Monday, 3 May 2010

The Bash Street Election

How does the comic-lover in me see the election? Obviously, working most memorably for the Beano, I'm in the arena of the pre-political. I certainly had no understanding of politics aged 9 and I dread the idea of any kid who has. Even aged 20 I was pretty clueless and spent most of the last 3 decades calling the result of every election wrong.

It is interesting to think how the characters in the Beano might vote once they grew up. And obviously it would make a difference when they grew up. If Leo Baxendale's Bash Street Kids had carried on growing from their inception in Britain's industrial north in the 1950s, then by the time they'd been first eligible to vote they would have all voted Labour, with the exception of Cuthbert Cringeworthy, Conservative, and they'd have ushered in Harold Wilson with a landsllide in 1964. (Thinks: voting age may have been 21 in 1964, so that may be slightly optimistic. Whatever, thru the 60s they'd have been solid Labour).


(above, part of the election sequence from Invasion of the Beano Snatchers by Kev F, click to see strip archive)

By the 80s, if the Bash Street Kids aged like humans, they'd be in their late thirties and they'd have seen many of their jobs lost to Thatcherism. The more self-interested, like Spotty and Roger The Dodger, might have turned Tory and be running small businesses to employ the rest of the gang. Cuthbert would be standing as the SDP/Liberal Alliance candidate and still losing to the Labour candidate, Toots.

So to today. The Bash Street Kids are all 65 years old and mostly still vote Labour as they've always done. Councillor Spotty and Roger The Mayor spend most of their time in Spain and don't bother to vote, and Cuthbert's political career never recovered from the rent boy scandal 15 years ago. Toots is standing down as Labour MP at this election. So it's the Bash Street Grandkids who'll be swinging this result. Spotty Junior went from boarding school to Oxford to the City & Roger's kids are facing a House Committee for fraud after their involvement in Goldman Sachs, so they're no longer local. From the success of Plug junior's chain of beauty parlours to Wilf junior's success as a pundit on local TV, to the Toots family's dominance of local politics and Danny junior's garage staying occasionally out of the red, the next generation are mostly aspirational and doing okay. Which leaves them torn between Labour and the resurgent LibDems. (Teacher, by the way, is still clinging on in his twilight home and has already filed a postal vote. His vote has remained, as always, a secret).

My call for the Bash Street constituency on Thursday? A slim Labour win. As we all know, the rest of the country very rarely resembles Bash Street.

Kev F out of The Beano

1 comment:

G said...

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