“Get Brexit Done by pulling pints with a smirk in a dimly lit Wolverhampton boozer.”
On Armistice Day, Boris Johnson’s election campaign (aka Boris Johnson’s Voyage of Culinary Discovery) sent the Conservative Party leader, and his defence secretary Johnny Mercer, behind the bar of the Lych Gate Tavern, “a traditional beamed pub with a rotating list of real ales, a snacky sandwich menu and small terrace,” in Wolverhampton.
This is a textbook provincial photo opportunity for a politician desperate to appear inappropriately attired for the practice of serving drinks, a reminder to the watching nation that he’s never done this for real. And an exercise in underachieving that cherished political commodity: Temporary Normal Person Status. It is not this: A very different pint-pulling mood.
One is forced to wonder the process here: Who in Number 10 plays location scout? Who calls ahead? Is there a recce? Is it covert? Who the hell can ensure their guy is not going to get aled*?
Speaking of he, Farage absolutely loves a pub; he loves even more holding aloft a pint of ambient mild for the cameras. And while there is nothing intrinsically Brexity about an old-fashioned British pub, the spectacle of it is one that has been co-opted by the Brexit movement: a space ripe to excite Brexit euphemisms, like “patriotic,” the “old days,” and “traditionally English.” It’s no coincidence that this guy is one of very few major business owners to closely associate himself with a project widely believed to be bad for business.
Meanwhile, the former Labour Party leadership hopeful-turned Lib Dem candidate for Cities of London and Westminster last night met one of the doyens of London food media.
Thank you to @ChukaUmunna for coming to my door last night and asking if he could count on my vote. I was in my pyjamas and had just spilled some of my dinner down the front. Other than that, it was a pleasure.— Richard Vines (@Richardvines) November 12, 2019
*[verb. like milkshaked but with ale]