Etc. Listicles

How to Spot a Secret Tory

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

With Toryism supposedly socially unacceptable, here are the tribes keeping the boys in blue in power.

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).

You've reached the end. Boo!

Don't panic. You can get full digital access for as little as £0.50 per month.

Get Offer

Register for free to continue reading.

Or get full access for as little as 50p.

Register Free Subscribe

Already a member? Sign In.