If you haven’t seen Simon Pegg’s viral video about Rishi Sunak yet, you’re in for a real treat. It’s a genius bit of satire, a brutal send-up of left-leaning, self-righteous. middle-class midwits. In it, the cult Brit comic actor turned bona fide Hollywood star does a pitch-perfect impression of the sort of unkempt craft-beer botherer who gets all of his news from James O’Brien clips. In character, Pegg rages against Sunak for daring to say people should learn maths up to 18.
‘Rishi Sunak wants a f***ing drone army of data-entering robots. F*** the Tories’, he thunders. Genius.
Only it isn’t really. I watched it, hoping it was a joke. I like Spaced and it’s a shame to see talented people be so basic and preachy when it comes to politics. But it seems like this is actually what Pegg thinks. What he reckons passes for interesting or impassioned political commentary. Something he thought was so right-on he just had to share it with the world. The clip has gone viral, partly because of his tribe loving it and partly because it is so ridiculous. In it, the scruffily-dressed Pegg (net worth £20million) appears genuinely incensed about Sunak’s proposal.
‘What about arts and humanities and fostering this country’s amazing reputation for creativity and self-expression?’, he rages. ‘What a pr**k!’
It was clearly intended as a righteous blast against an out-of-touch Tory Prime Minister, obsessed with money and spreadsheets at the cost of childhood misery and creativity. But you could just as easily say it showed how out of touch Pegg is.
I thought Sunak’s proposal was naff, too, given the scale of the crises currently facing the country. But to suggest we should just be urging kids to read poetry under a tree instead is surely a bit of a luxury belief.