By Paul Goodman
How does a Secretary of State find a way of congratulating Prince William and Kate Middleton when there's no means of doing so on the Order Paper? Jeremy Hunt's means yesterday during Culture Questions was to exploit the start of topical questions, use today's street parties as a cover, and smuggle his gambit past the Speaker by quoting our greatest national poet –
The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (Mr Jeremy Hunt): This House has already expressed its good wishes to the royal couple for tomorrow’s events. I know that we would also wish to express our good wishes to the 500,000 people planning to go to street parties who are anxiously looking at the clouds. After my earlier slap on wrist I hesitate to crave your indulgence, Mr Speaker, but as Culture Secretary, I would like to read a couple of lines from the nation’s greatest playwright to honour the happy couple. These come from sonnet 136 by Shakespeare:
“Make but my name thy love, and love that still,
And then thou lovest me for my name is ‘Will’.”
Simon Hoggart's Guardian column prevents me citing the old from Bard to verse joke by getting there first.