Sunday, March 11, 2007

Party Animals

It is a bit late to call this a new series but I still recommend it. "Party Animals", coming from the makers of "This Life" portrays the lives lead by those at the "sharp end" of contemporary British politics- researchers, political assistants and lobbyists.

It is a cross party programme in that both Labour and Conservative workers are represented. As well as the superficial differences in origin and motivation between the two sets of party workers, the most obvious detail is the many similarities between the two sides and how closely they interact in the Westminster Village. As political reality eats away at their original idealism the two camps become more and more alike although they'd rather die than admit this.

Highlights for me include Patrick Baladi (also of "the Office") who plays the incredibly sleazy (and realistic) shadow cabinet minister James Northcote and Shelley Conn who plays the "tick all the right boxes" new Tory candidate Ashika Chandiramani .

The series is now in the middle of a by-election campaign in a traditional Labour seat that pits Ashika against a dinosaur old Labour party candidate. Labour's only hope is Scott Foster who is drafted in to "manage" the dinosaur. The only complication is that Labour Party Scott is romantically linked with Tory Ashika when she is not involved with the disreputable Northcote.

As someone who has spent sometime on the edges of the British political world at a few conferences as well as campaigning in by-elections and general elections, I think this seems quite a realistic portray of British Politics in general. The current climate of a rejuvinated, if slightly insincere ,Tory Party making headway against a tired Labour Party is the particular backdrop for this series.

Worth a watch at least once- Wednesdays BBC2 9pm.

"Tory boys" are yesterday's news. Meet "Tory babe" Ashika who is seeking to inflict a by-election defeat on an old Labour dinosaur

No comments: