Britain’s top politicians have yet to take the ALS ice bucket challenge, with Prime Minister David Cameron, his Deputy Nick Clegg and London Mayor Boris Johnson all ducking nominations.
The latest social phenomenon to sweep across the English speaking West has seen a raft of current and former public servants in the US and Canada tip a bucket (occasionally a cup) of cold water over their oily heads to raise money for research into the motor neurone disease.
In the States, former vice-presidential nominees Paul Ryan and Sarah Palin have taken part, as have the 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and the likely 2016 candidate Ted Cruz. Even George W. Bush, something of an expert when it comes to pouring water over people’s faces, tortured himself from the charity.
Likewise in Canada, the two main party leaders, Justin Trudeau of the Liberals and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair, have iced their heads, as has Justice Minister Peter MacKay.
Despite nominations, President Obama, Vice-President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper have all declined to take part, though all have donated to the cause. Further down the greasy pole, more than 30 members of Congress have so far drenched their locks, from Senators Corey Booker, Lisa Murkowski and Angus King, to former senator Sam Nunn and Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe.
In the UK, only SNP leader Alex Salmond and head of the 'no' campaign Alistair Darling, the central figures in the forthcoming Scottish referendum, have taken a wetting for ALS, treating the soaking as part of their campaign, as has Salmond’s Deputy Nicola Sturgeon.
In Westminster, however, Cameron and Clegg have both been challenged and so far failed to post a video (Clegg to be fair is on an official trip to India, and pouring water over his head may spark a diplomatic incident). According to a government spokesperson, Cameron said he will not be participating, but will make a donation.
London mayor Boris Johnson has also refused to soil his blond tresses despite a high profile nomination from Louis from 1D (that’s a band for you politicos).
Several low-level MPs have, however, taken up the trial, including Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage, and Merseyside MPs Alison McGovern, Luciana Berger and Steve Rotheram.
Yet perhaps the worst indignity is not being challenged at all. Step forward Labour leader Ed Miliband, who, along with Noel Edmonds and White Dee, appears to be the only public figure in Britain yet to receive a nomination. Oh – and George Osborne.
And then there is Vladimir Putin, the Russia leader who was challenged by tank-armed thespian Vin Diesel. Rather ominously, the Kremlin responded to the challenge by saying: "We've had other things on our agenda".