There was one clear winner at the annual Automation in Industry Awards evening in London’s glittering West End last night, Grosvenor Humanoid Systems (GHS) of Bromsgrove was a unanimous choice for winner of the Quality Control Award for the exceptional batch-to-batch consistency it has achieved in manufacturing Tory Ladies (TM) since it won the contract in 1991.
‘Any factory can churn out a million identical widgets,’ said Sir John Fowler, chairman of the panel of judges. ‘This was a manufacturing challenge of a different order of magnitude, to create three successive generations of seemingly different women from a generic blueprint of fake smiles, impeccable upper middle class manners and souls of the blackest night.’
Before the 1980s, Tory Ladies were created by individual craftsmen to order. Since their roles were essentially local – mainly vetting a new parliamentary candidate for not being secretly gay ever 20 years or so – and the range of styles and coiffures available were limited, minor differences between them did not matter too much.
As more Tory Ladies entered Parliament, however, quality control became an issue and their manufacture was first centralised at party headquarters in London, then outsourced to GHS for a major overhaul. Overtly plummy voices and aristocratic backgrounds had to be engineered out, while still maintaining the essential horror of the model. GHS, all agree, has succeeded brilliantly.
‘Just look at the line of descent from Mrs Thatcher to Christine Hamilton to Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom,’ said Fowler. ‘It is truly a work of genius to bring the restricted template of an immaculately turned-out harridan in twinset and pearls, dead to everything but money and status, so dramatically to life for 50 years and fool everyone into thinking it had somehow changed.’
‘Even more exciting, however, are the latest iterations on the model. Now we have Asian Tory Ladies like Priti Patel, lesbian Tory Ladies like Justine Greening, even borderline fanciable Tory Ladies like Esther McVey – all seemingly diverse, yet underneath still the same rancid, hate-fuelled witches who would sell their grannies into slavery for a whiff of power. And all the while Labour can’t even turn out identikit male ‘special advisers’ in suits without cocking it up. Rule Britannia!’
The awards evening was hosted by Jimmy Carr, but you knew that already didn’t you?