Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why Eliza Carthy has never met a Tory voter

I was struck by something the folk musician Eliza Carthy said in today's Guardian. She was quoted in an article about the free folk festival in Trafalgar Square on Saturday as saying:
"Nobody likes a Tory mayor."
Presumably some people must like a Tory mayor or Boris would never have been elected.

What Carthy means, of course, is that no one in the circles in which she moves would dare admit to voting Conservative .

It reminds me of an interview with Martin Amis reprinted in Nick Cohen's recent collection Waiting for the Etonians:

A passage from the opening of his 1995 novel The Information presciently captured the conformism of middle-class liberal opinion long before it was arrayed against him. At the end of the long period of Tory rule, Richard, the wretched hero, is visiting the Holland Park mansion of Gwyn Barry, a literary rival who, unconscionably, has become an immense success. Richard’s envy is heightened when he walks into the study to find a sycophantic colour-supplement journalist seeking Gwyn’s opinions on the issues of the day.

Are you a Labour supporter, the interviewer asks Gwyn.

‘Obviously.’

‘Of course.’

‘Of course.’

Of course, thought Richard, yeah of course. Gwyn was Labour. It was obvious. Obvious not from the ripply cornices 20 feet above their heads, not from the brass lamps or the military plumpness of the leather-topped desk. Obvious because Gwyn was what he was, a writer, in England, at the end of the 20th century. There was nothing else for such a person to be. Richard was Labour, equally obviously.

It often seemed to him, moving in the circles he moved in and reading what he read, that everyone in the land was Labour, except the Government.

3 comments:

Duncan said...

I think it's the same approach to Labour you see here, really http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/mar/19/can-labour-win-young-candidates

Where even one of it's 'bright young candidates' seem to have an incredibly hard time producing plausible reasons as to why they support Labour. It's pathetic really, but it's what happens when you've a party with no coherent philosophical backbone.

Duncan said...

Sorry, that should read 'even its' - must remember not to post messages without the support of coffee.

Eliza Carthy said...

Hello
Just came across this, and had to tell you, that despite coming from a staunchly Socialist background (family on the Jarrow march, grandfather Secretary of Socialist International, Keir Hardie an ancestor, folk festivals for playgrounds), I went to two private schools, absolutely packed full of Tories. I also grew up in North Yorkshire, surrounded by old-school Conservative-voting farmers.
Sorry to not fit the model you describe.
all the best,
Eliza Carthy