Pret vs the pub

The beef between Corbynistas and centrists is a culture war between rival bourgeois factions.


Topics Politics UK

If you have a life, you probably missed the big British Political Twitter debate of the weekend: whether preferring Pret A Manger to the pub makes you unfit to be mayor of London. It all started when Rory Stewart, former Tory and now independent candidate for the London mayoralty, made this admission in an interview with Channel 4 News:

It was a hilarious unforced error, of course, and a reminder that Old Etonian Stewart is hardly the perambulating man of the people some commentators convinced themselves he was during his strange Tory leadership bid in the summer. But it soon descended into a farcical, outsized spat after Novara Media’s Aaron Bastani chose to have a pop.

The leading Corbynista influencer wound up some centrists and Rory stans, who in turn declared they’d prefer an overpriced sandwich with Stewart to a pint with Bastani any day. Bastani even got a response from the man himself. And inevitably, other millennial ‘communists’ weighed in, relishing the opportunity to have a pop at centrist ‘slugs’ and their consumer habits.

By Sunday, we’d safely reached the ‘why are you all still talking about this?’ phase. But it was revealing, in its way. For all the animosity between Corbynistas and centrists, their beef often feels less like a serious battle of ideas and more like a culture war between two rival bourgeois factions – Hampstead vs the hipsters, if you will. Both of which are equally cut off from reality, and both of which have far too much time on their hands.

Pictures by Getty and YouTube.

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Michael Lynch

7th October 2019 at 9:43 pm

Rory’s a bit of a hapless chap. When he ran for the PM he came across as someone well out of his depth. I cringed when he took off his tie during one of the debates; a clumsy attempt to get down with the people and it didn’t do him any favors. I like my toffs to be toffs because you know where you stand with them. That’s why I kind of like Boris and Rees-Mogg; they are not pretentious because they are what they are. Rory just tries too hard for his own good. Mind you, I’d prefer him any day of the week to Khan. The quicker he’s out the better for everyone.

Jerry Owen

8th October 2019 at 11:54 am

We haven’t heard much from the little pipsqueak about the XR anarchy on our London streets have we ?

Mark Collings

7th October 2019 at 9:30 pm

PoundBakery do a cracking chilli bake slice – only £1. And my local – The Brown Cow – has a good selection of spicy nuts and a decent pint of smooth on tap… and it’s not unreasonable when you buy them both together…£4.35 or thereabouts.

Steve Gray

7th October 2019 at 6:28 pm

Why is this a *bourgeois* spat? Well, I suppose it’s because Mr Stewart and his detractors are so convinced, by virtue of their smart station in life, that being Mayor of London is there for them, if they want it – if it’s a ‘good move’ for them and so on.

None of these people have asked the electorate what they think, ‘I go to the pub’ being all one needs to say, apparently, to secure the bloc vote of the common man.

David Goldsmith

7th October 2019 at 6:02 pm

Anyone notice who the interviewer was? “So you’r saying that nobody should be allowed in a pub”.

Andrew Best

7th October 2019 at 5:17 pm

Pret is rubbish
Overpriced and not nice
Florance of euarbia will never be major of London, we have enough no hope politicians of our own without this t*t

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