Llabour and the llamas

I clearly haven’t been following politics closely enough recently, as the news that Labour attacked the Tory candidate in Crewe & Nantwich for living near llamas has only just caught up with me, thanks to popbitch.

This is just weird. It’s not violently grotesque, the way the “make foreigners carry ID cards” leaflet was violently grotesque, but it is very, very strange. Everyone I know is strongly pro-llama. (I think that everyone I don’t know is strongly pro-llama.) And the slow take-over of the English countryside by camelids is very much to be welcomed.

In a genuinely socialist Britain, we would probably all live close to llamas, what with the disappearance of the distinction between the town and the country; and we wouldn’t need lawn-mowers any more. (Charles Fourier probably said something about this.)

16 Comments


  1. There are loads of llamas down our way – I think Sussex is pretty much at the heart of the British llama-farming industry (assuming it’s an industry as opposed to an eccentric hobby).

    But since this is rock-solid Tory territory where Labour stands no chance, I’ll keep a keen eye out for whether they adopt the same anti-llama strategy in the next election campaign. Like you, though, I’m not convinced it’s a vote-winner.

    Quote | Posted 24 May, 2008, 12:54 pm

  2. You could be right about Sussex.

    This page promised pictures of llocal llesbians hanging out with llamas in Sussex, but sadly the llinks are allll broken.

    Quote | Posted 24 May, 2008, 1:12 pm

  3. I’ve seen llamas near Builth Wells (where, being in Wales, they should be spelt like ‘Dalai’ as the double-l is pronounced with a loch-ch before the l which would confuse the poor beasts). They were llovely.

    I liked “violently grotesque”. Whatever were they thinking of? The Telegraph today (and I’d like to think they made this up):

    ‘Ms Dunwoody said: “I think my mother is turning in her grave.

    “She would have respected the democratic decision of the people, but she desperately wanted Crewe and Nantwich to stay with Labour”.’

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/by_election_crewe_and_nantwich/2013036/Crewe-and-Nantwich-by-election-David-Cameron-hails-victory-as-'end-of-new-Labour‘.html

    Yeah, Gwyneth Dunwoody probably would turn in her grave, but not because Labour lost.

    This by-election did send a message. It was “don’t ever campaign like the BNP again.”

    Quote | Posted 24 May, 2008, 6:01 pm

  4. They are cute, but possibly influenced by the Tintin where he goes to the Andes and fools some locals about to sacrifice him with an eclipse, I’m suspicious of them in the same way I am suspicious of camels. They spit, I gather.

    Quote | Posted 24 May, 2008, 6:02 pm

  5. Apparently llamas only generalllly spit at other llamas.

    Tintin and the Picaros?

    Quote | Posted 24 May, 2008, 6:05 pm

  6. IIRC, in Tintin a llama’s expectoration was a little like a water cannon.

    Quote | Posted 24 May, 2008, 6:44 pm

  7. http://www.capsurlemonde.org/andes/lamas/photos/tintin-bis.jpg

    Quote | Posted 24 May, 2008, 7:02 pm

  8. the thing that struck me was that they’re happy to campaign on a class war basis and have a go at the “toffs”, but if anyone were to suggest so much as a penny on the higher rate of income tax, they would look at you as if you had the proverbial appendage growing out of your head.

    Quote | Posted 24 May, 2008, 7:24 pm

  9. “We are a democratic socialist party and our objective is to bring about a fundamental and irreversible shift in the balance of wealth and power in favour of working people and their families.”

    Quote | Posted 24 May, 2008, 7:45 pm

  10. Llamas do spit at people. One spat at me in Southport Zoo when i was 6. That’s how i learned an important fact about Llamas: when their ears fold back, they are not being friendly. This is a warning that they are about to spit in your face.

    This was the same zoo in which a gorilla threw its excrement through the bars of its cage at my mum (this was quite a while ago, when zoo animals still lived behind bars), and where you could reach into the penguin enclosure – which my uncle did, promptly being bitten by a passing penguin.

    This zoo is now closed, rather unsurprisingly. However it was actually the first zoo in the world to successfully breed a snow leopard in captivity (though i suspect that they just sprayed black spots on a small white cat they found in the street).

    Returning to the issue of Llamas, Fourier probably would have regarded them as more simple hieroglyphs than the mighty giraffe, but a message from God none the less.

    Also, a question; i heard that syphilis was introduced to Europe by Spanish Sailors who had been sodomising Llamas in South America, from whom they caught the disease. Is this just completely made up, does anyone know?

    Quote | Posted 25 May, 2008, 8:16 am

  11. Llamas in zoos spit at people, that’s true. Zoos make them nervous, and put them on edge. They are altogether calmer when outside zoos, hanging around in herds.

    I think people do still argue about the origins of syphilis. But I don’t think the llama theory is one of the ones the more serious analysts consider.

    Quote | Posted 25 May, 2008, 9:12 am

  12. The llama scene is in Le Temple du Soleil (“Prisoners of the Sun” in English). Captain Haddock gets his (strictly proportional) revenge in the end:
    http://www.capsurlemonde.org/andes/lamas/tintin-ter.html

    Quote | Posted 25 May, 2008, 10:33 am

  13. Yabour?

    Quote | Posted 26 May, 2008, 8:39 am

  14. Southerner. Up in Castile it’s more sort of a hhhdlyabour (and hhhdlyama, more to the point). Edward Lear wrote in his diary that the Welsh ll struck hiim as essentially the same consonanmt as the Castilian ll, only unvocalised; it doesn’t sound very likely, but I think he was right. I strongly suspect the Mayan(?) tl was another one.

    Quote | Posted 8 June, 2008, 7:28 pm

  15. ¡Viva la llama revolucionaria!

    Quote | Posted 9 June, 2008, 12:51 pm

  16. Recent American election bad news for llamas

    http://www.theonion.com/content/radio_news/obama_vows_to_wipe_out

    Quote | Posted 12 November, 2008, 12:56 am

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