May 302012

Words & Image: Matt Haynes

Your traditional Tory grandee is, it’s fair to say, not like the rest of us. The walls of his stately pile, for instance, will be decorated not with cheap prints from IKEA, but with tasteful oils of himself, his good lady wife, and his bushy-tailed Oxbridge-bound offspring; alongside, of course, age-blackened portraits of his ancestors, his ancestors’ mistresses, and his ancestors’ mistresses’ spaniels.

Your modern Tory, on the other hand, with his Smiths CDs and his Fruit Ninja, is – or so we’re always being assured – a very different beast, much more inclined towards a Damien or a Tracey than anything so… smug. Which is why I had a bit of Nadine Dorries moment at the Cutty Sark last week while looking at a display of ships’ figureheads; for George Osborne, it seems, has cocked a snook at all this trendy defogeyfication and had himself immortalised not simply on canvas, but large-as-life in carved and brightly painted wood.

And those of us who’ve long harboured dark suspicions about what he intends doing to the country can now see precisely what he intends doing it with.

Nice, too, to see the lovely Louise Mensch up there, just behind his left shoulder; clearly, George has started a trend.
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