nally says:

    How about…’The Diary of a Nobody’?

  58. 58
    ToonBob... says:

    Bercow…… must be some ‘short stories’ out there for him ?

  59. 59
    Tooth fairy says:

    Of course if Huhne was into comics the DC Comic character ‘Flash” might be appropriate.

  60. 60
    Marmite says:

    Mein Kamf for Eddie Bollocks

  61. 61
    Skid says:

    How to put the brakes on your career by A. Fibber.

  62. 62
    pissed off voter says:

    I hope Hunt is not planning to claim for them on expenses.

  63. 63
    Kered Ybretsae says:

    What about ‘Hard Times’ or ‘The tale of two Titties’?

  64. 64
    AngryEnglishJon says:

    Twisted Oliver perhaps?

  65. 65
    Anonymous says:

    Andrew Mitchell: Kama Sutra because he likes being fucked by Indians.

  66. 66
    Not Voting For Them Again says:

    Give them all a copy of the Tory manifesto cos they won’t read that either.

  67. 67
    PK says:

    “fuck off, Hunt” – hits the spot.

  68. 68
    PK says:

    clearly, I didn’t write “Huhne”

  69. 69
    Jimmy says:

    “There is surprisingly muted coverage about the incident over at the Guardian. Could it be because Nasheed was until very recently the darling of the green movement?”

    You’d normally expect a newspaper to put the more significant developments in Maldivean politics on the front page wouldn’t you?

  70. 70
    Ivan Agenda says:

    Hard Times in a Bleak House which is where I hope he is going to.

  71. 71
    Pundit Too says:

    Strangely I (and many others) believe Bleak House to be Dicken’s best novel.

  72. 72
    Pundit Too says:

    Mumbai version?

  73. 73
    I says:

    Wuthering Depths

  74. 74
    Displaced Brummie. says:

    I like that one!

    How about “The Spinster of Brummagem?”

  75. 75
    Archie says:

    “Don’t panic!”

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