CRAIG BROWN: Who said… Don't upset the apple tart!

CRAIG BROWN: Who said… Don’t upset the apple tart!

Following Nadine Dorries’s talk of ‘downstreaming’ films and building ‘tennis pitches’, I have compiled this little quiz of political slips of the tongue.


1) On a visit to which country was Queen Elizabeth II introduced as Queen Elizabeth the Eleventh?

a) Morocco

b) Cameroon

c) Zambia

d) Namibia


2) Which Health Secretary’s surname did host James Naughtie transform into a rude word on Radio 4’s Today programme?

a) Matt Hancock

b) Jeremy Hunt

c) Norman Fowler

d) Virginia Bottomley


3) Which U.S. Vice President boasted: ‘This President is going to lead us out of this recovery’?

a) Kamala Harris

b) Spiro Agnew

c) Mike Pence

d) Dan Quayle


4) In 1988, Vice President George H. W. Bush made a notable slip-up when describing his relationship with President Reagan, saying: ‘We’ve had triumphs. Made some mistakes…’ How did he continue?

a) ‘We’ve made America a badder . . . uh . . . better place’

b) ‘We’ve hit the jackboot . . . uh . . . jackpot’

c) ‘We’ve had some sex . . . uh . . . setbacks’

d) ‘We’ve done what we didn’t do . . . uh . . . did do . . . uh . . . didn’t have to do’

5) His son, George W. Bush, was also well known for his gaffes. Which one of the following did he not say?

a) ‘The trouble with the French is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur.’

b) ‘I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.’

c) ‘It ain’t what you do, it’s the way you don’t do it.’

d) ‘Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.’


6) In 2020, in a speech decrying U.S. corporations that sent jobs overseas, President Trump mispronounced the name of a foreign country. Did he say:

a) Thighland

b) No-way

c) Hung Kung

d) Turnkey


7) The former Irish Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, once gave a warning to his country against…

a) ‘Creating dysentery in the ranks.’

b) ‘Blending too much money.’

c) ‘Upsetting the apple tart.’

d) ‘Putting Basques in one exit.’


8) Who said: ‘The Green Belt is a Labour achievement — and we intend to build on it?’

a) John Prescott

b) Diane Abbott

c) Angela Rayner

d) Eric Pickles

‘Upsetting the apple tart’


9) Team the slip of the tongue with the politician who made it:

a) ‘It’s not rocket fuel.’

b) ‘My general approach is that you mustn’t generalise.’

c) ‘With the retirement of Dickie Bird, something sad will have gone out of English cricket.’

d) ‘We’re sending 23 million leaflets to every household in Britain.’

i) Harriet Harman

ii) Henry McLeish, former Scottish first minister

iii) John Major

iv) Norman Fowler


10) Which Foreign Secretary proposed a toast to their host at a dinner in Norway by saying: ‘To His Majesty, the King of Sweden!’

a) Liz Truss

b) Jack Straw

c) Jim Callaghan

d) Boris Johnson


11) ‘How nice to see you all here.’ Which senior politician said this while addressing inmates on a visit to a London prison?

a) Roy Jenkins

b) Gavin Williamson

c) Nadine Dorries

d) Ann Widdecombe


12) How did Edwina Currie end the sentence: ‘There’s no smoke without . . .’

a) ‘eggs in one basket.’

b) ‘counting your chickens.’

c) ‘mud being flung around.’

d) ‘spoiling the broth.’


13) In 1990, Michael Heseltine told Radio 4: ‘The essence of being a Prime Minister is . . .’

a) ‘to stick a finger in every hole.’

b) ‘to show your teeth.’

c) ‘to have large ears.’

d) ‘to have lots of hair.’


Answers: 1d. 2b. 3d. 4c. 5c. 6a. 7c. 8a. 9 a,ii; b,i; c,iii; d,iv. 10c. 11a. 12c. 13c.

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