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Scary Monsters and Super Creeps

I understand that left wing voters are not alone in reeling from post-election shock; one phenomenon that's occurring all over is a sense of angry protest from people who feel villified because they voted for the Conservative party. And I do get it, honestly I do. This was always going to be a visceral fight, because one side genuinely believes it is fighting an evil force, while the other side thinks it is business as usual. Trouble is, business hasn't been usual for a long time.

The development of the Conservative party's Dr Evil Persona wasn't helped by their opposition to the minimum living wage, a terrible mistake as ably expressed by David Skelton in his article on Tory Social reform ( http://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2013/11/from-djskelton-reviving-the-tory-tradition-of-social-reform.html ): In the mid-1990s the Conservatives held out against the introduction of a minimum wage; it also abolished the wages councils that had been established under Churchill. This made the party look uncaring, mean and governed by dogma, and reinforced the perception that the party cared more about the rich and big business than it did about the poor. Its dire warnings about the impact of the minimum wage proved entirely unfounded and helped to compound the error. This created an image around the Tory approach to poverty that still lingers.

It is hard to avoid the idea that the party cares more about the rich and big business, because it is funded by these sources to a large extent (http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/labour-funding-party-donors-tories-factcheck/13899) and no-one expects them to be so altruistic they'll shoot the goose that lays the golden egg. None the less, there are limits to acceptance.

If banks/bankers had been called to account for the part they played in the financial crash, if prosecutions had occurred, the party might have been able to distance themselves from the label of Fat Cat defenders. But severity on the poor without severity on the rich does not look like Justice. It looks partisan, and gives resonance to Theresa May's 2002 description of the 'Nasty Party.'

The impact of this reputation can't be overlooked, though it might be tempting to do so, considering that the tories have won the election. But turn out was low - only 37% of a national 66.1% turnout voted Tory. That's a win according to our law, but no indication of how the majority of UK citizens actually feel about benefits sanctions, the badger cull, fox hunting, zero contract hours, the NHS, immigration etc. There was bound to be shock when disagreement with the outcome was loud, vehement and very angry. Tories have found themselves facing a situation where ostensibly the party had won, but personally, individuals find themselves on the losing end of a clamour of voices decrying their choice. It's unpleasant to be in that position.

It's even more unpleasant when people start bandying words like 'paedophile' around. Only a very ignorant person would state that tories are more likely to be paedophiles than anyone else. The problem is that from Leon Brittan's office losing vital information to Margaret Thatcher's knowledge of Peter Hayman's perversions, the Tory party cannot escape its connections with covering up Westminster paedophile scandals and its failure to resolve the issues with justice, expediency and transparency.

People who voted for the tories aren't being accused of being paedophiles. They may be being accused of a readiness to ignore the government's terrible record on dealing with historical child abuse, a less horrible but still grotesque charge, and one that falls under the umbrella of 'Don't you care about what they are doing to poor people/animals?' What does a conservative voter say at this point? There is no answer that makes them sound good. If they say No, they sound like monsters. If they say Yes but, they sound greedy.

It's OK to say the Left was going to leave you stoney broke if Ed's laws went through,it's all right to say that Ed Milliband gave you the screaming heeby-jeebies, it's all right to say whatever you want including,'None of your goddamn business!' What you can't have, is a world where you aren't asked. We will all be challenged. Obviously trolls must be starved out and abuse should not be tolerated, but drawing the line between abuse and angry questioning can be hard. This is not an affable meeting of clever young gentlespods in the Sixth Form Debate club. Billy Bunter is not going to fall into a giant custard pie and make everyone fall about laughing. It is about real people, and real people are visceral and much more angry than the mainstream media ever lets on.



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