Daniel Hannan – Euro MP and the most influential politician on the Internet – has been finding the election campaign pretty stressful. Fortunately, he’s an early adopter of what I am told is the latest new television sensation from across the Atlantic:
In the evenings, Mrs H and I unwind by watching The Wire which is, for my money, quite the best cop show around. Spreading itself comfortably over five series, it uses the space to develop its characters. There are no straightforward goodies or baddies here, any more than in Shakespeare’s plays. And the dialect is addictive. Several times, on the campaign trail, I have had to force myself to say “yes” rather than “true dat” or “mos def”.
This is much more than just downtime though.
Jimmy McNulty – in real life an Eton boy like David Cameron (“I didn’t know him then but I do now. I know his wife a bit because my best friend used to be crazy for her. When she wound up marrying Cameron, we were like, ‘Why do you want to be with that fucking Tory boy?'”) – has endorsed the Conservatives, sending Toby Young weak at the knees (“Dominic West is a genuinely cool famous person – a fantastically gifted actor and a movie star in the making. It was almost as if Jack Nicholson had come out for George W Bush.”)
Not only that, Hannan reckons that The Wire provides a model for policing Britain’s lawless streets:
The programme doesn’t immediately look like an endorsement of the Tory policy of elected police commissioners. On the contrary, it often shows honest rozzers being made to do the wrong thing by vote-grabbing politicians.
Then again, perfection is not of this world. An elected sheriff might make the wrong call, just as an unelected chief constable might. The difference is that we can’t get rid of the unelected chief constable… The last word ought surely to go to local people.
And you know what? Unless The Wire is lying, those Baltimore coppers are out patrolling every day. They have to, you see: their bosses answer to local voters. Messy as it can sometimes be, democracy is a pretty good idea.
As the man says, true dat. Mos def.