White Wine For The Whiner Please

Tim Stanley departs from The Sunday Telegraph here with an amusing anecdote about a student Labour meeting he chaired as a student, (he will subsequently be given a midweek column instead). Harriet Harman is an insufferable bore, (and as Maurice Glasman has said she sums up so much of what is wrong with modern Labour), I too wish Tim had come out with the white wine quip. A white wine for the whiner please. Oh, and by the way I won’t have White Lightening or any of it’s equivalents besmirched in the press by associating it with BNPers (though I understand the joke was a play on the word *white* and trying to affiliate them with a shit drink, but still). White cider is a trusty friend when skint. God knows what Griffin and his cunts drink though apparently it’s something a little more out of their price range (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-25590155). Hilarious. By the by I saw Mr Stanley on BBC papers with Rachel Shabi (Guardian) the other night, this time whilst he was totally incorrect about the economic ‘recovery,’ Rachel generally floundered quite abit on the economy and the overall discourse was far less productive. Both were right on foreign intervention of course and both made good points on other topics. I’d like them as a regular pair to be asked back (if that is not already the case?). Anyway..

“It’s official: champagne is a socialist’s drink. That’s according to a consumer study from the US that has correlated what people imbibe with their voting habits. Apparently, wine-drinkers are most likely to turn out at elections (the hangovers are lighter than for spirits) and rum is the most bipartisan tipple of all. Right-wingers prefer whiskeys such as Jim Beam and Wild Turkey. Left-wingers like prosecco, vodka, gin and champagne.

The survey has plenty of gaps. What if, like me, you spent New Year’s Eve mixing your drinks? Does that shot of vodka washed down with a glass of whisky make me an undecided voter, or just a diabetic waiting to happen? And what’s the significance of people’s taste in nibbles? Red meat for the conservatives; canapes for the socialists. Meanwhile, those of us who prefer a fun party to a political party just abstain from eating altogether.

The survey is American, so how would it translate into British politics? Well, in my experience, fiscally unsound Labourites will drink anything that’s put in front of them. So long as someone else is paying.

When I was chairperson of my university Labour Club, I once invited Harriet Harman to come and speak on the subject of “bringing more women into politics”. She couldn’t make the usual evening meeting, so we put aside a lunchtime for her instead. I decided that the best thing to do was to offer members sandwiches, and some bright spark came up with the idea that we should turn it into a “beer and sandwiches” meeting in the style of a Sixties trade union.

What a bad plan that turned out to be. It was awkward enough that Harriet turned up to talk about feminism and the entire audience consisted of six men. But it was made much, much worse by the fact that we’d bought a keg of beer, set it up on a chair and had been pouring ourselves pints for an hour before she arrived. The smell of raw, giddy men was potent.

“I am not going to say a single word until you bring at least one woman into this meeting,” said Harriet.
“I’ll see if I can find one in the bar,” answered my second in command.
When he was gone, I said to Ms Harman: “Would you like a pint of ale?”
“No, thank you,” she replied angrily.
How I wish I’d had the Neanderthal wit to turn to someone and say, “So, that’ll be a white wine for the lady…”

To return to the more politically correct present, I’m sure that the idea that you can divine politics from drink is nonsense. Nevertheless, it’s great fun to play “place the stereotype” and link activists with tipples. Now, Cameroon Tories would go for something soft and wet such as Babycham. Lib Dems just drink to forget their promises. Greenies would prefer anything natural and recycled – rainwater, perhaps. The wretched BNP plumps for White Lightning every time.

And what would the average Ukiper say if you asked them what they were drinking last night? Probably: “You know, old boy, I can’t for the life of me remember. So it must’ve been good.”


Readers, I’m afraid the time has come to say goodbye. After many months, I’m giving up this Sunday column. It’s not you: it’s me.
For men, saying goodbye is damned hard. Men who have been friends for years will actually offer each other a handshake. Sometimes they’ll turn into an incredibly posh gent and say things like, “Well, farewell, old thing!” Followed, of course, by a knowing cliché. “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!”

If there is any attempt at a hug, it’s restrained with irony. “Oh come here, you daft bugger!” And the embrace must last no less than three seconds, no more than five. Don’t be surprised if it’s followed by another handshake just to emphasise that it wasn’t a declaration of long suppressed homoerotic desire. “Take care of yourself, good sir!” “Wilko, old chap!”

So farewell, everyone. If I could hug you all, I would. Briefly and ironically.” (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100252829/its-official-champagne-is-a-socialists-drink-so-long-as-someone-else-is-paying/)

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