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« Tonight on 18 Doughty Street | Main | Wozza leads the resistance »

Revolt In Style - match report

Savoy_451-3.jpg I promised to report back on Monday's night party but the Telegraph has done it for me - see HERE. There's not a lot more to add, but here are some highlights:

We were joined by 400 guests, some of whom travelled from as far afield as Inverness, Edinburgh, Glasgow, the North East (of England), Cornwall and even Holland. Guests included 12 MPs (all Tories) and eight (or was it nine?) peers. I can't confirm they were all present and correct - you'll just have to take my word for it. There simply wasn't time, either to speak to everyone personally, or ask guests to sign a register.

The media turned out in force, camera crews jostling for position and for interviewees. There were TV crews from Germany, France, Greece and Japan, which created quite a buzz. Domestically, ITV sent a crew to record interviews for Tonight With Trevor McDonald. Radio 4's long-running consumer programme You and Yours did likewise. But the big excitement (for me) was the appearance of Stephanie Flanders, former advisor to the US Treasury and now the economics correspondent on Newsnight, recording interviews to be broadcast on (I think) Friday June 29th, BBC2.

Journalists included Sue Carroll (Daily Mirror), Rod Liddle (Sunday Times and Spectator), Peter McKay (Daily Mail), John Walsh (Independent) and Adam Edwards (Daily Telegraph). The hospitality industry was represented by Paul Waterston (Scottish Licensed Trade Association) and Nick Bish (Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers). Other guests included Sue Brealey (co-author, The Joy of Smoking), Phil May (The Pretty Things), and inventor Trevor Baylis (former Pipesmoker of the Year). Some people booked whole tables, among them cigar importers Hunters & Frankau and the Institute of Ideas.

Antony Worrall Thompson, Claire Fox and Andrew Neil all gave excellent speeches - well received by a lively and appreciative audience who roared their approval every time anyone criticised the government! I compered - sort of - and read out messages from some of those unable to attend, including Lord Tebbit, Joe Jackson, Oscar-winning playwright Ronald Harwood, artist Maggi Hambling ("From now on it's even more important to smoke"), and screenwriter Alan Plater.

The lyrics to Plater's song 'I'm Going Outside', featured on the Forest/Boisdale CD You Can't Do That!, were printed on the reverse of the menu. After the speeches, the song was performed live by the Boisdale Blue Rhythm Band. Hitherto the band had played, in the background, the perfect music to match the boisterous mood.

Last but not least, the 'formal' part of the evening finished with a stirring live performance of the Monty Python classic, 'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life'. Until that point (11.00pm) hardly a single unit of alcohol had passed my lips. I shall draw a veil over later events.

Reader Comments (9)

It sounds like a wonderful evening, Simon. I hope the ripples reach far and wide.

I am curious to know how many tickets you think you could have sold - given that you were receiving enquiries beyond the point where you'd sold out.

June 27, 2007 at 17:50 | Unregistered CommenterPoppy

Helloooooo.... Simon? You're not still hungover are you?

I only asked the above question because I'm curious as to how much interest there was. Nothing sinister in the question, honest! :)

Still waiting to hear if David Hockney's badges will be available to the public also (unless your reply has become buried so far in other comments that I can't find it).

Hope you can spare a few minutes to answer these questions.

June 28, 2007 at 12:40 | Unregistered CommenterPoppy

It is like one of the western films, when the cowboys are sitting and waiting, in the dark, for the Indians to attack, and someone always says "I don't like it sir, it's much too quiet out there"

With only a couple more days until the big attack on our freedom, has the cavalry deserted us?

It's too darn quiet out there for my liking!

June 28, 2007 at 12:57 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

I know what you mean Peter! Let's hope the cavalry is just out of sight, gathering and organising in vast numbers, over the brow of that hill over there <finger points to hill>.

June 28, 2007 at 13:08 | Unregistered CommenterPoppy

There is always a lull before a storm - remember that. I agree that things are just a tiny bit too quiet.

June 28, 2007 at 13:24 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

An owl hoots in the distance...


June 28, 2007 at 16:37 | Unregistered CommenterPoppy

Well done Forest! That amount of publicity can only be good. I'm so glad that the event was oversubscribed and that everyone had a great time. Anyone who attempts or tries to play down the effect of your efforts must be crazy.

Simon, a personal thanks and good wishes, you done good.

June 28, 2007 at 22:11 | Unregistered CommenterPhil Button

Phil Button,
you said exactly what I think.
Anyway I like to repeat some part.

Well done Forest!

Simon, thank you and good wishes, you done good.

June 28, 2007 at 23:54 | Unregistered CommenterLuke

The tumbleweed thing was just for amusement, by the way (in case it was misconstrued).

June 29, 2007 at 4:12 | Unregistered CommenterPoppy

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