Etc. Listicles

How to Spot a Secret Tory

How come the Conservative Party maintains power? Because these people keep voting for them.


Shepherd’s Bush Camorra

  • Key quotes: ‘I don’t like what the Spectator is turning into’ ‘I reread Decline and Fall each year’ ‘I had never thought Rishi Sunak had such brutal instincts’.
  • Where to find them: Glyndebourne but never ROH or ENO; Hay-on-Wye but never Glastonbury; Colbert but never the Royal Court; book launches for biographies of eminent Victorians but never new novels.
  • Special abilities: joining the Conservatives to vote for Jeremy Hunt in the leadership election; strange, slightly sexual rapport with bright young men; discussing the economy as though they understand it.
  • Shop the look: ultralight wireframe glasses with string (£169); Cordings Tweed Jacket (£350); voting for the winning party in every single election since 1997 (priceless).

Statue Defender

  • Key quotes: ‘Churchill was the saviour of this country’; ‘If I had my way I’d lock the louts up and throw away the key’; ‘I’m a lifelong Labour voter but also haven’t voted for them since 1997’.
  • Where to find them: the comments section of articles about the BBC; the comments section of articles about Meghan Markle; the OfCom complaints inbox; station pubs; various entirely unthreatened statue bases around the country.
  • Special abilities: using a 2% mandate to speak for the entire British public; suddenly caring about the posthumous reputation of Walter Raleigh; accidentally becoming symbols of tolerance when a passing stranger saves their life in sight of the world’s press.
  • Shop the look: green suede Adidas Gazelles (£54.95); wide-leg XL blue Raf Simons Jeans (£85.69 with Vestiare collective); Hugo Boss cotton-piqué loose fit white polo shirt (£119.95).

Millennial Crypto-baron

  • Key quotes: ‘This new woke consensus is just the death rattle of outmoded institutions’; ‘The crypto “space” is the best of what capitalism can be’; ‘I’m really a moderate, but I couldn’t vote for Corbyn’.
  • Found at: their parents’ basement extension (late adopter); their own basement extension (early adopter); a bunker somewhere in central Europe (very early adopter).
  • Special abilities: technocratic utopianism; defunct Lib Dem membership card; being somehow bottom of the social pecking order at parties where they out-earn every other guest combined.
  • Shop the look: Ledger Nano S Hardware wallet (£55.95 / 0.025Eth); Teel Island SpaceX cap (£10.99 / 43.27Doge); Alienware Aurora R11 gaming desktop (£1,049 / 0.031 Bitcoin).

Green Belt Warrior

  • Key quotes: ‘It’s disgraceful what they’ve done to the countryside’; ‘The government might be pandering to our every whim but people round here feel forgotten’; ‘And why can’t my grandkids buy a house?’
  • Found at: town halls in towns you’ve never heard of; the ground directly in front of a revving bulldozer; the comments section of articles about planning disputes.
  • Special abilities: loving houses but hating their construction; loving green energy but hating its infrastructure; loving railways but hating new ones; letting your children reap what you have sown.
  • Shop the look: BMW 320i (£29,999); Sky sports and cinema package (£54pcm); double sided A1 ‘Hands off our Green Belt!’ placard (£34.99 each).

The Hackney Rationalist

  • Key quotes: ‘I’m a lifelong Guardian reader but I honestly can’t make it through the paper these days’; ‘Cafe OTO is totally played out’; ‘There are good reasons to think critically about institutions like the NHS’; ‘At heart, I’d consider myself a liberal’.
  • Found at: Chatham House keynotes; rationalist meet-ups; academic conferences; sometimes the LRB bookshop but never Pages of Hackney; Dominic Cummings’ Substack comments.
  • Special abilities: movements through London track gentrification patterns exactly at a remove of two years; reverence for the ultra-rich; formerly LBJ book guy, now Bismarck book guy; talking stupid while looking smart, knowing better while reading less.
  • Shop the look: 827 New Balance Sneakers (£100); Hartford Oxford shirt in light blue (£150 via Mr Porter); Nike Netherlands AF1 jacket (£119); diverse crypto-portfolio (incipiently worthless).

Unherd Exec

  • Key quotes: ‘Tony Hall is a talented communicator but a poor manager’; ‘Two grams, please, to W11 6JZ’; ‘The shamelessness of the modern left is appalling’.
  • Found at: Soho Farmhouse, Broadcasting House, Shoreditch House, David Cameron’s House.
  • Special abilities: earning a quarter of a million pounds a year to work in television but not knowing how to hold a camera; despising younger employees; spending £10,000 on a hair transplant; attending private school.
  • Shop the Look: Paul Smith Floral Cotton Shirt (£230); Rag and Bone Desert Chinos (£180); Albam Utility Twill Jacket (£190); Hogan B/W Interactive Sneakers (£320).

Housing Ladder Hun

  • Key Quotes: ‘Mum and Dad only gave us the deposit’, ‘I don’t do politics babe’.
  • Found at: bottomless brunches in commuter town All Bar Ones; Fiat dealerships.
  • Special abilities: genuine indifference to almost every political issue of the day, piercing laughter in public places.
  • Shop the look: Diva BooHoo Brown Leopard Skin jumpsuit (£35), Coach Willow Bucket bag (£295), Barratt Home (£250,000).

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