From Middle England to Middle Earth: the new Tory favourite and a Notting Hill parlour game
Saturday 12 November 2005
In the Tory version of Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings, revealed to the New Statesman by a Cameron supporter, David Cameron is, naturally, cast as the hobbit Frodo, whose mission is to overthrow Sauron, ruler of Mordor, aka Gordon Brown.
Frodo is sent on his quest by the wizard Gandalf, a role given to the former shadow chancellor Oliver Letwin. Mr Letwin, like Mr Cameron, is an Old Etonian, but at 49 is 10 years older. He played a decisive role in persuading Mr Cameron to enter the leadership contest.
Frodo leaves the Shire with three hobbits. Two of them, Merry and Pippin, are happy-go-lucky, naive where evil forces are at work, but prove to be brave and loyal. Their roles go to Mr Cameron's campaign manager George Osborne, and the former Times journalist Michael Gove. The role of the bumbling but shrewd and loyal Samwise is given to Boris Johnson.
Another character who dominates the saga is Gollum, originally a hobbit but driven insane by his long, unfulfilled yearning to possess the ring of power - assigned to David Davis.
Denis MacShane, the former Labour foreign minister, said the Notting Hill set ought to think more about the historical background to Tolkien's novel. "Tolkien was writing a fable attacking the forces of fascism in Europe. I wonder if it is wise to use such parallels. I see them more as characters out of Just William. Cameron is William, the leader of the Outlaws, and David Davis is Ginger, who is very enthusiastic but always gets things a bit wrong."
One of Frodo's assets in the films and the book is his ability to render himself invisible in moments of extreme danger by slipping on his ring, and the Labour MP Bob Marshall-Andrews quipped: "If Cameron wins, he will find the ability to disappear suddenly at the dispatch box very useful."
Mr Cameron's spokesman said: "Last month, people were claiming we had compared David Davis to Darth Vader. This month, it's Gollum. There's obviously a film obsessive at work somewhere, but we don't know who it is. We like the idea of Oliver Letwin as Gandalf."
In the real world, Mr Cameron said he thought Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, should be Queen when the time comes. "It's not something that worries me what her exact title is but it's great they're happy and that we're going to have a strong monarchy," he told More4 News last night.
Mr Cameron's campaign was boosted by a declaration of support from the Tory MP Anne Main, who previously voted for David Davis.
Mr Davis will deliver a speech today to Conservative council and group leaders in Milton Keynes, in which he will promise to abolish all regional government and restore to local authorities the rights they had before 1997.
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