Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

In a Tory Urban Garden - Dave's PEB

Looks like the backroom boys at Tory HQ have been busy with a spot of Freudian analysis. Taking advantage of going last of three, they've looked at the competition and come up with a sharp riposte.

Gone is the blasted heath of Labour's offering*, or the litter-strewn cityscape conjured up by the Lib Dems; Dave sits in a modest back garden in the evening sun surrounded by blossoming fruit trees and a climbing frame - and isn't that just a hint of birdsong in the background? Welcome to 'Hector's House'.

Clever. Very clever. The lone figure striding through desolation is replaced by a relaxed paterfamilias in a secure and comforting environment. Instead of the hurrying passers-by who brush past Nick Clegg (one of them twice - check him out at 1.15 and 1.20 in their video), the supporting cast are attentive audiences hanging on Dave's every word.

And if Labour were tapping into the latent fear of Dr Who's monsters, the Tories have produced an evocation of something quintessentially English - Gardeners' World**. Dave's Spring Garden is channeling Geoff Hamilton and Percy Thrower (with a touch of Parsley the Lion thrown in).

Incidentally, the audio transcription which so mangled the Lib Dem offering strikes again; 'That's why we need a new Conservative government' becomes, inexplicably, 'That's why we need the name Saudi Government'. Plenty of fuel for conspiracy theorists there.

*A propos of Labour's PEB, it has since occurred to me that Sean Pertwee - their proxy Gordon - was a memorable Macbeth in a 1998 Ch4 schools production; not a felicitous image to conjure up for a generation of younger voters.

**Viewers in Scotland have their own programme.

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