In today’s world, the issue of politics is always foremost in our minds. It’s an inescapable part of the day, and is as much discussed as any topic around. While some will keep politics at the national level, or maybe even down to the local council, the political arena can exist in many areas. One of these areas, happily, is the Talbot, where politics rule the day.
Many of the talk of politics will always concern the different leanings of those involved, such as the left, the right, or the center. This is certainly important in Parliament, but in the Talbot, the leanings of left, right and center don’t concern themselves with political philosophy so much, but an immensely more important question. Which part of the bar do you lean against? Yes, just a surely as the backbenchers have their assigned seating for open debate, so have the different factions of the bar their assigned area.
The left, while known in Westminster for their liberal beliefs, in the Talbot, is known more as the Party of Elders. Our own House of Lords in training, they recognize no peers save themselves, but are much more accessible. Inhabiting the left of the bar (oddly, the end nearest the toilet and smoking area), their wisdom and knowledge is on display for all to eavesdrop on. From the working class, to the upper crust, and including its own non-English delegations (hey, we are a Union), they spend the days discussing the issues of the moment, dispensing advice to the younger delegates, and providing a link to the past.
On the right, not claiming allegiance to any conservative mode of thinking, we have the Usual Gang of Idiots. The young bucks, awaiting their turn, and holding steady the opposite side of the bar, they provide balance and “mostly” loyal, if not exactly “Royal” opposition. An eclectic mix of representation, advocating a strong military and free love, this is the group most likely to put in late hours, while trying to solve the problems of the world. Even while advocating their own brand of nationalism, they allow foreign involvement that, while required to pay taxes, has no actual vote. (I guess this is payback).
In the center, as usual, is an odd mixture of folk who round out our ‘local electorate’. An unusual mixing of independents who choose neither end of the bar, our resident Royal Couple, the newcomers to the bar, those without opinion, and Irishmen of dubious character, they provide a counterbalance to the extremes surrounding them. Bridging the gap between the elders and the young bucks, they bring a different perspective that keeps a suitable gap between the groups, as is sorely needed, while providing a casual way station for trips to the loo, or for either group to visit the other side. Mostly, however, they occupy the attention of the bartenders when they are most needed at the ends of the bar.
Be aware, casual reader, that these designations are not just an attempt to disguise our latent beer drinking activities. Not in the least, I say. Important matters of state are discussed on a daily basis here. Matters of Economy are always the subject to the day, such as the rising cost of beer and how much the VAT increase will affect it. Matters of Defence (why can’t our favorite football team play it), Foreign Affairs (are Dutch girls really easy), and Justice (how many coppers can fit into a donut shop at once) are debated vigorously and enthusiastically, with much shouting down of unpopular answers. Meanwhile, back benchers sit at their tables and wonder when their by-election will come.
The hallowed halls of Westminster provide a constant political climate, where the matters of state, and even the world, are bandied and abused regularly, and where political leanings are expected, as well as regulated. But have no doubt that, while not debated for a country but for ourselves, our matters of state are no less important. And while our leanings are less political than just against the bar, a person’s position there is no less important to the dynamics of the Talbot than it is in Parliament.
Real politicians wish they could have our system, but they can never meet our standards. It’s sad for the politics of the world, but much better for the politics of the Talbot.
This is an article I wrote up for a local magazine here in town. It never actually got published, but only because the magazine stopped. Just thought I would post it here.