Politicians as Pints


Tom Lindley explores how his frequent pub visits have matriculated into him envisioning senior politicians as alcoholic beverages.

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Image by Tom Lindley

By Tom Lindley

Picture this: it’s a lovely, sunny Saturday afternoon. All your day consists of is sitting down and enjoying a tipple in the beer garden of your local pub. You treat yourself to a nice, cold lager. Before you know it, you’re staring at the bottom of your now-empty glass. The only thought that fills your head is, “that was lovely. I think I’ll get another.”
And so, you do. At this point you’ve gotten the taste for it. The worries of the world have faded from your mind, and as you sit there, content with the world and your place in it, I ask you, “what is it that fills your mind?”
A rather philosophical question, but after enjoying a few cold ones on a recent Nouse social, the only thought that filled my head was this: “If Margaret Thatcher had been a beer, what beer would she have been?”  Who says university is a waste of money when it has led me to answering some life’s most pressing matters? This question is undoubtedly the pinnacle of journalistic navel gazing, but hey, you clicked on it so you’re just as curious as I.
For those of you interested in my answer, Margaret Thatcher would’ve been a pint of Guinness. It’s simple: you either love Guinness or you hate it. It’s unapologetically bold. It sets its stall out and says, “this is what I am. You either can’t get enough of me or you can’t stand me. I make no apologies.” Powerful stuff. It’s enjoyed by those who flaunt brightly coloured chinos and pinkie rings, but take it into a Working Men’s Club and it’s got no chance against a Tetley’s.

Jeremy Corbyn
On the other end of our political spectrum lies Jeremy Corbyn. For me, the former leader of the opposition is anything you’d find produced by an independent IPA brewery. The more outlandish the name, the more it’s like Corbyn. Why is this? Well, Jezza, much like an independent IPA, is backed predominantly by incredibly posh, largely insufferable students. If Corbyn is anything, he’s a man of the people. It’s just a shame the people he represents are daft enough to enjoy some £12 pint, served in a glass that looks like a postmodern art exhibit.

Boris Johnson
Johnson is nothing short of an enigma, and for that reason, he’s a bottle of wine. But not just any wine. When you think of Boris as a drink, you think of him being served in the gardens of Downing Street alongside a pizza, during a ‘work meeting’ to discuss an ongoing national lockdown. If Boris was going to be booze, he’d have to be the beverage that started the end of his time in office.

Keir Starmer
Room temperature water, served in one of those plastic office water fountain cups. Fairly self-explanatory.

Rishi Sunak
Rishi said it himself, he’s “a total coke addict.”
“You and me both,” said Michael Gove.
That means that Rishi Sunak would be a bottle of Coca-Cola if he was to be anything. I’m not sure how that could be misconstrued in any way.

Tony Blair
For residents of York, Tony Blair could best be described using one of our delicacies: the Blue Sh*t. Because of how iconic it is, it has this strange charm about it. Three shots of vodka and blue WKD – it’s painfully artificial but it gets the job done. The ‘job’ in this example, much like Blair’s time in office usually concludes with a messy, undignified end.

Liz Truss
For Britain’s shortest serving PM, it’s got to be a shot of cheap vodka. Cheap vodka is a shock to the system and leaves an unpleasant aftereffect. At least you can say it's over with nice and quickly though.

Nicola Sturgeon
Many moons ago, you could’ve made the argument that Sturgeon would be a gin and tonic. She’s someone you might have found in a rustic yet chic bar – that’s got a glass of G&T written all over it. Others might have made the point that the former First Minister would’ve been a pint of Tennent’s Lager, paying homage to her Scottish roots. However, given recent events, she now comes across more like moonshine, because that’s the most likely beverage you’ll find inside a prison cell these days.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
For a proper working man, it’s got to be a proper working man’s pint. After a tough day down t’pits, you’d grab yourself the alcoholic equivalent of Mr Rees-Mogg: a nice pint of John Smith’s. Forget your cocktails and your overpriced lagers, Jacob Rees-Mogg isn’t about any of that rubbish. He’s in touch with his ear to the street and he’s the face of Joe Average. Some may say he’s the Tories’ answer to Arthur Scargill, but for the rest of us, he’s just a bog standard, no-nonsense pint of Smooth.