Focus: The drive to make good Blair babies of them all

Meet Simon and Ted, the two faces of Labour

MR ACCEPTABLE Simon Greenslade

Simon was born in 1963 and changed his name from Keith immediately on arriving at prep school. He developed passionate left-wing views in his teens, but they soon passed. At Oxford he read PPE and occasionally wore a cravat. After a brief but stellar career in the City (eight months), management consultancy (three months) and the dolls counter at Hamleys (six days), Simon moved confidently into marketing, where he began to accrue the collection of expensive suits and slightly wild ties that fails spectacularly to mark him out from the crowd.

He began working for the Labour Party when it became clear that they were going to win.

Frequently spotted in the background of important meetings on television by his mother, Simon hopes to stand at the next election for a safe seat somewhere in the North, which he looks forward to visiting. He lives alone in London, and enjoys long walks late at night on municipal parkland.

Hair: Neat, shiny.

Shoes: Black, polished. Known to mock vulgar loafers worn by ex-estate agent Conservatives. Has heard of trainers, but only in connection with the word "personal".

Accent: Unplaceable. Public school clarity enlivened by Oxbridge certainty, with fake north London twang added for verisimilitude. Noticeable Scottish burr when talking to Gordon Brown.

Fitness: Acute. Mouth muscles especially well toned. Has been heard to boast that he "works out with the boys every day".

Home: Stark, expensive, characterless. Not there very often. Owns many pens. Hides all the remote controls in a drawer.

Car: BMW, probably paid for by someone else. Only man in Europe who knows what all the knobs, dials and displays on the dashboard mean.

Social life: Active. "My work is my life," he tells everyone at parties. A keen and active networker. Would love to meet Patrick Swayze.

Holidays: Yes, please. Must try very hard not to refer to his favourite region of Italy as "Tuscers".

Food: All the usual places. Likes every meal to arrive on a huge white plate in very small piles. Has long since forgotten that rice doesn't naturally come in those patties the size and shape of a creme caramel. Creme caramel: Doesn't eat it. Too fattening.

Drink: The occasional glass of white wine. Mustn't lose control.

Mobile phone: Always on. Small lymphona growing on back of neck.

Prospects: Excellent. Knows everyone worth knowing in the party and their approval ratings. Ability to talk without saying anything already noted by party chiefs.

Loves: Pie charts. Focus groups. Hardcore pornography hidden under floorboards.

Hates: Ted Grinder.


Ted was born in 1936 and endured a childhood of what he has frequently described as "extreme poverty", eating only dirt and flies. At the age of 14 he started work in heavy industry, and rose precipitately through the ranks of his union by dint of a very loud voice.

Passionate, committed, passionately committed and committedly passionate, Ted won the Labour stronghold of Clag- thorpe in the 1964 election, promising Free Coal For All. Previous incumbent Albert Pitshaft had held the seat for 62 years. Ted attracted the whips' attention with some timely and effective shouting, but a promising ministerial career was cut short by his almost complete incompetence. Since returning to the back benches in the mid- 1970s (when he proposed the nationalisation of the racehorse Red Rum), Ted has remained steadfastly true to his socialist ideals, which primarily involve eating a lot of cabbage. Divorced, he lives alone in London and spends weekends nodding at pensioners in his constituency.

Hair: Defiantly messy. Unbrushed since Suez.

Shoes: Functional. What does footwear matter when there is so much injustice in the world?

Accent: Broad Clagthorpe. Ted uses vowels previously thought by linguists to have been lost for ever.

Fitness: The accumulated grease of a million chip butties flows through Ted's veins. Fortunately his heart believes in socialist revolution, too, and keeps on pumping.

Home: Drab, dismal. Not there very often. Box files and letters from constituents piled up all over the place. Photograph on wall of Ted shaking hands with Fidel Castro.

Car: None. Believes strongly in adverse effect of fossil fuels on the environment. Anyway, the wife took it in the divorce settlement. Likes to be noticed (and photographed) on buses.

Social life: None. No time. "My work is my life," he says.

Holidays: A fortnight in Bridlington - or so he would like everyone to believe. More likely to spend holidays at home on the sofa with a bottle of vodka.

Food: Eats to remain alive. Spotted dick. Toad in the hole. Occasional curry. Believes rocket to be a long pointy thing that takes off from Cape Canaveral.

Drink: Tea (vast quantities). Beer (with constituents). Red wine (with party officials). Crates of vodka (when alone).

Prospects: Poor. Millbank eyeing him up for deselection. Simon Greenslade making inquiries about buying a house in Clagthorpe.

Loves: The Party (as was). Punitive tax rates. Fact-finding freebies to Libya.

Hates: Nothing and no one more than Simon Greenslade.

Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Pharmaceutical Computer System Validation Specialist

    £300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...

    High Level Teaching Assistant (HTLA)

    £70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...

    Teaching Assistant

    £50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...

    Senior Java Developer - API's / Webservices - XML, XSLT

    £400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits