I saw about two hundred people – ticket-holding, card-carrying Tories from what I could gather – queuing up to get in to the Old Passenger Shed at Temple Meads this afternoon.
I observed an ethnicity breakdown of approximately:
186 White (93%) : 12 (South) Asian (6%) : 1 Chinese (Asian) (0.5%) : 1 Black (0.5%)
Of course, this is completely subjective, and I was hardly sat down with a phrenological chart or anything. But I was startled by just how pale Cameron’s audience was. Aren’t these things scrupulously stage-managed? (Admittedly the apparatchiks running the door looked like they were auditioning for an undergraduate am-dram version of Brideshead Revisited, so perhaps the calibre of party machine hacks running the Dave Show really is that low.)
I was also somewhat shocked by just how close to the stereotype of the sloaney Conservative student the vast majority of the younger people there were: braying, badly (but expensively) dressed, with peculiarly proportioned faces. Seriously, I am not making this up. I grew up in the countryside, and I never saw anything this bad there. And the accents! Oh, my, the accents…
Plenty of the people arriving for the event were perfectly personable, courteous, polite; but I did encounter a sizeable minority of unpleasant dicks brimming over with a sense of entitlement and superiority. I guess they’re just readying themselves for a bit of gloves-off class war.
Oh, and I spotted local candidates Adeela Shafi (Bristol East) (I think) and Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West). Somewhat surprisingly Adeela ignored the Big Issue seller outside* – no sense of cameraderie. In contrast Charlotte (whom I may have mentioned once or twice before) looked rather relaxed – certainly relaxed enough not to have bothered changing out of her gardening clothes for a hometown visit by her Duce. No fruit & flowers in evidence either!
* The Big Issue seller told me that he’d only managed to sell a single copy to any of the two hundred Tories queuing up.