Mash Blind Date: Can Labour's newest MP and its former leader prove opposites attract?

SHE’S proudly right-wing and new to Labour. He served 46 years before being defenestrated. Will Natalie Elphicke and Jeremy Corbyn make love or war? 

Natalie on Jeremy

First impression?

Oh. It’s everything I’ve ever hated and entered political life to eradicate. Wearing a scruffy jumper and ordering tap water.

How was conversation? 

How can a man who was an MP for almost half a century not do small talk? How do you move instantly from whether we order a starter to Venezuelan trade embargos? Did he actually just say ‘of course, what’s inevitable is a return to vanguard Leninism’?

Memorable moments?

He asked how I entered politics. I explained I succeeded my husband. He said it’s a powerful tradition, citing Winnie Mandela and Poland’s Danuta Walesa, asking if he was a political prisoner. I explained Charlie was charged with sexual assault. He coughed and asked if I’d seen Bũnuel’s The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. 

Favourite thing about Jeremy? 

Often, if you say something that doesn’t fit into his worldview, he’s so taken aback that he just doesn’t speak. I took full advantage of that.

A capsule description? 

Retired South American dictator overly keen to engage those digging on adjacent allotments in unwanted conversation.

Was there a spark? 

More cold, implacable hatred.

What happened afterwards? 

I ordered creme brulee even though he’d explained it wasn’t revolutionary, and we went for a quick f**k up against an alleyway wall. He loves Tory fanny. It’s why he can’t leave parliament.

What would you change about the evening? 

That because I’m Labour now and he’s sitting as an independent the power dynamics were all wrong and he couldn’t get an election. ‘It’s factionalism,’ he explained.

Will you see each other again?  

The moment’s gone. He’ll never do a woman like he used to do Theresa again.

Jeremy on Natalie

First impression?

Evil, capitalist, part of the carceral state. But nice hair.

How was conversation? 

Rather one-sided, since I already know all her political positions, don’t need to hear more drivel from her and instead offered historical context and necessary correction. My throat got dry. And they were stingy with the tap water.

Memorable moments?

For her, yes. As a supposed Labour MP didn’t know the first thing about Maoism, which means you’ve no possibility of understanding the superstructures of colonial oppression we live in today. Though I wish she’d taken more notes.

Favourite thing about Natalie? 


A capsule description? 

Woman, wrong, likely irredeemable.

Was there a spark? 

On her part, yes. Women are drawn to virtue. I believe Jesus – the real one, the teacher, the healer, the socialist – had much the same problem.

What happened afterwards? 

Nothing. Whatever the right-wing propaganda machine says.

What would you change about the evening? 

Why is she Labour now? And I’m not? What happened to all the old certainties? What if, at some point during my life, I’ve been wrong?

Will you see each other again?  

No. I could tell even when she accepted it that she won’t be taking me up on the offer of rhubarb cuttings.

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Your astrological week ahead for May 11th, with Psychic Bob

Aries, March 21st–April 19th

You only went to Blackpool because its name made you think it was a black, unholy pool of evil in which foul things lurked and occasionally, terrifyingly, emerged. You soon found out it’s not that nice.

Taurus, April 20th–May 20th

The judge may sentence you to trial by Kafka, but you’ll never really know what you’re accused of.

Gemini, May 21st–June 21st

Oh wow, were the reality shows we said were exploitative shite 25 years ago actually exploitative shite? Thanks Gen Z for your f**king wisdom.

Cancer, June 22nd–July 22nd

Achieve mental clarity by dispatching half a bottle of Sriracha directly up your bumhole. And let us know if it works.

Leo, July 23rd–August 22nd

The love you take is equal to the love you make, which economically speaking is a fairly pointless exchange.

Virgo, August 23rd–September 22nd

It used to be great to be a eunuch. In third century China they ruled the roost. What changed?

Libra, September 23rd–October 22nd

It’s irritating when Outlook underlines ‘wanker’ or ‘twat’ as potentially offensive. How you refer to your mum is none of its concern.

Scorpio, October 23rd–November 21nd

Once upon a time this country built things to last. Now it’s all recyclable this, biodegradable that. Shame.

Sagittarius, November 22nd–December 21st

Dance like no one’s watching, sing like no one’s listening, sleep like no one’s hiding under your bed with a massive meat cleaver and a clown mask on.

Capricorn, December 22nd–January 19th

Jousting should come back. Not just for the spectacle, also the money it would bring to local communities. It’s obvious when you think about it.

Aquarius, January 20th–February 18th

A bitter wind shouts its way down the moonlit lane. Entwined branches cast shattered-glass shadows over the pockmarked ground. A sense of foreboding cloaks darkened streets like a dreadful shroud. But personally I’m having a quick wank and a Hobnob then an early night.

Pisces, February 19th–March 20th

One day, in the future, there will be a new medium which analyses celebrity podcasts at length. But with a bit of luck there’ll be a nuclear war before then.