Friday, 27 February 2009

Nick Cohen's book launch

A selection of Nick Cohen's articles in various publications to the present day 'Waiting for the Etonians' is fucking brilliant. Leafing through it this morning, I have not yet come across a sentence I disagree with.
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.


  1. Once more, another very thought-provoking post.

    A friend of a friend said to me the other day, "there - now you'll vote Conservative next time around, won't you?". He was actually quite smug and - dare I say it - happy about the news. I'm with you on how I feel for and about what happened to the Camerons. Whatever he stands for, he doesn't deserve Palin-ising.

    Keep on keeping on, ML!

  2. Thanks Melissa.
    Can you explain more what you mean by Palin-ising?

  3. Glad you're enjoying the book, ML. Personally I'm not sure I wouldn't get bored with a book with nothing at all in it I disagreed with!
    I'm beginning to wonder if the whole paradigm of left-and-right-wing is a distorted view of politics. Firstly the two are hard to define, especially left-wing. What is it? State rather than private control of society? Stalin was very left wing therefore, but this criteria would actually put Hitler somewhat left of centre too! Does left= freedom and right= authoritarianism? Definitely not! On this scale both Adolf and Josef score full marks on the right.
    In the last few years, as I've become by repelled by both left wing and right wing political views, and being attracted to others both left wing and right wing, I'm totally reforming the way I see the political world.

  4. ML, if you'll excuse me commenting on your question to Melissa I suspect it has more to do with Sarah Palin than Michael Palin. "Welease Bawack
    Obama!" :-)

  5. Hi ML (and Ben!), I was referring to all the hype that got thrust upon Sarah Palin in the run-up to the US elections regarding the fact that she had a disabled child that she hadn't chosen to abort. Sky news put a similar emphasis on Cameron's wife when they 'broke' the news about their son's death. Yuk.

  6. Hi Melissa,
    I must say I am a bit sickened by the media on subjects like this. Jade Goody's illness...sorry but I don't want to know.

  7. Poor Jade has been a media punchbag for ages now. She was a Conformist-Contempt pin-up girl and once she's died and the headlines of her death have ebbed, they'll find some other dupe to take her place.

  8. Ms Marms,

    I'm running a little poll over on my blog and thought some of your legion of avid readers may wish to partake

    Vote for the No 1 Hypocrite here

  9. I'm with you both on your comments above, re media/Jade Goody. I see it all as a double tragedy for those at the centre of the storms themselves, and the millions more who feel the need to chase their ambulances. Thank goodness for blogs like this!

  10. Nick Davies will be giving a talk at Housmans bookshop in Kings X if anybody is interested

    (book event & talk)
    Nick Davies – ‘Flat Earth News’
    Wednesday 1st April - 7pm

  11. Hello ... fascinating post as usual ... let's go to the talk at Housmans xx


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