Monday, October 12, 2009

Our week in Conservatism: From the age of Supermac to the era of...Dave and Boris

Our research trip to London last week happened to coincide with the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.

From what I can tell, it seems that David Cameron's Tories are indeed making progress in their main electoral strategy, i.e., hanging around long enough for voters to get sick of Labour while pretending that they've truly and genuinely changed and now really do care about poor people and, actually, quite like foreigners.

Whatever. The bits I saw left me underwhelmed, but, you know, I suppose I'm not really their target audience.

Anyway, coincidentally, while looking up information on a murder trial in 1959, I ran across a series of deeply creepy and Orwellian very charming newspaper adverts for Harold Macmillan's Conservative Party.

The worst best of them was the following (click image for a larger version):

(From: The News of the World, 30 August 1959, p. 7)

To avoid any misunderstanding: I've posted this out of purely historical interest and not as an endorsement of any kind.

In case you were wondering.

Quite incidentally: probably the most entertaining -- though not the most sane -- moments of the conference that I caught on television were offered right at its beginning by London mayor Boris Johnson.

Since the hotel where we were residing offers its guests free copies of the Daily Rage, I was able to read the following delightful paragraph over breakfast:

Boris was, according to a contemporary, an unmissable figure around Oxford, 'the silverback gorilla, the alpha male', who Cameron, as a socially gauche backroom boy with undeclared political ambitions, must have looked up to in awe.

Boris was also involved with the most beautiful girl at Oxford of the era, Allegra Mostyn-Owen, which increased his celebrity.

It was at about that point that said breakfast (full English, of course) nearly ended up all over our table.

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