Now and again I like to venture over to the left wing side of social media, just to see how they’re getting on and to remind myself why I’m a Tory. Most of the time it gives me a good laugh, especially since the rise of Momentum (or Maomentum as I like to call them). But I saw a few tweets recently, all by one person, that really really got on my wick. Now, I’m the last person to care about other people’s opinions as long as they don’t incite violence or oppression, but the tone of these tweets really annoyed me. So I’m going to pick some of them apart and try and provide some common sense and some facts (I know that’s a difficult concept for the Left).
They start as they mean to go on, beginning with:
‘I think it’s very possible that people with a right wing political stance can be educated and pulled to the Left but not the other way round.’
So apparently, everyone, we’re all just a bit too dim and we all need a bit of education. If only Margaret Thatcher, who was reading political theory before she was 15, won a scholarship to a grammar school and had a Chemistry degree from one of the best universities in the world, had been given an education, she might have turned out to have been a good little socialist. Regarding their point about it not working both ways, tell that to the working class traditionally Labour supporting families of people like Charlie Mullins, who is now the multi-millionaire owner of Pimlico Plumbers (Google him), who were the main converts to Thatcherism and to the Conservative Party in general.
They continue with:
‘I think the very foundations of right wing politics is miseducation, selective blindness and ignorance of suffering.’
Was the Earl of Shaftesbury ‘ignorant of suffering’ when he banned the employment of young children in factories? Was Stanley Baldwin’s Conservative government ‘selectively blind’ when it passed the Equal Franchise Bill in 1928 and equalised the voting age for men and women? Was Rab Butler ‘miseducated’ when he legislated for universal state education? What about when John Major introduced the landmark Disability Discrimination Act? Or when Benjamin Disraeli enabled workers to sue their employers in the civil courts if they broke legal contracts? Or when Winston Churchill put plans for a National Health Service in the 1945 Conservative manifesto? Or when Margaret Thatcher introduced the Assisted Places Scheme to ensure bright kids could get on in life regardless of their background? Or when David Cameron created the Cancer Drugs Fund and founded Project Umubano, a social action project which ran for 5 years in which Conservative Party volunteers would spend time in Rwanda and Sierra Leone and work with, exchange skills with and leave a lasting impact on the lives of local children and community workers? What were the foundations of those actions?
They go on to say:
‘So basically what I’m saying is lefties can’t unlearn their compassion enough to convert but righties can learn to acknowledge plight.’
This is starting to become laughable. What this person is basically saying is that socialist ideas are on some kind intellectually superior level and all other schools of political thought have inherently less worth. I’m sick and tired of the Left automatically being branded as the compassionate caring side of the political spectrum, it’s utterly ridiculous. Who was Che Guevara being compassionate to when he called Mexican people ‘a rabble of illiterate Indians’, called for Cuba to bomb New York with nuclear missiles and said that the victory of socialism is dependent on ‘rivers of blood’ and is ‘well worth millions of atomic victims’? Many of the people the Left hold up as crusaders of the workers and bastions of equality are really quite the opposite.
They conclude with:
‘When you’re a leftist you feel a moral obligation for the rest of your life, I don’t think you can erase something that deeply rooted in you’
This part actually makes me quite angry. They seem to be saying that you can only be passionate about your beliefs and feel them to be a significant part of your life if you’re a socialist. To that I say this; how dare you. Really, how dare you. I’ve held my political beliefs (which were never influenced by my parents) since I was 11 years old and they have shaped my entire life since then. They are so important to me and I will fight for them for the rest of my life. The Left does not have an exclusive right to political passion and most if not all Conservatives consider their beliefs to be one of the most important aspects of their lives. Socialism is inherently worth no more than conservatism, liberalism, nationalism or any other political ideology.
So what can we conclude from this? Well it’s becoming clearer and clearer to me every day that this is now the typical face of the British left: rude, snobby, sneering, moral high ground-claiming, insulting and vacuous gutter politics. I’ve always believed that those who disagree with me still want the country to prosper, despite having different methods of achieving this prosperity, and that most people on the Left are good, well-intentioned people. I’m not so sure I believe that anymore. What the Left need to start to realise is that no one in modern Britain goes into politics with the intention of hurting people. No one really hates the poor. Being a Tory does not make you evil. There is no conspiracy.
If I were being polite, I’d call the Left misguided. But I’m going to be honest and call them delusional. They fail to accept the fact that they need to appeal to Tory voters, not belittle them and talk down to them.
Modern conservatism is a stance of compassion and care, but instead of helping people via state handling, we want to give people the opportunities and resources to help themselves, to achieve something. Socialism means equal sharing’s of misery and a hatred of the strong rather than a concern about the weak and I intend to play my small part in stopping it dead in its tracks at the next election by campaigning hard to ensure our Prime Minister Theresa May can continue with what I can already tell will be a fantastic premiership that will steer us towards an ever greater Britain.
Tom Hulme is the Deputy Chairman (Membership) of North West Conservative Future and a committee member of the Oldham and Saddleworth Conservative Federation. Follow him on Twitter:@Thatherite4
The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty