A Tory Encounter
A phone call from Aiden, the owner of Walnut Café on West Hampstead Lane, alerted us that the Tories were invading. Boris Johnson was going to be answering questions; wouldn’t we like to come along and ask him some awkward ones?
It sounded too good to miss.
When we arrived at The Alice House pub there was a crowd of blue rosetted fans slightly outnumbered by local press photographers; cries of ‘Love me Boris!’ could be heard. This, and angry expletives from passers by shouting about traffic congestion.
Question time finished shortly after and a hooded member of the Commons party pushed through the crowds to give Boris an enthusiastic hug.
“I love bendy buses!”
“Oh. Do you? Ah. Well I suppose they’re alright, when they’re going. You can still find them in Sheffield.”
“Great, I’ll have to visit. By the way, Tamsin’s going to challenge for your Mayor of London position”, she said and handed him a Commons flyer.
“Oh really? Is Tamsin here?”
But that was all he had time for, as a burly security lady rolled her eyes and pushed Jess away.
Though the festivities had just begun; an elderly lady proudly produced a tray of 12 sparkly blue cupcakes adorned with David Cameron’s smiling face. She began handing them out to bystanders. Excitedly we extended our hands, only to be told,
“Oh no, I don’t think so! These aren’t for you – you’re Tamsin’s people!”
I guess in their ‘Big Society’ only the Tories get to eat cake.
A young Conservative who had approached to pick fault with our flyer smugly grabbed the largest cupcake, and proceeded to eat it greedily whilst exclaiming how delicious it was. Then she actually thrust it in our faces and contorted her expression to that of a bratty child. We watched in astonished silence.
“If you really want one, you can find them in Selfridges and Harrods”, the lady told us.
Once we’d recovered from the shock of such a shameless display, I remembered our Picnic the next day, and pulled out our colourful invites.
“Come along to our Picnic on Parliment Hill tomorrow, there’ll be cupcakes there too and you’re welcome to as many of them as you like. Can’t promise they’ll have David Cameron on them though.”
“Oh no, I can’t – I’ll be canvassing tomorrow”, Said the young Tory, refusing to take the flyer from my hand.
“I’ll come – once Chris has won!” injected the older lady, referring to Chris Philp, the local Tory candidate.
The encounter was interrupted by cheers as Boris set off on his bicycle, and Jess was almost knocked to the floor by a fan desperate to get a photo of him on his steed.
We retreated stunned, with the bitter taste of dirty party politics – and no sweet cupcakes – in our mouths.