Wednesday, October 10, 2007
With Hal smirking unattractively on the front bench, Al, his laptop, stole all the Tories' tax ideas. This means, of course, that political parties are now pointless. There was a time when Tory backbenchers with halitosis, tweeds, labradors and wives called Edith would bay for tax cuts while Labour apparatchiks with steel-rimmed glasses, cord trousers, red ties, foot odour and wives called Olga promised that, come the revolution, Edith and her husband would be hanging from the nearest lamp post. They believed in things - bad things, largely, but at least we knew we could choose in whose handcart we could go to hell. Now the choice is between two identical parties whose only aim in life is to get elected. The one differentiation appears to be age. The Tories are all twelve, Labour are all in their fifties and the main Libdems - Ming and Vince - have to be given heart massage as they speak. (Another indicator of change, incidentally, is an unfilled semantic gap. A Labour individual could once comfortably be described as a socialist. That is now absurd, but no word has appeared to take its place.) So the ponder is: political parties - why bother?
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 6:14 am