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Saturday, February 05, 2005


The Full Monty

This morning's Guardian reports on yesterday's visit to London by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:

She arrived at Downing Street at 8am to meet Mr Straw, who took her to the Terracotta Room, where she joined Mr Blair and his officials for a full English breakfast.
Ms Rice hails from Alabama in the Deep South, where breakfasts bear a strong family resemblance to the British/Irish fry-up. Even so, she doesn't strike me as the sort of person who would tuck-in to the full monty. Neither, for that matter, does Tony Blair. Both seem more the type who'd prefer a fruit smoothie next to their exercise machines.

Last month, Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb used the Freedom of Information Act to find out who Tony Blair has entertained at Chequers (Geri Halliwell and Des O'Connor, it turns out). So come on Norman, exercise your citizen's rights again and let's see just how "full" this English breakfast was.

This is not mere idle curiosity. You can tell a lot about a person by their attitude to fried breakfasts. Did this gathering of world leaders order the works, or did they manage only a girly portion of poached egg? Was Tony Benn's collection of ministerial enamel mugs dusted down for the occasion, or was it Earl Grey in dainty china cups? Two sausages or just the one, thank you? I think we should be told.

Incidentally, my printed copy of this morning's Guardian contained a bizarre typo, referring to this breakfast has having taken place at 8pm rather than 8am. I like a fry-up as much as the next bloke, but 8pm? In the unlikely event it was 8pm, I take back everything I've said about New Labour.

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