So. The first post.
After much consideration, it seems the most appropriate thing to do is to jump right into it. Hopefully you will gain something from it; whether that is of value or not is for you to decide.
2017 Election Launch
We arrived early – the event was due to start at 10:00 but we were in Southsea Castle courtyard about 20 minutes prior to that.
Looking around we deciphered the scene: everywhere seemed desolate and the weather was stark, cold.
‘I hope this is the right place.’ I said, turning to my friend, forgetting the ‘fashionably late’ ideology that is followed by the bourgeoisie almost religiously.
Thankfully almost at that moment we heard the sound of unrolling paper, almost like the woggle-board sound that was so familiar from the Churchill adverts. Turning around I saw a man unfurling the large posters of Flick and Penny, Portsmouth’s MPs.
Fast forward half an hour and an awkward encounter with a fourty-something man in a Barbour jacket and the launch was well under way.
Around 150 people, admittedly mostly stereotypical Tories (men in varying stages of baldness), crowded into the large room which was not much more than a slightly upper class marquis. We took our seats and prepared to be amazed.
Jim Fleming, Portsmouth North Chairman, took his place behind the podium.Abou t 35 with close-cropped hair, he was wearing a black suit which was ever so slightly too big, giving him a vaguely scruffy appearance. Of course, despite this, he was greeted with the arbitrary palm-to-middle-three-fingers clap that the upper classes (and the elderly) seem to have adopted as their trademark; a siren to any of their own who might be lurking nearby.
And so it began; it seemed that Jim’s main role was to simply start everyone on a high note, skirting around real issues and focusing more on how great Flick and Penny are. Anyway, after a few minutes of ramblings (engaging and insightful ramblings, I might add), he left the stage and introduced the ‘main act’, Penny Mordaunt.
A quick side note of observation is that both MP’s were looking a little worse for wear: Flick had what sounded like quite a bad cold, and Penny was hobbling about on crutches following a mysterious ‘foot operation’, of which she didn’t offer any more details.
Both women spoke briefly, outlining potential policies and how they might impact Portsmouth, then left the stage, ushering everybody outside for a photograph. Of course, it immediately became clear what the event was about: publicity. ‘Satisfy them with a speech then our campaign photo is sorted’, they might have chortled, perhaps while rubbing their manicured hands together for full effect.
Anyway, admittedly I enjoyed shouting ‘Vote Conservative!’ half a dozen times to make sure it had all been successfully recorded and it was marginally entertaining to watch full-grown men joyfully shout, like children saying ‘cheese’ for the camera.
And that was that. We departed, finding a tacky fair to grab some chips on the way home.
- Do not compare a politicians campaign poster to Hitler’s propaganda. No further comment necessary.
- Do not always expect free food, you will be disappointed.
- The Upper-Middle class enjoy shouting (slightly aggressively) as much as your local football hooligan.
- Tories aren’t all bad.
In all seriousness, while this is meant for entertainment there is a serious message. I am considerably more working class than practically everyone I meet at events like these and usually about 50 years younger too, and yet people are friendly, interested and insightful. Nobody observes a ‘class divide’, as many assume they would. My point is simply to get involved, become a part of whatever you believe in because you will be surprised by the positive response you are guaranteed to receive.
Featured image by Paul Routledge ©