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« Nick Clegg's denial of our freedom | Main | Antony cooks up a storm »

Messing about on the river

I feared the worst when the heavens opened mid afternoon and it rained so hard that the puddles on the South Bank were threatening to become ponds. Thankfully the downpour ceased and in typically British fashion the sun came out just in time for the start of last night's boat party on the Thames.

The ship's capacity is 235 and in the event there were over 200 guests on board The Elizabethan, a Mississippi-style paddle steamer (above), including six MPs - Greg Knight, Philip Davies, Christopher Chope, David Nuttall, Dr Dan Poulter and Mike Weatherley.

Philip and Greg gave short speeches and it was gratifying to hear that the fight to amend the ban will continue with their support. (Are you listening, Nick Clegg?)

Delighted too to see so many friendly and familiar faces including a large number of people who attended the Voices of Freedom series of debates. (We seem to have acquired a cult following!)

Ditto Dave Atherton, Martin Cullip, Liz Barber, Peter Thurgood and other occasional readers of this blog. Thanks for coming.

Celebrities may have been thin on the ground (we did invite Simon Cowell but I guess he was busy) but we had our very own VIPs: Madsen Pirie (director, Adam Smith Institute), Phil Booth (national coordinator, NO2ID), Alex Deane (director, Big Brother Watch, who also said a few words), Simon Richards (director, The Freedom Association), Mark Wallace (campaign director, Taxpayers Alliance), Donal Blaney (Young Britons Foundation), Chris Snowdon (author, Velvet Glove Iron Fist) and of course Ranald Macdonald (MD, Boisdale of Belgravia) to whom I proposed a toast for all his help and support.

Finally, I am tempted to identify the guests below but on reflection .... I have to work with these people!

Reader Comments (9)

Blimey Simon! Could you not afford a proper boat? - That one has only got paddles! Were there ranks of slaves below the decks? Was this the boat that took everyone to the proper boat! Still looks fun though! A little compensation for wasted days doing interviews that never see the light of day!

July 15, 2010 at 12:26 | Unregistered CommenterFredrik Eich

It was a very pleasant evening. Thanks for arranging it Simon, and for the great debates which preceded it.

July 15, 2010 at 13:35 | Unregistered CommenterMartin Cullip

Thanks Simon, it was a great trip. Perhaps next time we can celebrate in Ranald's Boisdale(Inside of course).

July 15, 2010 at 14:20 | Unregistered CommenterSean Spillane

Simon can I thank you for a wonderful night out and great company. I cannot wait until the next one.

July 15, 2010 at 16:16 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

Yes inside a well ventilated area in comfort for the future!!

July 15, 2010 at 16:17 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

Thank you Simon for this evening...For me July 14 is " La prise de la Bastille" The French so I did have the chance to sing the French National Hymme and well as to smoke with my friends inside!!!! Where are the pic Simon?
People was looking at us like if we was coming from an other
A poor and fragile Ladys did it all the man were out side as the law state....Let me think....

July 16, 2010 at 8:44 | Unregistered CommenterFrederique Dupont

I don't know what was the bravest act there Frederique, "singing" that song, or smoking inside?

The only person I saw smoking inside was Ranald Macdonald, but I thought he was doing it to get rid of the taste of the broccoli canapes.

July 16, 2010 at 10:28 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thurgood

great job, Simon - thanks so much!

July 16, 2010 at 14:38 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Deane

thanks 4 the party - enjoyed the speeches and I'll be writing to Nick Clegg.... about his views....

July 16, 2010 at 23:08 | Unregistered CommenterSteve L.

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