Shock news: S&M link to Tories
The JC editor and the TV mogul are much more surprised than I am by their decision to go Conservative
A writer's life is a happy life, except in one circumstance. That is, as this week, when the lambent flow of phrases, sentences and paragraphs have to be created in advance of a life-changing event but will generally be consumed after it. I write before the election; you are probably reading this when the result is known.
The timing didn't even permit me to submit to my friendly comment editor a series of alternative endings for a Conservative outright win, a mildly hung parliament or a wildly hung parliament. So writing about politics is almost impossible, at the same time as not writing about politics is almost inconceivable. And I don't even expect any sympathy.
I suppose I could have entertained you with my own agonising about how I decided to cast my vote. It would have paid the JC's editor back in his own coin since he occupied a column in The Times last week (and a characteristically brilliant and pugnacious effort it was) to announce that he intended to support David Cameron.
He was followed a day later by Michael Grade somewhat less flamboyantly saying the same thing. Both displayed an interesting surprise in their own decisions, though to me it was like watching a pair of magicians reaching into their hats and producing a handful of hat-lining. I had never believed that either would vote anything but Tory - Stephen Pollard in this election and Michael Grade in any election.
Only greater Orthodoxy could make Stephen P and Michael G more Tory
Also, according to a new JPR report surveying Jewish political attitudes, both were more likely than other Jews to be Conservative voters anyway. Let us remind ourselves why. Stephen and Michael are both male, and boy-Jews go Tory over girl-Jews by 36 per cent to 22. That is a big gap. Second, both S and M are married, and the spliced or once-spliced go blue 34 per cent to 22 for never married. Third, Jews in Hertfordshire are far more likely to be Tories than, say, Jews in Manchester. I'm going out on a limb here, but my guess is that this is not a function of proximity to the Pennines or the fleshpots of Radlett, but a geographical expression of wealth.
Stephen is, of course, an underpaid scribbler like me, but MG came into the world well-padded and will probably leave it (long life to him) even better insulated. Should the headline be "Rich Jews in Tory Vote Shock"?
The only thing that Stephen and Michael could have been that would have made them more likely to be Tories would have been to become Orthodox in their middle and old ages. United Synagogue-goers are 48 per cent Conservative, which is probably as high a percentage as Home Counties' dowager duchesses. Higher.
But do you become more Tory simply through the act of getting married? I suppose you might call that the Cameron effect, in which case his policy of "recognising" marriage through the tax system is a basic "thank you" to his own supporters.
Also, does it wear off when you get divorced, or does it continue? Do the trans-gendered change their voting habits at the point of transition?
Actually, the Orthodox thing I kind of knew from my days in Hackney, when the only Conservative on the council was a Lubavitcher who was given the moniker "Tory Joe" by the Hackney Gazette.
But why should it be the case? True, the Orthodox have a tendency to marry early and often, and we can see perhaps a sort of patriarchal thing here - the more the bloke cleaves to Abrahamic ideas of the all-powerful husband and father (ie himself), the more he votes Conservative. On the other hand, there are as many Orthodox women as men, or so I have been assured.
Anyway, these ruminations must cease because I've just heard the first election results. And you'll never guess who won.