Sunday, 9 May 2010

anyone but Cameron

I really, really need to meet some Tories. People like my friend's flatmate, who has a signed photograph af Margaret Thatcher displayed pride of place, his best ever birthday present.

This is not because I have gone mental. It is because right now I only have political debate with people who agree with me.

It's good, I think, that I mix with like-minded people. That I live and work with people who are broadly similar in political terms. That the 57 people I follow on Twitter are all clearly on the left-wing side of the spectrum.

And yet... lots and lots of people in the country voted Tory on Thursday, and I want to meet them and have a conversation with them/shake them firmly and ask why oh why in a disappointed tone.

Hating the Tories is more than a default position. I grew up experiencing the worst of Thatcher. My home town was all but destroyed by their policies. I still feel slightly sick when I think of the wealth accrued by over-privileged, over-entitled grandees who thought it would be quite a laugh to dismantle industry, sell it off, bit by bit, to provide a massive profit for them and their mates.

And at this stage you might be thinking, well what about Labour? Their record hasn't exactly been great. They're very relaxed about people being filthy rich and avoiding their taxes.

Labour have been a disappointment. I don't doubt that there are people growing up who feel exactly as I feel about the Tories. On the Iraq War and the surveillence state and lots of other ways they got it wrong.

But I don't hate Labour in the way that I hate the Tories. I may be the only person in the country who doesn't hate Gordon Brown. I feel exasperated. I wanted more from them. But they don't make me feel sick to the stomach like David Cameron, who as far as I can tell has no discernible belief in anything except his entitlement to rule, and the god-given right for rich people to stay being rich.

I don't hate rich people, or people who went to public school. I just find it difficult when they don't realise that not everyone had the same opportunities that they did, that it's not a level playing field, that the place where you're born still determines far too much about your destiny in life.

I don't want people who've lived in a bubble of Eton and Oxbridge to be making the decisions that affect single mums and people on benefits and people who don't have aspirations because they don't realise they can.

In short, if and when the Lib Dems do their deal with these knob-ends, I will feel sad.

And I will need to find a way to hang out with some Tristans and Quentins and Camillas and Tabithas to indulge my need to argue.

Watch this space.


Brian Keaney said...

I've met them. It doesn't help.

easilydistractedwriter said...

Brian, you could be right. Maybe not ever meeting these people would be preferable, and I can pretend the next 5 years, or whatever, is a big hallucination.

Dammit. Still in denial...!