God knows there’s very little love for politicians these days. Plus ça change, perhaps. But the distrust is escalating, from scorn (‘The Thick of It’) to the sheer contempt underpinning this latest Paula Milne offering – ‘The Politician’s Husband’ – a bookend to her 1995 drama, ‘The Politician’s Wife.’
As we first meet Aiden Hoynes (David Tennant), he’s putting his balls on the line. A cabinet minister, he’s resigning from government on an apparent matter of principle. A rarity in today’s Westminster sewer, right? And, as it turns out, the resignation is too good to be true – Hoynes is positioning himself for a tilt at the leadership. One betrayal later, his career has gone tits up. But handily, his wife Freya (Emily Watson) is also a politico. Can Hoynes play long-distance Machiavelli and manipulate his better half into a position to take revenge?
‘The Politician’s Wife’ is smart, well performed and atmospheric. But, even if it’s based in some degree of reality, we’re beginning to wonder if this protracted and ongoing characterisation of all politicians as venal, amoral scum is a little lazy and possibly even slightly counterproductive. Are there no politicians of principle left? And if not, who exactly is to blame? The politicians, certainly. And the voters who swallow their lies too. But isn’t there also a chance that dramas like this end up normalising exactly the kind of behaviour they’re trying to excoriate? That way lies apathy, not anger.
Bike Shed Motorcycle Club
Just off the North Circular in Brent, the Ace Café is in its seventh decade serving up coffee, rolls and rock ’n’ roll to the leather-clad faithful. It’s the oldest biker bar in London. And the newest? Welcome to The Bike Shed: originally a blog and forum for custom bike nerds, now IRL and occupying two big railway arches right next to Shoreditch Town Hall. Alongside a shop selling biker bits and bobs (and a rockabilly barbershop) this Shed contains an upmarket cafe/bar/restaurant for bougie bikers and dedicated pedestrians alike. In fact, it’s only the faint smell of engine oil and the choppers parked up outside that give the game away. With a wooden bar up one side and red leather booths down the other, The Bike Shed looks like any other trendy arch-based London eatery. Burgers, bangers and other biker caff staples share a menu with superfood salads and detox juices. There’s an extensive breakfast/brunch selection, a long list of cocktails, and beers that range from Peroni to Beavertown, including non-alcoholic options for anyone actually on wheels. To drink after 8pm you need to either order food or become a member, which should keep the bikers safe from rowdy City boys. Both our burgers – one meat, one veggie – were accomplished and generous, piled high with onion rings and served in brioche buns with homemade gherkins and coleslaw. Crispy mushroom and polenta fritters made a great starter. Prices are decent for Shoreditch, and the portions are hefty enough to refuel e
Venue says: “Spread across four Victorian railway arches, we offer a great vibe, welcoming crowd and freshly prepared food from our open kitchen.”