In the aftermath of the Conservative election victory, Britain’s angry young socialists have erupted into an apoplectic fit of sour grapes. “How dare the people disagree with us,” they say to each other. “All my Facebook friends hate the Tories,” they chime. “The people disagree with me so the people must be wrong.”
The Conservatives, so the left wing argument goes, are a gang of evil Mr Burns types in league with Satan himself. Or rather, Rupert Murdoch, whose papers apparently tell British voters how to think and vote. They ran a campaign of fear, they say, blaming immigrants and the poor for all our woes. An out of date election system helped them to grab power with only a minority of the votes, they foam. And the stupid British people fell for it. Again.
Already the protests have begun. A few hundred ‘anarchists’ (weird that they call themselves anarchists – i.e. opposed to the state and all authority – when they oppose public sector cuts) descended on London on Saturday to demand that the will of the people be overturned.
When police officers refused to simply let them walk into Downing Street and launch the easiest coup in history, the protesters turned violent. Naturally, they bleated about ‘police brutality’ when officers hit back.
Guys, the Tories are still here. We won. You lost. Sorry to be so blunt about it but you’ve been acting like a toddler throwing a tantrum in a supermarket. We live in a democracy and the Tories got the most votes and seats. Because over 11 million people voted for them. Get over it.
In the spirit of sticking two fingers up at people who think they and their friends know better than 37 per cent of the British electorate, here’s why the left’s excuses are plain crap.
‘Politics of fear’
Oh, please. Labour spent the entire election campaign claiming that the NHS would be privatised and dismantled if the Conservatives were elected. The SNP and the Greens built their entire campaign around the allegedly disastrous effects of ‘Tory austerity.’ The Mirror, the Guardian, the Independent and the BBC parroted these lines to the entire country.
The Conservative message, by contrast, was one of hope. Two million new jobs. The deficit down. The economy growing. Sound familiar? Anyone with a letterbox should have more than a passing familiarity with these lines.
‘The right wing media’
It’s frankly insulting to ordinary people to suggest that they have no minds of their own. Yet this hackneyed old excuse gets dredged up every time the left loses. It’s one of the reasons they are so interested in regulating the press and banging on about media ownership.
Speaking of which, how’s Leveson working out for you, guys?
Rupert Murdoch backed Labour in 1997 and only switched over to the Tories in 2010. The Scottish Sun backed the SNP. The ‘Murdoch press’ and the Conservative Party are hardly joined at the hip. Sure, the Telegraph and the Times swing to the right, but the left aren’t exactly without a dog in this fight. The Guardian, Independent, Mirror and Morning Star offer more than enough ‘back-to-the-1970s’ nostalgia for their left wing readers.
‘The electoral system’
Look, we had a referendum on this in 2011. More than two thirds of those who voted (all 19.2 million of them) chose to keep first past the post. The rest evidently had better things to do and chose to make themselves irrelevant. A lot of people have griped that the AV Plus system favoured by the Lib Dems in 2011 was not ‘genuine proportional representation’. That much is true.
But the British voting system does not work that way. You vote in your constituency for your preferred candidate. The candidate with the most votes goes to Westminster. The total national vote doesn’t actually matter. It is electing your MP – the person who actually goes to Parliament and represents you – that counts.
Interestingly, if seats in the Commons matched votes, the Conservatives would be in coalition with, or at least propped up by, UKIP and the DUP (Conservatives 36.9% + UKIP 12.6% + DUP 0.6% = 50.1%; Labour 30.4% + Lib Dem 7.9% + SNP 4.7% + Green 4.8% + Plaid 0.6% + SDLP 0.3% = 48.7% – ed). Whichever way you spin it, the left lost this election. Deal with it.
‘Labour weren’t left wing enough’
A common assertion among Twitter leftists now is that Labour should have moved to the left by promising higher spending, bashing the rich and rejecting ‘austerity.’
These people are in denial. Labour might not have been as militantly left wing as the Greens, but the 2015 manifesto – containing proposals to impose price controls, reinstate the 50p tax, introduce a mansion tax and reintroduce the spare-room subsidy – was undoubtedly a socialist platform. Ed Miliband himself said it was “unabashedly more left wing” than any manifesto since 1992.
Sixth-form debating points about inequality and us-vs-them references to the ‘one per cent’ failed to resonate with voters. So did Ed, whose constant refusal to accept that Labour overspent convinced many voters that he’d simply repeat Gordon Brown’s mistakes.
Labour might have saved a few of their seats in Scotland from the tartan apocalypse by pandering to the ‘anti austerity’ mob. But even if they had not lost a single seat north of the border, the Conservatives would still have won.
‘The voters are stupid/selfish/evil’
My personal favourite. The voters delivered their verdict. Leftists think it was the wrong verdict. So the voters must be wrong. Yay, democracy!
The Conservatives, according to the left, ‘hate’ the poor, disabled or foreigners and are to blame for all bad things. So if 11 million people voted for them, then 11 million people are clearly suffering from some sort of moral defect.
This is just plain arrogance. Perhaps, comrades, those 11 million people think welfare reform is the reason so many Britons have come off benefits and returned to work? Perhaps not everyone thinks allowing people to claim disability benefits they are not entitled to is a good thing? Perhaps some people think an open door immigration system is a bad idea?
To write off people who disagree with you as evil and subhuman is the worst kind of intolerance. But for all their hatred towards people like me, I genuinely do feel sorry for those who are not mature enough to accept reality.