An ode to the vans of British politics
When Barack Obama visits the UK, he arrives on Air Force One and gets around in ‘The Beast’, a bullet, bomb, and bio-weapon proof limo, that also carries plentiful Obama-juice (AB-), should POTUS suddenly need a roadside blood transfusion.
When David Cameron heads over to the US of A, he keeps his security detail a little more low key, although we do know it had to be hoisted up a gear in 2014, after he was pushed by a jogger in Leeds. At least he didn’t punch the assailant, as poor old John Prescott did to the person who threw an egg at him in 2001 (side note: Times When British Politicians Have Been Egged is coming soon).
It’s no secret that the United States out-glams the United Kingdom in pretty much every measure going. They have Michael Scott; we have David Brent. They have Selina Meyer where we are blessed with Nicola Murray. They do not have Peep Show.
But as anyone who has watched The Thick of It from beginning to end followed by the same again for Veep (I am available for dates and am really funny) will tell you, every extra sparkle comes at a price. We all come back to Terri in the end.
And possibly the only thing more heartwarmingly crap than Terri Coverly (and that’s pretty fucking crap, for any non TTOI fans, who really must have better/more boring things to do than be reading an ode to vans) is the British affection for vans.
Vans are the great leveller. No-one can look particularly bad in a van. No-one, as the below examples demonstrate, can look particularly good either. And yet they are enduringly popular in the stingy grey world of British politics. Here are some of my favourites:
Harriet Harman’s pink van.
So apparently this is technically a bus. And technically it is pink. But look how grey that car park is. Greyness is literally inescapable in Britain. As are vans. And women. They’re everywhere.
Vote Leave van
Do you know who is actually everywhere? Boris Johnson. This was the only picture of his big stupid factually-incorrect van I could find that didn’t have him in it. It’s the small victories.
Stronger In van
For balance, the Stronger In van. Look how happy those campers are in front of their van. The irony is, they’re all Lib Dems, all of whom could probably fit in that van.
Go Home van
The van to end all vans. And until recently Emily Thornberry’s political career. But then Jeremy Corbyn happened. Here’s a picture of him with a van. I know no fickler vehicle.