For those who are unaware, First Dates is a reality TV show which depicts members of the public looking for love. Potential partners eat a usually excruciating meal at an expensive restaurant. In a twist on the format, we considered what would happen if prominent politicians were forced to entertain each other over a fancy steak for an hour and half.

Angela Merkel and Yanis Varoufakis

The new Iron Chancellor meets a Greek maverick.

This date gets off to a slow start. Yanis is fifteen minutes late. Angela is sat at a table alone, nursing a second small glass of white wine.

A waiter conveys Yanis’ apologies, and whispers discreetly with Angela.

As Yanis eventually sits, Angela tells him that she has ordered for him. Yanis splutters, puts the book of Chinese poetry he has been carrying in his coat pocket and starts to complain. He is cut off by the arrival of a bread basket. Angela takes the opportunity to explain things.

“You will be eating the soup to start, and then I am afraid you have to have the fish.”

“No,” he replies, “We should share.” He looks sulkly. “I know fine well you ordered to spite me and that does not sit well with me or Greece.” Yanis pulls out his iPhone and proceeds to subtweet Angela for the rest of the meal.

“Another Europe is possible, if someone stops dictating to us…”

Photo: Philipp (Flickr); Licence: CC BY 2.0Angela gets what she wants.
Photo: Global Panorama; Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0

Nicola Sturgeon and Marine le Pen

Scottish First Minister surprised by Le Pen’s candour

Nicola, ever punctual, arrives five minutes early and well-prepared. From a small notebook she reads a list of talking points detailing her hopes for an independent Scotland. She is sat memorising the line “Scotland is united against London politics” when her date walks in to the restaurant.

Marine takes one look at her date and contorts her face. As she sits she mutters, “When I was told it was a British politician, I assumed I would get Monsieur Farage. He is so very charmant.”

Nicola shudders slightly but is quick to gather her composure. “So, would you support an independent Scotland?”

“Give eet a rest Nicola,” Marine groans. She practically spits this last syllable.

Nicola shudders again and decides to walk out. As she passes the bar, in a last angry move, she whispers something at the waiter.

Five minutes later, Marine is not impressed to be landed with a bottle of Riesling wine. 

“How dare she… This is not French…”

Jeremy Corbyn and Vladimir Putin

Photo: Vassilis Sgs (Flickr); Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Unlikely allies bond over strongman politics

This date starts slowly. Jeremy and Vlad eye each other warily, before the big Russian breaks the tension.

“I enjoyed your performance on Russia Today Mister Corbyn.”

At this, Jeremy leans back and sighs. “Ah yes,” he drawls and takes a sip of his organic fruit smoothie, “It was a unique experience. This convention of vetting questions before they, erm, trip you up, is quite useful!”

As their meals arrive, salad for Jeremy and a bloody steak for Vlad, they begin to bond over a shared hatred of the BBC. Surprisingly, Vlad dislikes “that blonde liar” more than Jeremy. It is unknown whether or not the BBC’s Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg will put this epithet on her CV.

A shared dessert gives way to a vibrant post-dinner debate on the merits of political brinksmanship. As he stands to leave Vlad remarks, “You are aware that Russian socialism is only a label, yes? You need to show them your weapons to rule.”

Jeremy replies, “Metaphorically, you mean…?”

As he trails off, Vlad walks out, leaving Jeremy a little befuddled. What to believe in now?


Cheap Shots are lazy, irritating, and don’t stand up to legal scrutiny.


Teaser photo: Katie Wheeler (Flickr); Licence: CC BY-NC 2.0

  • retro

    News & thoughts from the Editorial Office.

You May Also Like

Myth-busting in London

When I first moved to London, I expected my idyllic vision of the Brits ...

Cheap shots: Dystopian worlds genuinely better than ours in 2020

The coronavirus global police state has taken us by surprise. Locked down, locked in ...

Cheap shots: Just what the doctor ordered

European politics is in a bit of a mess – here we offer our ...