The Guardian really had me going with this story – Cameron asks Shaun Ryder to advise on class and help to detox Tories. I’m not usually that credulous, but the track record of the Coalition thus far has blunted my sensibilities. Particularly in the last week or so, with the Tories blatantly trying to score political points in response to the proposed tanker drivers’ strike. Their call for motorists to keep their vehicles topped up, and stockpile jerry cans of petrol in dangerous conditions, only created panic buying and shortages before the strike. Not only that, it brought down a firestorm of criticism from the normally supine right-wing press. Well done, chaps. More seriously, a Yorkshire woman was badly burnt while trying to decant petrol in her kitchen.
And David Cameron’s desperate scrabble to position himself as a man of the people vis-a-vis the humble Cornish pasty is such a risible spectacle that I was prepared for anything. Not knowing who this Shaun Ryder is certainly helped sustain the illusion of truth. After all, it’s not unknown for musicians to occasionally go doolally. Rick Mustaine of Megadeth, has become a born again Christian, and now supports Rick Santorum. Mustaine is also a Birther. So there are terrible precedents.
But the devil’s in the details of the Guardian story. Ryder’s recipe for transforming Call Me Dave into a man of the people involves brilliant wheezes like getting him into a Salford chippy. “Dave needs to be seen tucking into chips and gravy.”
It was the “We’re All Eating This Together!” T-shirt campaign, modeled by celebrities who I had never suspected of being closet Coalition fans, that finally alerted me to the hoax. The obviously photoshopped image of Call Me Dave eating a pasty was a big clue, but even then, I had a few minutes of appalled contemplation at having to stop watching the lovely Claudia Winkelman on The Film Programme. And David Tennant! How could the Doctor be a secret Tory? For a moment, my universe turned upside down, and I was grateful that Matt Smith wasn’t among the T-shirt models – at least I’d be able to watch the next series of Doctor Who.
A brilliant April Fools’ Day from the Guardian. Here’s a list of their pranks from 1974.