Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

My name is Michael Tory.

The British Conservative Party has, generally, had some trouble extracting endorsements from respectable celebrities. In the past, they had to rely on the likes of Lulu, Cilla Black and Ken Dodd to wave the blue flag at grisly election rallies. …

Sun, Apr 11, 2010, 19:50

   

The British Conservative Party has, generally, had some trouble extracting endorsements from respectable celebrities. In the past, they had to rely on the likes of Lulu, Cilla Black and Ken Dodd to wave the blue flag at grisly election rallies. Back in the 1980s, when the recently late Michael Foot was at the helm of The Labour Party, it was — strange to relate — genuinely cool to support Her Majesty’s Opposition. After all, noting how infiltrated the party was by Militant, the average pop star could convince himself that, when voting Labour, he or she was, to some extent, voting for the Neo-Trotskyite Dungaree Alliance. An appalling class of semi-cool still hung around Blair in 1997, but, what with all those illegal wars and so forth, the cheery ambiance rapidly clotted and the stars went back to apolitical bliss.

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Watch it, Milliband.

This time round, the Liberal Democrats, despite attracting only two thirds the current poll rating of Labour, seem to have done a far better job of drawing in grade-A celebs. Mr Clegg‘s mob have Kate Winslet, Colin Firth, Daniel Radcliffe Chris Martin and — most impressive this — Brian Eno on board. Labour are making do with J K Rowling, David Tennant and various rougher members of the EastEnders cast.

Meanwhile, the Tories, despite being poised to regain power, drag out the usual motley crew of blazered Tarbucks. Anybody fancy an evening with Carol Vorderman, Kirstie Allsopp, Paul Daniels or Jim Davidson? Thought not. In the US, the Republicans were always able to count on charming, outdoorsy libertarians such as Jimmy Stewart, Clint Eastwood and John Wayne. No such tradition exists in British politics. The Tory team does, however, have the indestructible Michael Caine. He may have lived in outrageous luxury for the past 50 years, but he was raised dirt poor and, as a result, satirists are unlikely to poke him too vigorously. Let’s just hope he isn’t made Home Secretary. If his views on crime are similar to those of Harry Brown, judicial process will rapidly become a thing of the past.