Thursday, October 07, 2004

IF THATCHER WAS THE ORIGINAL SPICE GIRL, DOES THIS MAKE WILLIAM HAGUE THE LOST MEMBER OF BUSTED: Of course, they're slightly dumb boys from a posh background: of course Busted are going to be Tories:

Accused of being a "Tory boy" by [Matt] Jay, former public schoolboy [Charlie] Simpson told Tatler magazine: "I don't really like politics but I've always grown up with their views - the Tories' way of doing things. I just prefer it."

Jay, who claimed to have once voted Liberal Democrat, added: "Yeah, actually, you know what, I am not going to be ripped off any more. From the financial position I am in now, I am a fucking Tory boy too."

Thank god it's going to be nine years or so before any of their fans will be able to vote. We wonder, though, what it is about the Tories' way of doing things that Charlie likes - obviously, as a nineteen year old, he'll be too young to remember the high ground of Thatcherism, lucky sod. Or maybe he does, and maybe he really does approve of what she did to the country.


Robin Carmody said...

This is yet further proof of how much more dangerous the Tories are now that they play such an Americanised, image-led game. Had they remained, culturally and aesthetically, as stuffily anti-populist as they were in the 1950s and 60s then the very act of embracing popular culture, for someone from Charlie Simpson's background, would have *had* to go with abandoning the old family/school ties with the Tories, who were then seen as (quite astonishingly for my generation) instinctively Americosceptic and therefore instinctively anti-pop, quite incompatible with pop's essential egalitarianism and classlessness.

The very fact that supporting the Tories is now seen as perfectly compatible with a career in popular culture shouldn't be seen, as it generally is, as a weakening of pop music/pop culture (that specialness was inevitably going to fade as the pre-pop generations retired from positions of influence); it should be seen as a sign of how the Tories have cleverly, cynically broken the ties with the old ideas of "Britishness" that they used to be associated with, and therefore made themselves a danger for people like "us" in a way they'd never have been had the stuffy old pre-Thatcher party continued forever. The Tories are as socially venal as ever, if not more so, they've just better than ever at hiding it; more to the point, they have become nothing more nor less than a 51st State party - 40 years ago, Simpson's mid-Atlantic affectations might have been a direct factor in his abandoning the party he was brought up to support; now they merely shore up his support for that party.

This is all Harold bloody Wilson and the fucking Marine Offences Act's fault, you know (I'm serious, here). Had that never happened and "In Place of Strife" been allowed to go through, Labour would never have lost the support of a slickly self-centred and ambitious technocratic generation, would never have retrenched to its old class base in such a depressing way in the 1970s - and therefore we'd never have had Thatcherism.

Mind you, there is a possibility that Peter and Gordon were really Alec Douglas-Home supporters (they'd still have been too young to vote in '64, though they'd be old enough now at that age) - at any rate, they *did* tour South Africa and play for segregated audiences, only possible because they weren't in the Musicians' Union (which was also the lobbyist which led directly to the bloody Marine Offences Act ... hmmm, I see a pattern here). But their very existence was, culturally, inherently pro-Wilson and anti-Douglas-Home in a way hard to fully understand if you have no pre-Thatcher memories. Now the Tories have compromised their old cultural (as opposed to political) principles so totally that they have not merely left "huge numbers of voters with no acceptable party to vote for" (as Auberon Waugh rightly prophecised in 1995 - this is also the main reason for the growth of the BNP and UKIP, although in the latter case it's based around a total misunderstanding of the party's aims, taking the word "independence" at face value) but also made themselves more dangerous in the cultural centre-ground. This is why "Upper Class Twit of the Year" is the most dated famous Python sketch - these days, those sorts of people are all taking over "our" territory in a way inconceivable then. But it's not because "we" have compromised our principles, shit as Busted (and McFly) are, it's because "they" have compromised theirs.

Jack said...

The Tories? Dangerous? What are they gonna do, bleed on me? Eh? Eh?

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