Vienna Coffee Houses and the Labour Party’s Election Plan

The lovely thing about Viennese coffee houses is that they look like they must have done 100 years ago.

There are men of a certain bearing coming in wearing great coats and homburg hats, women in fur coats, couples leaning together and having intense conversations and of course – cake of every kind of confection.

We slipped into one through the lovely arrangement they have of a semi-circular rail holding a curtain so that the cold is kept out when you open the door.

Inside the floor was not really polished, the décor a bit shabby, the waiters in long white aprons, the locals reading the paper and having a ‘melange’ of coffee and hot milk.

We had been sight-seeing and were cold and tired so sitting there in the warmth, watching the locals, was definitely in order.

Coffee houses was where the Viennese have conversations apparently. I am not sure whether they chat about nothing at all at home and keep the real stuff for coffee houses but it looked like that.

And it rubs off.

After a desultory conversation about what to do the next day, we started discussing how the Labour Party should run their election campaign.

‘Ask a nurse’ was the theme.

When bankers say they cannot reduce bonuses, the Labour Party should say they will introduce them to a nurse and then they can try and justify their position to her (or him.)

(And, by the way, can we really believe every banker who got a reduced bonus would up and displace their whole family to Singapore. And even if some of them do, are there no more intelligent people, with or without a physics PhD, who could take over their role?)

Is it fair that private schools get charitable status – I tell you what, ask a teacher in an inner city school.

How fair is the tax system – ask someone on the minimum wage.

Well you get the idea. The sad thing is that I could articulate this plan so much better and so much more convincingly sat in a Viennese coffee house – it must have been the atmosphere.

Perhaps we should send Ed Miliband there, after all it can’t make the current situation any worse.


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