I assumed I’d said everything I could about curry and politics following recent posts on May, Cameron and Brexit. But, according to Chris Parkinson, there is much more to say. Chris is something of an expert on politicians and food, maintaining a Facebook page on the Eating Habits of Politicians. He sent me a barrage of links:.
- Chris points out that, despite never visiting his favourite London curry house, David Cameron would often get press for visiting Indian restautants including Birmingham’s Paprika in 2014 and Didsbury’s Saffron Lounge in 2015.
- In the 2015 election, Ed Miliband responded to Cameron’s love of hot curry. (The original interview is on youtube)
When the manager of his local north London curry house called in to ask if his curries were improving his speeches, Miliband laughed and said he thought they definitely were, before admitting that he doesn’t like his takeaways very spicy. “David Cameron takes his extra spicy,” the interviewer told him, to which Miliband replied sardonically that clearly that’s because Cameron “is a really tough guy”.
- I knew that I’d left out Robin Cook’s chicken tikka masala speech. But that probably deserves a post all of its own.
- An article in the Independent from 2008 uses the headline The Great Balti Bailout and discusses how “The biggest deal in British financial history was stitched together by a Treasury team working into the early hours fuelled by takeaway curries“. The food came from Gandhi’s in Kennington, which has some impressive customer comments, including two former Prime Ministers.
- Chris went on to add: “Possibly my favourite curry in recent political history is Alastair Darlings £600 takeaway on the brink of the financial crisis, an evening that culminated in Sarah Brown mistaking him for one of her children and sending him to bed.” I’m now trying to track down a source for that story.
I assume this covers most of the stories about politicians and curry – or, at least, the ones from recent years. But I suspect there are more to be uncovered. As a related item, here is an excruciating video of an interview with Zac Goldsmith, who ran a horrendous campaign in the 2016 London Mayoral election. In this footage, he claims to love Bollywood, but is awkwardly reluctant to name any films or stars.
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My apologies – it wasn’t Alistair Darling, but Gordon’s adviser, Shriti Vadera.
‘Vadera made her way upstairs to the Browns’ flat. She had never been in there before and stumbled around in the dark trying to locate the bedroom. Tripping over a child’s tricycle, she disturbed Sarah Brown, who assumed one of her sons was up. The Prime Minister’s wife shouted out: “John, go back to bed.” Vadera identified herself: “Sarah, it’s Shriti.” A familiar growl then rumbled from the Browns’ bedroom: “What’s going on?”‘