The Beeb’s Oxbridge Tories: our verdict


Joe Cooke and his screen saver

And so it has passed. BBC 2s ‘Young Bright and on the Right’, quite possibly the most significant cultural event of the decade, is finally over. Indeed, reports have been coming in from across the nation of viewers abandoning BBC 1s simultaneous coverage of Usain Bolt’s historic 200m Olympic victory, and migrating in droves to follow the trials and tribulations of Oxford’s own Joe Cooke.

Ok, so that last bit isn’t strictly true. But to be fair to Joe he did come out of the documentary looking rather good. Or at least, by placing him next to someone who could only be truthfully called an abhorrent little shit, the BBCs filmmakers succeeded in placing Joe firmly in the lesser of two evils category.

In fact, let’s just take a few moments to think about why Cooke’s co-star Chris Monk deserves the not lightly bestowed title of ‘abhorrent little shit’. While the vast catalogue of his dubious moral character traits and offensive faux pas are available on iPlayer for all to peruse, I think it’s worth taking a quick glance at a couple of the highlights.

Firstly let’s consider one of his earliest idiotic comments: “It’s easier to come out in Cambridge as being gay than as being a Tory”. Yes Chris, because sexuality and political affiliation are definitely directly comparable. And for those of you who were tripped up by my web of clever sarcasm there, what I’m trying to say to Chris is: ‘being gay is not an ideology, you complete and utter fucking moron’.

Look carefully to the right of Chris’ head for the subliminal messaging

I was also a fan of Chris’ take on the ‘dashing through the Reich’ fiasco. “No proper right thinking Conservative starts singing racist songs, let alone poorly composed and frankly musically valueless racist songs”. God damn it Chis, you were so close to being a feeble approximation of a human being! But you just had to go and blow it didn’t you? You see Chris, it doesn’t matter if a racist chant is scored by Wagner, it’s still a racist chant.

To be fair to the BBC documentary team however, they did do their best to subliminally distance themselves from Chris. Indeed, while being interviewed in his bedroom it’s notable that the person filming has made quite sure to include the numerous biographies of Hitler on Chirs’ bookshelf in practically every shot.

So there we go, I’m done. Joe may have been absurd and affected, but he was at least likeable and relatively inoffensive. I think what I’m saying is that in a world where elections are with worrying frequency a search for the lesser evil, I know who I’d be voting for.