Victoria Coren Mitchell - Writer, Broadcaster & Poker Player

The Platell Game, Level X

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Anyone who enjoyed The Platell Game a few posts ago (in which players have to predict which way the outspoken Mail columnist Amanda Platell will jump on any given issue) will be delighted to hear that the firebrand is on fine form today. Her October 11th column takes us to Level X of the game:  nearly impossible to get right.

  The news story is that Prince Charles is leaving for a tour of Japan and Indonesia, intended to promote British trade. So, for five points… is Amanda pleased, at this difficult time for domestic industry, to see Prince Charles doing his bit to boost exports?

  No! Amanda sees this trip (although admitting that it is “to promote trade”) as a “ten-day jolly”. She asks, “Could there be any greater display of contempt for the hardships the rest of us are facing? While ordinary people are terrified of losing their homes, pensions and savings, Charles and Camilla are in danger of behaving like pre-revolutionary French aristocrats, blind to the offence most Britons take at their self-indulgent, plutocratic lifestyle”.

  Despite the trade angle, Amanda believes this trip is a self-indulgent fat-cat holiday. So, Platell Game fans: how does she feel about the fact that Prince Charles’s wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, is not joining him for the entire trip? Does this mean brownie points for the Duchess, for not being too self-indulgent?

  No! Amanda reveals: “His sickeningly work-shy wife Camilla will be returning early from the tour, as she doesn’t like the heat. Evidently, after six arduous days, Her Royal Laziness needs to ‘catch her breath’.”

  In other words: Prince Charles is lazy and selfish for spending ten days in the Far East. Camilla is lazy and selfish for not spending ten days there.
  He is going on “a jolly”. But she is “workshy” for coming home.

  Only absolute world-class players of the Platell Game will have got the full ten points here. As for poor Charles and Camilla, they certainly can’t win…

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Ian at 7:20 pm on October 11th, 2008


Still exactly the opposite of my thinking…..

Tell you, if there was money involved in this I’d be great.

Ian at 7:28 pm on October 11th, 2008

Taken from her Wiki entry.

“Amanda Platell is unmarried and without children.”

Well, knock me down with a feather…..

Victoria Coren at 9:26 pm on October 11th, 2008

But how can it be the opposite of anyone’s thinking? It isn’t in itself a piece of thinking - there’s a direct contradiction in the middle of it! She’s annoyed with Charles for going on holiday, and she’s annoyed with Camilla for shirking a work trip. WHICH IS IT?!
  I mean - I think it’s a good thing for Charles to do, and also fine for Camilla to come back after six days. But even by Amanda’s own logic, EITHER it’s a holiday and Charles is in the wrong for staying, OR it’s a work trip and Camilla’s wrong for leaving. How on earth does she make them both wrong? I’m baffled.

Josh at 12:08 am on October 12th, 2008

She is almost as bad as the hurrendous blonde breakfast Tv presenter whos name always evades me. To be frank she is the only living soul who in my opinion, makes onions look intelligent.

Sam at 3:13 am on October 12th, 2008

Writing for the Daily Mail is an art form, you have to both criticise the working class, pity them, and blame it on immigrants. Using this measure for success the article is a complete triumph. It’s only when you start factoring in logic it becomes unquestionably shite.

R at 6:15 am on October 12th, 2008

I wish Miss Platell an inspiring walk through a well-equipped library. And a heartfelt, passionate cup of tea.

On the other hand, I can fully comprehend her embittered furore:

Being reigned by a German Royal House must be an extraordinarily disturbing experience.

Ed at 9:06 am on October 12th, 2008

You have to laugh otherwise you just end up getting angry and thinking of sadistic things to do the Amanda Platells of the world.

Amanda recently picked on the easy target of strip clubs which had me wondering what she’d make of you, Victoria. A “vicious porn movie making gambling addict” perhaps?

andrew at 9:25 am on October 12th, 2008

isn’t this known as ‘spin’ ?

ie. decide on your conclusion beforehand and express all facts in a way that supports your conclusion ( even if consistency suffers as a result!!)

Dave P at 9:40 am on October 12th, 2008

You just don’t understand Amanda’s sophisticated thinking. She is a strong adherent to the Parton school of philosophy. It is a woman’s job to stand by her man - whether he is right or wrong.
QED Charles is wrong to desert our fair shores for the fleshpots of the far east. But Camilla is equally wrong in not sticking by her man in treacherous foreign climes. Without her around to satisfy his baser needs, he might succumb to some dreadful temptations out there ,
I find the Platell game quite simple. I just ask myself ‘what would Jim Davidson say about this if he was a woman?’

Ian at 4:28 pm on October 12th, 2008


You are over analysing it. My thought process for the 2nd one is that I don’t care that Camilla is coming back early, the fact is that the person politically just to the right of Mussolini does care. That’s complete opposite thinking…..

Always said I was a simple soul…..

Gordy at 6:27 pm on October 12th, 2008

I do hope, Victoria, that you are unable to complete this game. To do so would show an understanding of this frightful woman akin to Batman and the Joker… It could never end well.

Leus at 1:48 pm on October 13th, 2008

My thinking is that this admirable 2-part attempt to analyse Ms Platell’s ‘contribution’ to our culture should be expanded into a proper high-profile media catfight. If we could get a documentary crew involved somehow, that would be even better. 

Fisticuffs at The Ivy, that sort of thing. PR heaven for all involved.

The first stage of escalation would involve La Platell replying in her column, which would have the interesting side-effect that hardened players of the ‘what shite will she come out with next’  game can try to predict her response to Victoria’s blog entries. Worth ten points, surely.

Let’s get ready to rrrrumble!

Fitch at 11:05 pm on October 13th, 2008

I’m sure the lady in question was of Oliver Cromwell’s spawn.

Andy the Dealer at 11:04 pm on October 15th, 2008

Vicky, please tell me that you read the newspaper concerned at your local library.

The woman should be sectioned.  Instead of which she’s paid to write bilge.

If I dealt poker the way she writes an article the button would move in an anti-clockwise direction….

Andy the Dealer at 11:10 am on October 16th, 2008

...Pots would be randomly awarded to people I like.  You’d win plenty and those who would win none shall remain nameless.  Those same people would have to post a small and big blind every hand, both blinds would be dead and they would always be the first to act, regardless of where the button was located…Poker a La Platell.

Danielle at 4:48 pm on October 16th, 2008

Oh don’t get me started! Thank goodness there’s the odd newspaper columnist that can actually think logically. I live in fear of the day you get bored of writing for the Observer (or worse, that they decide they need “a change”). At least there’s someone out there pointing out the insanity of most of what passes for “thinking” these days. I nearly threw the iron at the tv the other day watching Jon Snow attack the money saving expert chap for having the audacity not to have been the only person to predict that Icesave would go bust. Incredible.

Andy the Dealer at 11:18 pm on October 16th, 2008

Thanks for not posting my last message.  I have done all of those things, or at least tried to on at least one occasion.  I t was almost as if I were applying for Amanda’s job, on the D… D… D…. no, I’m sorry, I can’t write its name.

P.S. Please don’t post this one either.

P.P.S. The archive of your columns in the Observer and Guardian newspapers is a brilliant addition to the web site.

Victoria Coren at 4:07 am on October 17th, 2008

Hi Andy - have just read your posts - they’re funny! Did you really not want them on here? Do you want me to get them taken down?? VC

Ian at 10:53 am on October 24th, 2008

If you like reading her I’d suggest watching Fox News, it is without doubt the funniest thing I’ve seen in ages.

The presenters definitely make the case for the dumbing down of mainstream Americans whilst getting as much out of the trough as they possibly can.

For an example -

Of course my view is that I’d like to see everyone do well (but have to do something to earn the money) rather than just looking after me (except on a poker table).

Victoria Coren

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