Friday, January 09, 2009

Bloody Tories

Is anyone, bar Madeline McCann's immediate family that concerned that a bunch of young Tories make poor taste jokes and are idiotic enough to put the evidence online? Is it going to change anyone's vote at the next election? Does anyone really think Caroline "Nannygate" Spelman is the best person to decide what is and is not embarrassing to the Tory Party? Spare us the crocodile tears.

Admittedly the Young Conservatives themselves are a perpetual embarrassment - Conservative Future as I should call them after the Thatcher Youth were disbanded for being a bit too embarrassing and right-wing - but the really disturbing thing is that youthful pratishness should be seen as some sort of great political scandal.

The implication being that student politicians should always be on the alert to see how their antics affect their party in the wider world. The problem with this is that some of the most ghastly people one could possibly encounter at an institute of higher education are student politicians. The obnoxious, tribal, yobbish types - like young Lewis - are bad enough; but the very worst are the goody-goody careerists, hacks and toadies.

I can think of a few university contemporaries of mine who have risen through the ranks in their respective parties. Generally the less impressive they are, the better they do. The reaction to the Madeline McCann stunt will only encourage their like in student unions throughout the country.

Acting like a twat at university should not be a bar to high office in later life. But the mere fact of having been a student politician should.

Afterthough: It occurs to me now that the Tory boy's most grievous offence was the sheer lack of effort that went into his "bad taste" outfit. The oh-so predictable race to be "shocking" and "offensive" is rather stale. In my day, and I am aware this is making sound like even more of a choleric old git, the whole point of bad taste parties was to be imaginative or witty in a bid to see how badly dressed one could be.

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