Former Doctor Who actor David Tennant and longstanding Labour supporter has outlined what he sees as the "terrifying prospect" of the Tories in Government with David Cameron as their Prime Minister. In an interview reported in the Mirror, he denounces Cameron's rhetoric as "manipulative" and compares him to a regional newsreader in a suit.
He comes from Bathgate and will no doubt remember a time when the town had a flourishing car factory which was turned into miles of wasteland which lay bare for years. There are many other relics of Scotland's manufacturing industry which perished during the Thatcher years.
The thought of a Tory Government fills me with dread too as I know fine they'll protect the rich and punish the poor. I do think we'd be completely screwed if they had been in power at the start of the recession. I doubt, though, that the Doctor would be quite as happy with Tennant's endorsemennt of Labour, even though that support is somewhat qualified.
Clearly, the Labour Party is not without some issues right now and I do get frustrated. They need to sort some stuff out,
I don't think the Time Lord would have been in favour of the Iraq War, for starters, and then there's the not so small matter of detaining people without charge, denying the Gurkhas the right to stay here, creating more of a surveillance state than we've ever had, and sending our troops into battle without the basic equipment they need.
Tennant says he can't understand why anyone involved in the arts would vote Tory, saying that:
"It's weird that you can work in the arts - which tends to be about empathy and understanding and, hopefully, feeling some kind of sympathy for your fellow man - and vote Tory. I find that inconceivable.
"I still don't get it when you meet actors who buy the Daily Telegraph and talk about this terrible wave of immigrants. You just think, where did that come from? Have you read King Lear? Have you read Hamlet?".
While I get what he's saying, if he looked back on his own scripts as the Doctor, he'd find empathy and understanding that you just don't get from Labour. The Labour Party tends to view people as one great big blob and apply a one size fits all approach, rather than acknowleging, respecting and trying to honour people's individual needs. You can see that through the health service, the way they run education, the benefits system, all of whom waste resources and cause real problems for people by not being more flexible in their approach. Their any rose as long as it's red sort of approach is far from the Doctor's more liberal world view.
Look at Mickey, for example. Let down by the schools system, living on a poor estate in London with not very many prospects. Sure, the Doctor had a good go at him because he was jealous, but he saw his potential and encouraged it.
Clearly David Tennant is going to be part of what Labour will try to turn into a very polarising "Vote Labour or you let the Tories in" campaign. I'm sure he's well aware that that's a completely disingenuous argument in Scotland where the Tories remain irrelevant.
If Labour's campaign after 13 years in office is going to be based on a few national treasures saying "vote for them cos they're better than the bad guys", then that really is depressing.