Sunday, February 08, 2009

Eddie Izzard MP?

I love Eddie Izzard. His DVD collection MMVI of his first six live DVDs* takes a proud position in my DVD collection. Having seen a number of comedians live** he does strike me as having one of the must brilliant minds as you always feel like you have come away with some education amongst the laughs at his shows.

So it was with interest that I read a piece about him in the Sunday Times entitled 'Eddie Izzard: Hollywood to the House of Commons' in which he mentions political ambitions.

"I’m going to stand for something in about 10 years' time," he says when we meet before the gig. He is dressed down today, in trainers and a tracksuit — clearly in full "boy mode". "I'm just going to get more and more political. I have no mandate, but I have a platform, because I export British comedy around the world. Hopefully, I can come up with a commonsense attitude, being a transvestite with a career. I don't know whether it'll be a Schwarzenegger place, where you actually hold power, or a Bob Geldof place, where you protest and organise."

He considers for a minute. "I might be able to do more by staying outside, because you get locked into a constituency and you really want to help your constituency as much as possible. And will I have to dump all the work I've done to date — my creative work? I might be able to keep stand-up, but it’s taken me almost three decades to get here. . . "

"I don’t know. But I’m just going to get more and more active, and more and more up to speed on the intense detail that there is in any argument. I have emotional or commonsense arguments, I can think about things from a logical point of view, but when you get right down to policy, there’s so much more information you need to take into your brain to understand it and argue it."

So interesting insights there into the mind of the man. He's mulling it over whether to be an outsider with name recognition or seek elected office, Westminster or a Mayoral role perhaps, but for the later he clearly admits there is a lot more work involved. The nuance of policy in a wide range of areas being the nob of it.

But of course Izzard is not a lazy comedian. Being dyslexic the fact that his stage show comes across as one who is well read in a diversity of areas shows that his brain is active. Coming up with questions that need to be answered and often finding out something there than can be used for comedic effect. It is highly possible that the same sort of approach having a question and looking for a answer could easily adapt well to Izzard making a great politico mind. Whether that is a philanthropic role or active in the day to day grind of constituency work is a question that clearly as he says he will be looking in over the next 10 years.

He sees his natural home as being with Labour, which as a Liberal Democrat of course I'm sad to learn, so there is another role open to him. Like Tony Robinson he may seek a place of the parties National Executive Committee (NEC) where he's be able to have a role in shaping policy if he so desires and sees that as his role. But why wait 10 years?

It is clear he has opinions and views now. Doing an interview to promote his Stripped tour and bringing this up is not the normal way for a comedian to behave. But then as I've already alluded Eddie is not a normal comedian. So maybe this is start of moving in a particular direction, one in which he is not yet fully sure himself. However, he has the sort of mind that if he does take things logically and come up with commonsense ideas may actually find himself in a straight jacket within the modern Labour Party, which is one article of clothing I don't feel Eddie would should.

Indeed the one concern that many in the chamber may have if he were elected to the House of Commons could well be for the State Opening of Parliament. That Eddie Izzard MP could well be dressed in such as way to outshine black rod, the speaker and all the other costumed members of the Palaces.

*Unrepeatable (1994), Definite Article (1996), Glorious (1997), Dress to Kill (1998), Circle (2000) and Sexie (2003)

** One of the glorious advantages of living near Edinburgh being that all the big names either start and/or come back/keep coming to town in August for the Fringe. Of course Eddie is now just too big out fills out the SECC in Glasgow whenever he comes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've heard he supported or contributed to Lucy Powell PPC for Manchester Withington which I find very odd. I think he lacks the political instincts - what on earth does he see in Lucy Powell?


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