The Tories took a deliberate decision to trample on the young. Why do they want to be my friend?
Labour MP Laura Pidcock caused a hint of a stir recently when she told the Corbynista blog Skwawkbox that she would not choose to be friends with a Tory MP:
“Whatever type [of Tory] they are, I have absolutely no intention of being friends with any of them. I have friends I choose to spend time with. I go to Parliament to be a mouthpiece for my constituents and class — I’m not interested in chatting on.”
Leading Tories seemed rather baffled and affronted by this. Distraught Danny Finkelstein in the Times related the story to his readers, likening Labour activists who buy “never kissed a Tory” mugs to the Stasi (though allegedly he “doesn’t take it personally.”)
The Express upbraided Pidcock too, signalling that the comments were a “shocking left-wing rant,” and going as far as to name Pidcock as a “self-described feminist” (the horror!). Pidcock even managed to offend self-described “post-feminist” Laura Perrior, which I’m sure you’ll agree for a self-described feminist is quite an achievement.
Nadine Dorries, Tory MP, hard-right mouthpiece and never really one to miss out on the chance to see her name in the newspaper, called the comments “the politics of hate” and criticised Pidcock’s “hands-over-the-ears juvenile attitude.”
I wondered for a while what about Ms Pidcock’s comments could possibly be offending the massed Tory ranks. Then the comments started to really make a lot of sense.
Why would a young person want to be friends with a Tory, when there are so many other decent people around who aren’t Tories?
It wasn’t Labour activists who made home ownership a distant dream while filling the pockets of buy-to-let landlords. It wasn’t Labour MPs who condemned millions of people to low-pay zero-hour jobs and threatened them with losing their benefits if they refused to comply. It wasn’t left-wing journalists who turned young people on to politics and tripled tuition fees.
At a recent liberal Conservative think tank event, one party member commented that the Tory party needed a Tory version of Momentum. That went very well until its members suggested gassing the poor.
Tories don’t give us young people many reasons to be friends with them. The Tories have spent billions on bribing the DUP and vanity projects for their pals in big business like Hs2 while telling us that Britain is too poor to afford a pay rise for nurses.
Given the young voted overwhelmingly to Remain in the EU, most young people don’t look too favourably on ‘friends’ that want to drag us out of Europe on the harshest possible terms and telling us it’s for our own good.
As young voters, the Tories took us for granted, which good friends never do. They told us that we were “too young to get off our lazy arses” and vote for Corbyn.
Jeremy Clarkson said that “18–24 year olds were more interested in sniffing glue than going to the polling station and voting.” The Sun suggested that something harder than glue might be required to stop young people voting, and recommended LSD instead.
For that matter, let’s not forget all the ridiculous scaremongering about Jeremy Corbyn being an IRA sympathiser who wants to turn Britain into a socialist Banana Republic and bankrupt the economy either. Or the vile, racist, misogynistic abuse dished out to Diane Abbott over the course of the election campaign.
Or the sheer gall to imply that a Labour victory would bring about a new winter of discontent, when the reason for the original one was demands by public sector workers for a decent pay rise.
It’s hard to give up a Saturday night watching X Factor to spend time with that friend who accuses you of indulging in fantasy economics, who talks about “removing debt for future generations” but seems happy to bash you over the head your student loan.
It’s hard to get along with someone who asks you to pay for all their dinners but has almost nothing to offer you in return. It’s hard to like someone who begrudges you a coffee.
Call it the politics of hate if you want, but I call it the politics of realism. Sorry Tories, we’re just not that into you.🔷