Mr Massow was on television this morning again, with his rather alarming new haircut. The irony is, he’s never looked more right wing. My interest in him is long founded and based around the four major features of his life – 1) His apparently strong political beliefs (Tory until proven otherwise). 2) His presence as a prominent figure in the London gay community. 3) His financial success marketing to gay people. 4) His charm, charisma and the fact that he’s pretty good looking.
There’s something really alarming about this set of characteristics that seems to inspire bizarre reactions in people. His politics seems to play up the bastard angle. Several of my devoutly leftist friends seem to find this a tremendous turn-on when combined with what appears to be his affable charm. Personally, he was the first person to bring me to the stage where I had to confess to be a nontorysexual – by which I mean that I find someone’s right wing tendencies to be a more substantial turn-off than pretty much anything else.
In the gay community, he is simultaneously villified and adored – poster boy for a generation of guppies (gay & upwardly mobile – very eighties) while simultaneously seen to have made his fortune off the back of the very kinds of intolerance that keeps other gay people in a position of vulnerability. And now he’s turned towards Labour – how do we all feel about that? Honestly – I don’t really know.
The most interesting thing about the interview today was how politically simplistic he appeared to be. He basically contrasted the Labour and Conservative parties on the two staple axes that they have been for years. The stereotype is: Labour are good on social justice, but weak on the economy. The Conservatives can run the economy, but they’re for a more survival of the fittest, Middle England Anti-Immigration ethos. Ivan put his priorities very firmly down on the side of the economic priority versus social justice, and stated that he felt that the management of the economy under Labour had clearly changed and now he was left between a party that was good on the economy and social justice, and one that heavily prioritised the former. He didn’t appear to think there was any other choice to make.
But what about the other issues? The Euro for example? And fox-hunting? The Labour Party has objectives here which are very much against Massow’s own. How does he reconcile them? I’m not sure he knows… Whether this makes him self-serving or honest is another question altogether…