Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tories silent auction gives you chance to be Great Uncle Bulgaria

You might think that the story about the Tories raising money through a silent auction was a spoof when you got to the bit about rich Conservatives bidding on tickets to see the last of The Hunger Games movie. But it's genuine.

There's going to be a plutocrat trying to get their money back when they discover that The Hunger Games has such a sad ending.

With lots like the chance to eat an entire chicken with Michael Gove and Sarah Vine, the line-up of items suggests a confusion between 'silent auction' and 'unspeakable horror', but there were a surprising number of music-related chances to bid.

Perhaps most surprisingly, there was a photo of Suggs. The catalogue describes the photo:

Portrait photograph of Suggs from Madness.
This framed photographic print of Suggs from Madness is a true collector's item. The photographer Stephen Perry has been described as a true visionary and has taken portrait photographs of the stars since an early age. Stephen claimed that he chose to keep Suggs' sunglasses on as he was still a recognisable figure with them on, although it later emerged that he had been in the pub before the shoot and was slightly the worse for wear!
What larks.

I wonder if there's another story about Suggs being in a pub that might be relevant here? How about this one:
Suggs is keen to point out that Madness were always very political. “We were socialists, and still are, to a greater or lesser extent. Our first gig at the Hope and Anchor was the night Margaret Thatcher got voted in, God help us. All that ‘there’s no such thing as society’ and what they did to the unions… We were a little society of our own and tried to create a feeling of belonging. Our House becomes authentic, even though it’s an abstract. It’s the idea of family.

“We did Red Wedge [aimed at raising political awareness among young people] with Billy Bragg, The Specials, Jerry Dammers, Paul Weller, and we did loads of stuff for the miners, benefits for the strikers and families.”
Perhaps the Tories knew all this. Perhaps using Suggs to raise funds for the Campaign to Re-elect The Shiny Porkfaced Cameron is a joke.

Or perhaps they're just inept.

Another lot is to get Mike Batt to write a song, just for you. "It could be a comic song" suggests the catalogue.

But there's a warning:
Not to be used for commercial purposes
Really? You're putting a ban on a person using something they've bought for their own personal enrichment. You've changed, Conservatives. You used to support the free market. Who knew the invisible hand gets slapped back the minute it tries to caress Mike Batt's bottom line.

There's also tickets to see Fleetwood Mac in Leeds, which could be a tribute to that time Republicans bought tickets to a Mac gig and then sold them at a mark-up to fundraise.

It's possible the whole event was some sort of too-clever-by-half in-joke.

But then all the opportunities to shoot things to death... well, that looks deadly earnest.

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