Worst Take of the Week: Centrist Dad vs Brexit Dad

Forgive your father, for he has sinned.

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29 September 2017, 12:44pm

(Screen shot on left: YouTube / The Spectator. Screen shot on right: Twitter)

Welcome to Angus Take House – a weekly column in which I will be pitting two of the wildest takes the world's great thinkers have rustled up against each other. This is your one-stop shop for the meatiest verdicts and saltiest angles on the world's happenings. Go and grab a napkin – these juicy hot takes are fresh from the griddle.

TAKE #1

What's the story? The Labour conference.

Reasonable take: Jeremy Corbyn's popularity is potentially distracting at times, but has gifted the left a "momentum" it hasn't had in years tee hee :)

Sizzling Centrist Take and Chips: If you love Corbyn so much why don't you marry him.

Badly-drawn cartoon librarian Nick Cohen has been singled out here, but really he's the tip of the iceberg. This week's Labour conference has seen the birth of a new strain of dad banter centred around the laugh-out-loud punchline that Corbynism – wait for it – is a fascist personality cult, complete with fanatics and thugs ready to shut up any dissidents. These hilarious cartoons from the Daily Mail's ever biting Mac, or the editor of the Jewish Chronicle, who keeps quote-tweeting stuff with the words "Not a cult. Not a cult." like a traumatised Scientology survivor.

Then there was the Legend on last night's Question Time who reckoned people singing "Oh, Jeremy Corbyn" to the tune of "Seven Nation Army" was reminiscent of, yes, actual Adolf Hitler.

Some people have raised the obvious point that drawing comparisons between Corbyn's popularity and Nazis or North Korea is a wee bit inappropriate and perhaps a bit offensive to both Labour activists and the victims of those dictatorships. Which is fair enough, but sort of misses the real tragedy here. The real tragedy is that between all of these highly paid career journalists and commentators, this is the best gag they can come up with. "People thinking Corbyn is good is like North Korea." That's it. It's only about two steps above sniggering and saying "gay" every time someone praises the Labour leader's performance during the election.

In a roundabout way these personality cult zingers say less about politics and more about ageing. These rubbish jokes, the flat aura of bad breath and confusion that hangs around them point to the knee-jerk banter of a wealthier older generation struggling to account for the recent sea change. There is a conversation to be had about Corbynmania, but there's a whole other one to be had about men who reckon they'd probably smash it on Mock the Week if you gave them half a chance.

TAKE #2:

What's the story? Brexit, still just Brexit. Endless, eternal, churning, rolling on and into swarming blackness.

Reasonable Take: This seems more and more like the wrong thing to be doing with every passing day.

Common Sense British Farmed Take: I don't get it. Can't you just switch the EU button from On to Off?

After all this talk about Centrist Dad – very much 2017's most talked about conceptual dad – pour one out for last year's forgotten Brexit dad. This time a year ago Twitter was ablaze with talk of real ale, talk radio phone-ins and Union Jack socks. Now it's all "occasional Telegraph columnists who own every Elbow album on CD even though they mostly use the Bose bluetooth speaker in the kitchen". Poor old Brexit dad. Left out in the cold, windscreen wipers whirring away, eating a scotch egg, half-listening to Nick Ferrari and wondering why the limelight was so fickle.

Well, fear not: he is still out there. Last night Channel 4 screened a special debate programme titled Brexit Reality, which gathered Leave voters and campaigners together in Wakefield to discuss how Brexit has been going so far. This absolute boy spent the entire episode shaking his head whenever anyone said anything to the effect of "transition period" or "take our time". When asked for his thoughts he simply reiterated that Britain was fucking sick so we should just leg it.

After all this time – after 8 million men called Keith have made this point – I still don't really understand what "getting on with it" looks like. Do these guys think it's a case of moving a load of filing cabinets from one office to another? Or that Theresa May just needs to stand in Trafalgar Square and shout "EXITUS BRITANNICA" three times while Ringo Starr beats a ceremonial drum? Maybe we should form a committee of all the "get on with it" men, and task them with the actuality of leaving the EU. We can watch as their pink heads rupture and burst one by one as they try to disentangle 50,000 European laws, despite not knowing how to work the printer.

Prime cut: Tough call, but this week it goes to the centrist dads for their electrifying personality cult banter. I would give it to Brexit dad, but I reckon that exact man will be saying that exact sentence for the rest of recorded time, so we can give him the prize another week.

@a_n_g_u_s