Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Times Reviews "tacky", "offensive" Tory Summer Party

Alice Miles in The Times reviews the Tory Summer Party. Here's what she thought:

I HAVE been trying to decide whether the Conservative Party’s summer ball on Monday night was merely tacky or actually offensive. Young waitresses in hotpants and bikini tops handed out champagne; Eastern European models paraded during dinner in skimpy swimming costumes under the pretence of performing a fashion show, to the delight of ageing Tory luminaries.

But as the marketing manager of Veuve Clicquot, who sponsored the party, confirmed to a reporter: “Let’s face it – fashion isn’t the main reason. How many swimming costumes will they sell? It’s a cheap way to get pretty women to look at, isn’t it?” The presence of two young men in swimming trucks didn’t even come close to covering up the fact that this was an evening for wealthy Conservative supporters who had paid £400 a ticket to leer at pretty young girls wearing barely any clothes. And not only at the models, apparently: the after-dinner auctioneer hailed one bidder as “the woman with an almost perfect bosom”.

Somebody pinch me. Which generation, which world, is this new Conservative Party from? And what was David Cameron, the guest of honour, thinking of to allow the event in his name? If Tony Blair hosted a bash like that, or Gordon Brown (the thought of it!) they would be flayed alive by female backbenchers and Labour Party activists, and rightly so.

...............true, the evening may have helped to shed the reputation of the Tory party (and its parties) as stuffy, bouffanted and ballgowned. But to replace it with the Tamaras (Beckwith and Mellon), guests in skimpy designer gear and a DJ flown in from a club in St Tropez that caters to the international jet set; and then to go on to dance at the private nightclub Boujis, the Sloaney haunt of Princes William and Harry? Is this the new inclusive Conservative Party, reaching out? And this in the week that Mr Cameron was placed at the top of Tatler magazine’s annual list of top party guests.

................Even some guests at the party were made to feel uneasy. One, a fully signed-up Cameroon, told me the evening had made him uncomfortable because he was neither rich nor beautiful enough. So much for inclusivity.


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1 comment:

Skuds said...

There was a similar piece about this by Lucy Mangan in today's Guardian.

Quite apart from the political correctness and inclusivity aspects, it sounds like an absolutely ghastly event.