It’s been a politically charged week to say the least. The Tories are revelling in their victory, promising to abolish The Human Rights Act, reintroduce entertaining methods of animal cruelty and stop those scrounging disabled bastards from leeching the salaries of Eton-educated self-made millionaires.
The increasingly anguished left have taken to Twitter in umbrage, as though furiously typed snark will result in the redistribution of wealth and a country-wide group therapy session of hand holding and guitar-strummed Kumbaya renditions. Outside of the social media sphere, Labour Party leadership favourites are hotting up their game, clambering over Miliband’s carcass like it’s a Hunger Games reunion party.
Among them is Chuka Umunna, arguably one of the slickest contestants the game has ever seen. Passionate in interviews and controversial in opinion, this Savile Row-suited, Bambi-eyed political puppy was always going to be divisive. Too young for leadership, some argue. Too hot-tempered. Too ‘metropolitan champagne socialist’, whatever that means. To my surprise it’s not the ‘shy racists’ coming out of the woodwork on the right. Instead they’re bringing out the big guns. The really important issues facing the British electorate. Chuka Umunna is just too unmarried to be UK Prime Minister.
With the media’s preferred purveyor of bigoted wank-storms taking a personal day, the task of penning this particular plate of cow tripe fell to outspoken traditionalist Laura Perrins, Co-Editor of the Conservative Woman and instigator of UK marital law, apparently. In a piece titled “Too Cool For School Chuka is Too Old For a Girlfriend,” she explains why, political policies aside, the British people can’t trust an unmarried 36-year-old man in a relationship. Whilst it’s acceptable to have a girlfriend at 16, or even 26, it’s just not appropriate to be dating by the time you hit your mid-30s, particularly if you hope to succeed in politics. THANKS FOR CLEARING THAT UP, LAURA. She goes on to suggest, in what you repeatedly hope is satire, that his failure to propose must mean he’s either a.) Too lazy, b.) Too unromantic or c.) A narcissist. So which is it to be, Chuka? I’d suggest you phone a friend but I’m not sure Laura will allow it.
“I know what is going through your mind,” she writes, although I’m sure what’s going through my mind is a fair amount ruder than whatever she suspects. “Do I have some arbitrary cut off point for the girlfriend-wife thing? Yes, I do and the absolute deadline is 35 unless they have only been together for 6 months. Then they get a year. After that it is decision time.”
By likening life-long commitments to the cut-off date on student rail card applications, this self-appointed chief of marital police insults not just Chuka and his girlfriend, but large swathes of the unmarried British public. Oblivious to the irony of her ‘unromantic’ accusation, it hasn’t occurred to Laura that some people might not have found the person they want to spend the rest of their life with. Or maybe they don’t want to get married. Or maybe they discovered their partner was as bigoted and vitriolic as Laura, and chose the single life instead.
She fails to make clear what should happen to those don’t marry before the relationship expiration date she’s kindly bestowed on the British electorate. I can only presume you get chased into a ditch by a posh person on a horse blowing a trumpet. Go straight to jail. Do not have a glittering career. Do not pass go. Do not collect £200.
But in the end it’s poor old Laura who’ll lose out. Because when push comes to shove, the bigoted junterings from an outdated minority will cause far more harm to a party’s future in politics than anyone’s marital status.