Rod Liddle Rod Liddle

Celebrity squares

It is a long, long, time since the Conservative party had the support of a clever, truculent lesbian

It is a long, long, time since the Conservative party had the support of a clever, truculent lesbian. In fact, has it ever happened before? Clever, truculent lesbians are usually very left-wing, in my experience. But now one of them has come out, so to speak, for David Cameron — the extremely talented writer Jeanette Winterson. He must be bowled over. I mean, inclusive or what? It’s a long time since British writers were allowed to be Conservative, never mind clever, truculent lesbian British writers. The question, I suppose, is whether the truculent lesbian community has swung decisively to the Right or the Conservative party has made itself more amenable to truculent lesbians.

The singer Iggy Pop once recorded a song entitled ‘I’m a Conservative’, which consisted of him snarling ‘I’m a Conservative’ for six or seven minutes over the top of some typically vigorous electric guitar. It was regarded at the time as a quite hilarious piece of satire, a cogent and biting comment on the vacuity of right-wing politics. Later, though, Mr Pop put the record straight. ‘Actually, I am a Conservative. That’s what I meant when I sang “I’m a Conservative”. I didn’t mean that I wasn’t.’

We have become unused to our celebrities affixing their names to the party of Charles Moore and Michael Howard. That they are now willing to do so suggests that either it is no longer the party of Charlie and Mike or that celebs are heading back to the Right. Conservative Central Office has recently found itself a few stars. Not enough just yet, maybe, for a rally of the proportions held by Margaret Thatcher before the 1983 general election — which had every smug, desperately unfunny Liverpudlian comedian, perma-tanned crooner, emetic game-show presenter and those grand old dames Lulu and Cilla pledging their support for Maggie (and made me vow never, ever, to vote Tory in my life) — but a start, at least.

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