The political wit and wisdom of Tom Baker

The great Tom Baker celebrated his 83rd birthday yesterday, and the above image appeared on This Writer’s Twitter feed. Good old Tom – incisive as ever!

In a recent interview (Doctor Who Magazine #501, if you want to look it up – and you should because almost the entire magazine is devoted to interviews with him that are hilarious), Tom was asked what he makes of our current crop of politicians. His reply:

They’re mostly w***ers. I don’t think they have any ideas. They’re ruled by events. Like [Bertrand] Russell said, ‘Politics is largely governed by sententious platitudes’ – you know, we’re not allowed to know the reality.

Considering the amount of delusion currently being peddled over Brexit, for example, you can tell he has a point!

He continued:

It’s incredibly frightening. Christ, what will become of us? Never have… well, I can’t say never, because  in the late eighteenth century there was terrible contempt for Parliament… but right now, because we’re all in communication all the time, never have we all felt such utter contempt and mistrust of our governing class.

People say, ‘There’s an MP at the door? Well, kick his bollocks in!’

This may be the origin of the comment used in the image.

We’re living in tumultuous times. I could weep when I read terrible, crushing headlines about the mountain of grief in the world – how many people are crushed by poverty, how many people are uneducated, how many people are not getting proper schooling – but what can I do for them? I don’t have much of a future, in terms of time – so what can I do?

Asked about the EU referendum, Tom took a view that many of us may have wished other senior citizens should have taken:

I’m old, so it’s not my problem. When I’m asked if I’m going to vote Leave or Remain, it doesn’t agitate me either way, because I’m terribly aware that I won’t be here [to live through the consequences]. I’ll be dead. I’m resigned to that. I’m amazed, actually, that they allow old people to vote. It should be for the future generations to decide. I no longer care. Anyway, nobody knows, do they? Whether you vote Remain or Leave, in or out, nobody knows what the consequences will be.

The interviewer, Benjamin Cook, suggested that for many voters, it would be an emotional, rather than a logical response.

Yes, which I suppose is what most people do politically. You’re trying to do an informed thing, but from your heart. When the poor are shouting, ‘Down with the rich!’, I rather go along with that, because I’m very sympathetic to the poor, but you couldn’t have another mob over there, all very well-dressed, shouting, ‘Down with the bloody poor!’ The poor are beyond reproach. You’d have to have a heart of stone to criticise the poor.

One wonders whether Tom has every seen a Conservative MP discussing benefit claimants.

But when I see Mr Cameron… (shudders). He’s got a very pursed little mouth, hasn’t he? He hasn’t got the mouth of a leader, really. Nor has Jeremy Hunt [the Secretary of State for Health] – with that odious f***ing smirk of his. Why would you smirk? Oh, it’s vile.

We shan’t go too deeply into Tom’s speculations on whether Mr Cameron ever dallied with a pig’s head (“It’s an incredible story, isn’t it? Yes, if enough time has elapsed, you shouldn’t question it. Stories do get distorted over time… The imagination is the licence to trespass into areas that you wouldn’t do in real life. Perhaps with a pig”).

Instead, let’s go back to Hallowe’en 1992, and a very brief comment on the European Union as it was at the time, during an event at the Arnolfini arts centre in Bristol. I feel justified in publishing this because I asked the question to which Tom replied:

John Major [then-prime minister] says, ‘Britain will be at the heart of Europe.’

And it echoes out: ‘Heart of Europe, heart of Europe… heart of Europe.’

And then the echo comes back.


How prescient Tom was! One might almost believe he really is the Time Lord he portrayed on television for seven years.

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10 thoughts on “The political wit and wisdom of Tom Baker

  1. toocomplex4justice

    I bet Camoron, C/Hunt and May or may not are protected from seeing articles like this when in fact they should be made to read them and have to spend the day with the headline written on their evil faces

  2. Barry Davies

    Well we have heard all the B******s about the elderly but why does no one ask why hardly any of the young put down their smart phones or gaming consoles to bother going to vote for their future if they are so pro eu?, could it be that the elderly knew a thing or two and the young had no idea what they were supposed to be voting for?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      As many young people voted as senior citizens, it has been proven.
      So your argument falls. Please never use it again.

      1. Barry Davies

        So what you are saying therefore is that the young are moaning about the young voting leave, although the official government statistics prove you wrong, and they were by far the lowest turnout by age.

      2. Barry Davies

        Even the LSE which claimed just over 60% for the young and 90% for the elderly didn’t pretend the numbers were almost equal, and of course if it is the case why are they complaining they had a single vote the same as everyone else. This claim, by the LSE, of course was made on a minuscule sample.

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        Percentages aren’t the same as numbers, Barry.
        Your claim was that young people were “by far the lowest turnout by age”, but in fact the average turnout of young people was on a par with every other age group – apart from the over-65s, of whom 83 per cent voted.
        And my figures aren’t from the LSE.

  3. Wanda Lozinska

    He says:
    “never have we all felt such utter contempt and mistrust of our governing class.”

    and then goes on to say:
    “how many people are crushed by poverty, how many people are uneducated, how many people are not getting proper schooling – but what can I do for them?”

    Well, I would suggest that he should publicly support Jeremy Corbyn, as he’s the only chance we have of a better society. Could he get his many Dr Who fans to support him as well?

Comments are closed.