Who's up for a metaphor?

Use them wisely, use them well

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‘The Twelfth Doctor is just a non-swearing Malcolm Tucker’ is one of several interesting ways to admit that you have not, in fact, watched a single episode of The Thick of It.

(via greyjoying)

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Ok, yet another Michael Cockerell documentary, but you’re going to want to watch this one. Life in the Whips Office is about—brace yourself—the whips! Cockerell spends more time with the Conservative whips than the Labour ones since at this point they were the party in office, they had been in office for FOREVER, and they also had the advantage of operating in a more byzantine and archaic fashion than the Labour whips, coming off as an entity somewhere between a gentleman’s club, a secret society, and a crime syndicate.

This documentary popped up from under the radar a little while ago when someone noticed a whip in it mentioning that acts or allegations by an MP that might be concealed by the whip to use as a bargaining chip later included ‘scandals with small boys’; while it seems incredible that people in the 1990s didn’t seem to notice the fact that official party machinery more or less admitted that they may have been involved in covering up child abuse for party political purposes, audiences in the 2010s are more discerning and there have been questions raised about whether the police/govt/whoever should have the power to compel the release of these secret whip documents if they may have information on crimes committed by MPs in the 1970s or 80s.

Less depressing reasons to watch include:

  • slightly-less-grey John Major!
  • finding out Tristan Garel Jones was the original Prince of Darkness
  • (incidentally, Mandy fans may spot a certain someone lurking about)
  • a couple (but only a couple) familiar faces fans of This House may recall…
  • OMINOUS MUSIC when they talk about the power of the whips
  • They talk about House of Cards (the original); Tory whips say things that imply that what happened in the show only happened a couple of times in real life, which prompts the indcredulous documentarian to ask the whip in question WHAT EXACTLY HE MEANS BY THAT.
  • The Profumo scandal, aww yeah, and secret documents and plotting about Alec Douglas-Home’s succession
  • You will find out what whips do together for fun (including! whip games!)
  • You will hear the really lame reason why the Tory whips don’t ever want to have a female whip.
  • You will learn of the existence of an actual shit list
  • Maastricht rebels raising hell! Fortunately this makes for good drama, but unfortunately it means you have to look at IDS’s ugly head once or twice.
  • A couple Labour whips more or less bragging about killing people by dragging the dying MPs in during the 1970s to vote.
  • How to threaten people who have no ambition (hint: it can’t be done)
  • The Labour whips being ecstatic when Norman Lamont votes in their lobby

Filed under uk politics life in the whips office 1990s michael cockerell documentary

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Just rewatched The Deal with commentary track on, for fun. Nothing earth-shattering, but a couple of fun little bits of info, like the fact that after the film was made, Peter Mandelson apparently kept inviting the actor who played him to parties & things. Ah, the wide world of political narcissism…

Filed under the deal lolitics uk politics peter mandelson

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Wait, I have another embarrassing William Hazlitt story. I spent quite a while confusing him with William Cobbett, probably because they had the same first name, had vaguely similar last names, were both writers, and were both writing in the same era. Ironically enough, if I had seen a painting of either of them, I probably wouldn’t have ever confused them in the first place.