I’ve been on the UK Conservative party’s mailing list for the past few years, probably as a consequence of emailing my Conservative MP about plain packaging or car smoking bans.
Most of the emails have purported to come from one prominent Conservative or other, telling me something or other. But occasionally I get questionnaires asking my opinions on various issues, of which the smoking ban is never one.
But today I got another questionnaire, asking me if I was a member of the Conservative party (No), Have you ever supported the Party in any other way? (No), Would you ever consider doing any of these activities to support the Party? (None of them), and finally Why haven’t you become a Member? And beneath this question there was, wonder of wonders, a little text entry box, in which I gleefully wrote:
I’m a smoker. Smokers have been treated appallingly by all the main parties, and above all by Labour and Lib Dems. I will never vote for any of them, let alone become a member of any of them.
Aside from my emails to my MP, this is the first time in about 5 years that I’ve managed to let the Conservative party know why I don’t vote for them. And it’s really only because they don’t actually want to know what I think.
I doubt if it’ll make an iota of difference.
I don’t see why a few other people shouldn’t fill in the questionnaire, particularly people who used to vote for them. You may of course have different reasons than mine for not being a party member.
I’m a bit of a Lana Del Rey fan. In fact I really only liked her first few hits (Video Games, Blue Jeans, Burning Desire). But I signed up on Google for news about her a long time ago, and so I also now get fed snippets of gossip about what she’s doing/wearing, and who her latest boyfriend is (Francesco Carrozzini, since you ask), etc, etc. Here’s a snippet from a recent Rolling Stone interview:
On the second-floor, on a coffee table, near a Serge Gainsbourg box set, there’s a book called The Boudoir Bible. “No shame,” Del Rey says with a grin. She’s sitting on the brown couch, smoking Carrozzini’s American Spirit cigarettes in her languid way, below a huge black-and-white photo of a bunch of slim, naked people, piled on top of one another. The midday sun is blazing through an open window, and her brown hair and fair skin are glowing in its haze — an Instagram filter or cinematographer couldn’t do better. “I quit sometimes,” she says, of the cigarettes. “And then stop quitting.” She smokes onstage, too — it’s pure craving, not an image thing. “I find, sometimes, halfway through the set, I definitely need to have a cigarette.”
The interview, which seems to have been conducted over an entire day, is actually quite fun. And in the end Lana walks out in a huff, eyes blazing – as befits a big star.