Archie Bland: Forget music – financial wars are the route to power

FreeView from the editors at i

Share

I'm not proud of this, but at the back of my mind I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm mostly left-wing-ish because anything else is just so achingly uncool. The combination of my stupid name and my dress sense led someone to assume I was a Tory a couple of years ago, and I went clothes shopping at the next available opportunity. (I probably should have changed my name by deed poll, too.) It's not that I instinctively dislike people on the right, or have a considered view on the problems with their philosophy. It's just that I can't stand their taste in music, or in books, or in movies, and I barely ever think their jokes are funny. This, I have always assumed, is a decent enough analogue for their political wisdom.

The surprising result of this terrible failing in my character is that I find myself in deep sympathy with Newt Gingrich, who has been forced to stop playing the Rocky theme tune at his campaign events after the song's writer found out what he was up to and withdrew his permission. Poor Newt! Poor Republicans! It's just so embarrassing. "Eye of the Tiger" isn't remotely cool, and even the man who wrote it couldn't bear to be associated with you. Is it your fault you have hair like a silver helmet? No! It is your barber's fault. But you probably couldn't get a haircut at the cool barber's, because he was worried you'd destroy his street cred too.

There are myriad examples of this over the years. If I were a right-wing American, I would have particularly spit blood in the heyday of the West Wing, a sentimentalised version of life in the White House that made it very hard to believe progressives could ever do anything for ignoble reasons, or conservatives for honourable ones. It's one of those ingrained political rules now, as solid and immutable as the one that says that anyone who warns that they will leave the country if party X gets into power is probably someone we'd all rather get rid of anyway. (Step forward, Phil Collins!)

Sooner or later, there aren't going to be any songs left that furious rockers haven't denied the right of access to, and Conservatives will be forced to step on stage to synth panpipe re-imaginings of U2's "Beautiful Day" – or, worse, a live rendition of something by Genesis. In the meantime, I suppose, they will just have to console themselves with the fact these musicians are only worth a couple of million. The billionaires might not be all that hip. But we all know whose side they're on. Losing a culture war is an embarrassment; winning a financial war, on the other hand, is a considerably more effective way of tightening your grip on the levers of power.

 

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

If I were Prime Minister: Unlike our current party leaders, I'd actually stand for something

Natasha Devon
Leonard Nimoy as Mr Spock, whose expression was coveted by Alex Salmond as a young man  

Leonard Nimoy: Why Spock was the blackest person on the Enterprise

Bonnie Greer
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?