By Paul Goodman
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Tim Montgomerie gave star billing in our newslinks yesterday to Robert Colvile's praise for Batman as capitalist hero. Batman, he wrote, is "a Caped Conservative" – a truth exposed by Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises", the premiere of which took place last night. Batman, wrote Mr Colvile, is "secretly, wonderfully Right-wing…the plutocrats’ champion, forced to defend his city". Furthermore, Batman "is all about cool. Or rather, a child’s idea of cool: the man with the most money and the biggest house and the best hide-out and the fastest car, chased by the prettiest girls".
It follows that Mr Colvile will have started a rush to identify the Government's very own Bruce Wayne, foiling Labour's spoilers and wreckers. (Stills from the film clearly identify its villian, Bane, as Liam Byrne). Such a quest under present conditions will bring nothing but disappointment. David Cameron and George Osborne aren't short of money or houses, but they don't seem to be winning at the moment. Michael Gove is probably the Government's most effective Minister, but the Education Secretary is not associated with big houses and fast cars.
The most suitable candidate is clearly Boris Johnson, who has a bit of record with cars. Admittedly, Boris is not a billionaire, but there must be money in those Telegraph columns and TV series and books about Rome. The rest of the description seems to fit, more or less. He also runs a city and has seen off the Joker in the form of Labour's mayoral candidate in two successive elections. Our hero is perhaps a bit plump for the part and there will be problems with the mask and the hair. But Boris it is. I hope you enjoy Carla Millar's illustration above.
P.S: Sir Edward Lister is Alfred.