28 Dates Later by Willard Foxton: Part Eleven, the world's only other Guardian-reading Tory

In which Willard gets a high-five for talking about housing policy.

So, for date eleven, I went on one of the country's online dating powerhouses - Guardian Soulmates.

The site, run through Britain's most hand-wringing, lefty-liberal newspaper, is absolutely massive, and tons of my most loveable right-on, dope-smoking, Quinoa-eating marxist chums have found love on there. Obviously, none have them have got married, but that's presumably because marriage is like, totally a misogynist cage, man.

I'll confess to always having had a weakness for women with multi-coloured hair, piercings, and copy of something by bell hooks in their badge-covered rucksack, so I was looking forward to this one, and had joined it at the same time I joined OK Cupid, back before I was writing the blog.

The tagline of the site - "where like minded people find love online" - gave me pause though. One thing many of my commie-coddling pinko female chums had mentioned as something they find terribly, monstrously unappealing, is if a man is a Tory.

It was pretty clear from my hit rate on messages falling through the floor on this site, that yeah, admitting you're a Tory on the Graun dating site is not the way to go; so it seems lots of men hide it. "It's horrific," one friend said to me. "You go on Soulmates to *avoid* men called Toby who work for Goldman Sachs and think cherry-red trousers are cool. One managed three dates with me before I even realised." (See left.)

Now, while I am the sort of Tory who likes feminism, and multiculturalism, and is excited about my gay friends getting married, I'm still probably right-wing enough to repel the sort of woman who goes on anti-cuts marches. I do write for the Telegraph, after all, and you basically get a set of scarlet chinos with your welcome pack doing that. So, with that in mind, I decided to go looking for a horse in a field of zebras - I decide to try to find another Tory on Guardian Soulmates. I figured this was probably the best way to meet the sort of socially liberal Tory that I am. Anyway, it took quite a bit of searching, which is why this is date eleven rather than date two!

So, after a month or so of looking, a lovely young Tory lady messaged me back, and fancied arranging a date. She seemed lovely; very cultured, she fancied doing a late night gallery viewing at the Tate Modern, where she was a member. The one problem was the word "young". You see, I wasn't just being patronising in the first part of this paragraph, I genuinely hadn't realised until she messaged me back that she was 23 - almost ten years younger than me. Could I go on a date with someone that much younger than me? One of my personal nightmares is being that 56-year-old man with the 18 year old girlfriend people mistake for his daughter. Still, we got on well by email, and a quick bit of arithmetic revealed she fit within the hallowed "half-your-age-plus-seven-years" rule, but I still went on the date with butterflies in my stomach.

We met at the BFI, with the plan of meeting for a quick drink before sauntering down the South Bank to the Tate. One mistake may have been going through two bottles of wine before we even left the bar, but we were getting on brilliantly. She's very politically involved - comes from a working class background, grew up in a very deprived area, and really wants to become the MP for the place she grew up, to make things better for the local community. You know, one of those rare people who want to get into politics for the right reasons, as opposed to "I did PPE at Oxford, and it's my most natural career choice after Law. By the way, do you like these scarlet trousers? That's real velour, you know".

It's a very strange thing when two people who are really nerdy about politics, who really agree, get together, drink and chat. There was lots of excited gesticulating, and "yes, yes, of course!". I'm slightly ashamed to admit we high-fived at one point talking about housing policy. It was the wine, I swear. Anyway, about 9 o'clock, we headed for the Tate. Once inside, she demonstrated an encyclopedic knowledge of modern art, and ticked me off on my habit of reading the cards by the works before looking at them. "Art is supposed to make you feel, not think".

Anyway, that night, there happened to be an installation going on, whereby performers would flood spaces with dry ice, giving the exhibits an odd cast in the smoky light, and changing your perception of the work. It does occur now that aside from the fact we were both self-confessed Tories, this was in many ways the archetypal Guardian reader date.

Anyway, while shrouded in smoke, we ended up kissing, and it was sufficiently enjoyable as a kiss that by the time the cloud cleared, we had a small appreciative audience giving us a polite round of applause. As we were heading out of the Tate, holding hands, she looked me in the eyes and said "I want to do something really fucking shameful. I feel like I've really impressed you with all the art and politics chat...but... I really want you to take me... to Nandos."

Seems you can take the girl out of working class East London, but can't take the working class East London out of the girl :)

Laughing, we ended up eating at 10.30 near Liverpool Street, in Britain's premier greasy, spicy, piri piri chicken place. It occurred to me that we were on what my pretentious 16-year-old self would have considered the best date ever - art, a kiss, and spicy chicken! It doesn't get any better than that, does it?

It turned out, the age thing wasn't really a problem at all. She's a bit more mature than her age suggests; or I'm massively immature. Either way, we got on really well. Completely randomly, in this East End branch of Nandos, we bumped into an old mate of mine - a male model who has changed his name by deed poll to "Jefferson A-Bomb McDeath: Urban Destruction". Yeah, he has a colon in his name. Pretty cool, huh?

Jeff is a beautiful and charming fellow, and I was always his fat funny friend at University - it was odd being in the situation where a girl had eyes only for me, rather than him, I must say. We all got on like a house on fire. I went to the bathroom, and returned to find Tory girl demonstrating to Jeff the fact that she could put both her legs behind her head, much to the amusement/horror of the late shift of Nandinos. Later, when she moved away from the table, Jeff looked me smoulderingly in the eyes (think Magnum from Zoolander) and said "She's perfect for you mate. And she wants you. Badly."

Anyway, after we left Nandos, pretty drunk, and having had a great evening, we bid Jeff farewell, and I walked her to her bus-stop. What happened next? Well, as I've always said, this is a dating blog, not a sex blog:) Use your imagination, you terrible people!

 

Where else would two Guardian-reading Tories go on a date, eh? Photograph: Getty Images

Willard Foxton is a card-carrying Tory, and in his spare time a freelance television producer, who makes current affairs films for the BBC and Channel 4. Find him on Twitter as @WillardFoxton.

Steve Garry
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The footie is back. Three weeks in and what have we learned so far?

Barcleys, boots and big names... the Prem is back.

Another season, another reason for making whoopee cushions and giving them to Spurs fans to cheer them up during the long winter afternoons ahead. What have we learned so far?

Big names are vital. Just ask the manager of the Man United shop. The arrival of Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger has done wonders for the sale of repro tops and they’ve run out of letters. Benedict Cumberbatch, please join Carlisle United. They’re desperate for some extra income.

Beards are still in. The whole Prem is bristling with them, the skinniest, weediest player convinced he’s Andrea Pirlo. Even my young friend and neighbour Ed Miliband has grown a beard, according to his holiday snaps. Sign him.

Boots Not always had my best specs on, but here and abroad I detect a new form of bootee creeping in – slightly higher on the ankle, not heavy-plated as in the old days but very light, probably made from the bums of newborn babies.

Barclays Still driving me mad. Now it’s screaming from the perimeter boards that it’s “Championing the true Spirit of the Game”. What the hell does that mean? Thank God this is its last season as proud sponsor of the Prem.

Pitches Some groundsmen have clearly been on the weeds. How else can you explain the Stoke pitch suddenly having concentric circles, while Southampton and Portsmouth have acquired tartan stripes? Go easy on the mowers, chaps. Footballers find it hard enough to pass in straight lines.

Strips Have you seen the Everton third kit top? Like a cheap market-stall T-shirt, but the colour, my dears, the colour is gorgeous – it’s Thames green. Yes, the very same we painted our front door back in the Seventies. The whole street copied, then le toot middle classes everywhere.

Scott Spedding Which international team do you think he plays for? I switched on the telly to find it was rugby, heard his name and thought, goodo, must be Scotland, come on, Scotland. Turned out to be the England-France game. Hmm, must be a member of that famous Cumbrian family, the Speddings from Mirehouse, where Tennyson imagined King Arthur’s Excalibur coming out the lake. Blow me, Scott Spedding turns out to be a Frenchman. Though he only acquired French citizenship last year, having been born and bred in South Africa. What’s in a name, eh?

Footballers are just so last season. Wayne Rooney and Harry Kane can’t score. The really good ones won’t come here – all we get is the crocks, the elderly, the bench-warmers, yet still we look to them to be our saviour. Oh my God, let’s hope we sign Falcao, he’s a genius, will make all the difference, so prayed all the Man United fans. Hold on: Chelsea fans. I’ve forgotten now where he went. They seek him here, they seek him there, is he alive or on the stairs, who feckin’ cares?

John Stones of Everton – brilliant season so far, now he is a genius, the solution to all of Chelsea’s problems, the heir to John Terry, captain of England for decades. Once he gets out of short trousers and learns to tie his own laces . . .

Managers are the real interest. So refreshing to have three young British managers in the Prem – Alex Neil at Norwich (34), Eddie Howe at Bournemouth (37) and that old hand at Swansea, Garry Monk, (36). Young Master Howe looks like a ball boy. Or a tea boy.

Mourinho is, of course, the main attraction. He has given us the best start to any of his seasons on this planet. Can you ever take your eyes off him? That handsome hooded look, that sarcastic sneer, the imperious hand in the air – and in his hair – all those languages, he’s so clearly brilliant, and yet, like many clever people, often lacking in common sense. How could he come down so heavily on Eva Carneiro, his Chelsea doctor? Just because you’re losing? Yes, José has been the best fun so far – plus Chelsea’s poor start. God, please don’t let him fall out with Abramovich. José, we need you.

Hunter Davies is a journalist, broadcaster and profilic author perhaps best known for writing about the Beatles. He is an ardent Tottenham fan and writes a regular column on football for the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 27 August 2015 issue of the New Statesman, Isis and the new barbarism