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BBC TwoNewsnight
Last Updated: Monday, 14 May 2007, 16:33 GMT 17:33 UK
Order of the Brown Nose
Newsnight proudly presents The Order of the Brown Nose - an award for the most egregious sucking up to Gordon Brown during the - ahem - race for the Labour leadership and next prime minister. Send us your nominations using the form at the bottom of the page.

by Stephen Smith
BBC Newsnight

Brown Nose
The much-coveted Order of the Brown Nose award
Don't you hate sycophancy in all its forms? I do. I was saying as much to Jeremy Paxman this morning as I was ironing his newspaper.

"Never mind that, you worm," he said, effortlessly putting me at my ease. "Have you got my kedgeree or must I go and ask Cook myself?"

"Please, Jeremy, don't upset yourself! Where would this show be if its garlanded front man lost his laser-like focus? I'll smoke that haddock myself if I have to!"

I'm sure Jeremy's many fans will understand when I say that I was transported by this scintillating exchange. So much so that I'm afraid I butter-fingered one of the presenter's elegant cufflinks, a souvenir of Norman Hunter from the 'Leeds United Legends' range, lovingly fashioned in mock mother-of-pearl and exclusively available from the club gift shop.

I watched the handsome accessory bounce once upon the dresser before losing itself for good in the ankle-deep pile.


Later, after I had freely volunteered to run Jeremy a few trifling errands - just my own personal way of saying thank you for not being fired - I was walking back from Sketchley's under a light rain when I reflected on my extremely privileged position. I mean, how many people can honestly say that they've been able to share their loathing of flattery with the best newsreader the BBC has had since Kenneth Kendall?

Gordon Brown handed a cup of tea
It will take more than a cuppa to win the Order of the Brown Nose
Not for the first time, the Great Helmsman was marking out the way for the rest of us to follow, I realised.

Sure enough, as I laid out Jeremy's towelling robe for his post-show warm-down, the idea materialised. How else to cover the Labour Party's all-too-brief seven week campaign for a new leader but with a weather eye for toadying?

In the unlikely event of a politician attempting to ingratiate himself with the putative new boss, Gordon Brown, we would seize on it without fear or favour.

The jeu - some say, conceit - caught on around the office.

One or two of Tony Blair's colleagues had quite inadvertently given the impression of cow-eyed obsequiousness down the years. Would a leadership election bring out the worst in them? Not to mention among fools and flatterers elsewhere?

There should even be some kind of award for the most egregious offender, we decided. We would call it the Order of the Brown Nose, a name we came up with after reading it in Private Eye.

We hope that you might want to join in with this light-hearted hustings diversion, dear viewer. So please don't hesitate to draw our attention to any examples you come across of political fawning and forelock-tugging in Gordon Brown's direction in the exciting weeks that lie ahead.

Send your entries to newsnight@bbc.co.uk with Brown nose entry in the subject field or use the form below.

Your e-mail address
Your nomination and reason

The BBC may edit your comments and not all emails will be published. Your comments may be published on any BBC media worldwide.

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