Kinnell. Cameron’s Tories are really going for the unexpected candidates. I thought it was far out when they got Zac Goldsmith, editor of The Ecologist and one of the consistent frontrunners for most hated Tory on hatemytory.com, to stand for MP.
But now they’re ditching Steve Norris as their attempt at London Mayor. Good. People made a big deal about ‘Shagger Norris’, but in the words of Michael Franti, I don’t give a fuck who they’re screwing in private, I want to know who they’re screwing in public.
Transport is clearly London’s pressing issue. Norris, when he was MP, was the Roads Minister at the time of the Newbury Bypass. Two years later as he was leaving parliament he openly admitted that the ideas and figures used to push Newbury through were wrong, and that he knew it at the time. But, big business whore and moral bankrupt that he is, he did it anyway.
His next job was an overpaid position with the truck company lobby group the Road Haulage Association.
Ken’s carrot and stick of huge public transport investment coupled with the Congestion Charge have unquestionably pushed things in the right direction. Thank fuck Norris never got let loose on solving London’s transport crisis.
But who is the new Tory mayoral hopeful? In an attempt to get back to the gobsmacking ridiculousness of their initial choice – hardened ex-con Jeffrey Archer – they’re considering Mike Read. The smug bemulleted Nicey & Smashey 1980s Radio 1 DJ, the man who refused to play Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood essentially because it contained the word ‘come’.
Ken Livingstone’s taken a swipe already.
“No one in London would have been concerned about whether some pop lyrics were a bit racy,” Livingstone tells GQ Style. “Busting a gut to try to stop a slightly saucy song doesn’t suggest you’re going to be fond of tolerance and diversity.” Read, who wants to stand for the Tories next year, insists he was made a scapegoat for the incident by the BBC. “Is that the best he can come up with? Ken should get his facts straight”
I actually agree with Read, this is an irrelevance. Just like the way we’ve got to ignore Norris’ sexual adventures and concentrate on his public deeds, so we’ve got ignore Read’s prudishness at pederastic pop and focus on what he’s done for London.
The Relax incident pales next to the great crimes Read’s directly committed against huge swathes of the capital’s population. Worse than anything to be found in the murky depths of Archer’s literary output, Read wrote a Cliff Richard musical – inventively titled Cliff! – and thousands of Londoners were subjected to it.
He then inflicted Oh Puck!, a rewrite of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a musical set to hits of the 1980s. I’m not making it up.
As if this wasn’t enough to warrant him being strung up from a lamp-post by his conkers, he came back with a show he wrote, directed and starred in. Oscar Wilde: The Musical, I shit you not.
Fortunately, Londoners seem to be a canny bunch it closed after just one perfomance.
The Daily Telegraph said the play made it ‘hard to feel anything other than incredulous contempt’.
The Guardian’s no-star review suggested that the sketchy sound in the theatre may be because ‘the sound system is being affected by the hefty rumbling of Oscar Wilde turning in his grave’.
The cast later sued Read for non-payment of wages, as he’d not paid them for not perfoming on the cancelled nights.
None of this dented his kevlar ego in the least and he reacted by comparing himself to Dickens.
A man on an Archerian lifelong runaway train of ego and stupidity, jaw-droppingly unaware of how unaware he is, so ludicrous and twattish that if he didn’t exist you’d dismiss a description of him as too heavy-handed to be plausible or funny; the Livingstone office must be delighted.