Jonathan Raban: ‘Red Tory’, 22 April 2010
Show More Red Tory: How Left and Right Have Broken Britain and How We Can Fix it by Phillip Blond.
Faber, 309 pp., £12.99, April 2010, 978 0 571 25167 4Show More
“... It’s been a quarter-century since I last listened to The Archers on Radio 4, so I’m out of touch. I read in the papers that Phil Archer, or at least Norman Painting, who played him, died recently, but is Jill still around? Where’s Shula? What’s with Eddie Grundy? Old Walter Gabriel must be long gone, but what happened to his scapegrace son, Nelson? Are the village shop and post office still open, or does everyone in Ambridge have to drive to Borchester to shop at Tesco? Is The Bull now part of the portfolio of Punch Taverns plc? I ask these important questions because, last week, clicking on the podcast of another Radio 4 programme, I found it beginning with the closing notes of The Archers’ maddeningly memorable, merry-men-of-morris theme music, and since then they’ve been chiming insistently with my reading of Phillip Blond’s Red Tory and my listening to David Cameron’s ‘big society, small government’ speeches ...”