The book launch was last night at Daunt's in Marylebone High Street, London. It was filled by the usual suspects plus writers such as Suzanne Moore and Ian McEwan. I was told due to high numbers not to bring anyone. So I didn't. And felt like a bit of a twat on my own. I did chat to Jack of Kent, who for a right-wing Tory lawyer is about as far to the left as you can imagine. Never thought I'd find myself agreeing with a Tory. He introduced me to a couple of other Tories. I mentioned my Underground Restaurant. One guy from Demos said:
"Brilliant! That is sooo Tory. I've got to come."
Surprised I said "Really? How is it Tory?"
"Well it's all about you taking your own resources and using them to start a business. Refusing to kowtow to government regulations. And it's sharing, community. Toryism is all about loving nowadays." he replied.
His friend is in Hackney Conservatives.
"Are there any conservatives in Hackney?" I ask.
"Oh yes. More and more. Have you not heard of the Queenbridge battle? Where we trounced Labour?"
This Tory is a militant vegetarian. I tell him about Pogo vegan cafe in Hackney. He is excited. I say it's Anarchist, the clientele sport Mohican haircuts and are laden with piercings while sitting on sofas sipping their mango soy shakes, that sort of thing. Not very Tory. He still wants to go.
He explains: "We are 'red' Tories as opposed to blue. Who legalised trade unions? Us! We were opposed to Whig policies. We believe in community."
He expands:"Trouble was the Conservatives have fetishised Margaret Thatcher for the last decade. She was great. But monetarism doesn't work. All the surrounding men put her on a pedestal rather like they worship the Virgin Mary in Southern Europe. Now with Cameron leading us, that is in the past..."
I interrupt: "But he's a lightweight isn't he?"
The Scottish Hackney Tory lowers his voice and says: "Well after yesterday, it's all different. People will perceive him differently..."
"You mean, the fact that his child has died will give him..." I search for the right word "gravitas?"
The Scots Tory looks genuinely shocked. He stammers something about going to the toilet, turns on his heel and leaves me standing there on my own.
Even though Mr Cameron's son was disabled and there was a certain inevitability about his death, there is no worse pain than losing a child. I truly sympathise, from the heart. But it doesn't mean I will vote for him.