spiked-geist: Day One

Tinkering with politics; Gorging on humble pie; Bunking off Downing Street; Tories: the musical.

Tinkering with politics

Which big issue did the Tories choose to kick off their election campaign? Travellers.

Otherwise known as tinkers, diddicoys or pikeys, you and I might think the ‘travelling community’ is better suited to walk-on parts in a Guy Ritchie film than a starring role in the world of politics - but according to William Hague, it is ‘high time’ we ‘rejected the politically correct view that a blind eye should be turned to minor crimes by many travellers just because of their alternative lifestyle’.

But why stop there? What about all those other unpopular types whose habits annoy right-thinking men and women everywhere? Like the geeks who talk on their mobile phones in restaurants. Or the idiots who stop dead at the top of escalators, causing a people pile-up behind them. Or teenagers who turn their cars into loudspeakers. Or politicians who grasp at any issue, however surreal, in a desperate bid to look tough.

Tories, get on the case: there is clearly an untapped wealth of sad people for you to berate in the run-up to the election. BON

Gorging on humble pie

Having spent the weekend worrying that its majority is too big, New Labour now says it will run the election campaign with a bit of ‘humility’.

But shouldn’t political parties try to win as big a majority as they can and not get all humble about it? Maybe this is the same kind of ‘humility’ displayed by the likes of Pope John Paul, who gets down on his hands and knees to kiss the ground before telling people what’s what and who’s the boss. BON

Bunking off Downing Street

It would be bad enough if Tony Blair had announced the general election date posing outside Downing Street with his own kids. But to announce the election of the century to an audience of children at a South London school - well, that puts us in our place, doesn’t it?

Apparently the school is a ‘people’s venue’, where Blair can reach the populous in a more direct and ‘in touch’ way, bypassing the formality of government. Yes - but has he forgotten than kids can’t vote? That an election is for adults?

But then, given that Blair has written off the electorate as apathetic, maybe schools are the last places he can guarantee a round of applause. JA

Tories: the musical

The Conservative Party got its fingers burnt last September, when it chose the funky Man Next Door by Massive Attack as musical accompaniment to the launch of a policy document. Now, perhaps inspired by the May Day protesters and Wombling free of any hope of election success, the Tories have chosen a more auspicious theme tune for their election campaign. Heartlands is composed by Mike Batt, the man responsible for the theme tunes to The Wombles and Watership Down. ‘I wanted my music to reflect that deep national pride which has always characterised Britons of all political persuasions’, said Batt. ‘Time for bed’, said Zebedee. SS

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