Tuesday, May 11, 2021


I will never, ever vote for the Conservative party for a very simple reason: I had first hand experience of their heartlessness when I was little more than a child.

I was brought up in a Northumbrian village. No theatre, no cinema, no museums, no galleries: just people. Villages are a combination of working class, middle class and upper class people, though the latter are on an altogether different astral plane. Within these class divisions, there are class divisions. There is always someone to look down on and sneer at, or to look up at and envy.

For some reason as well as associating with children from the council estate, I used to get invited to some of the large houses on the periphery of the village and beyond, to play with children who seemed to live quite isolated existence in families who could best be defined as 'upper middle class'. The houses had grounds, often. I was invited to Pony Club Dances and once even sweated in a sauna in someone's gigantic garden. The mummies were stand-offish and wore suits and pearls, unlike the mams that some of my friends had, who were altogether more approachable.

All was well: life flowed with a peculiar rhythm: school work, play, Brownies, tomboydom with my best friend Linda over the road; the invitations to the big houses carried on.

Then it became known that my parents voted Labour.

Instantly the invitations from the posh mummies dried up. I never went to another Pony Club Dance. Friendships were left in limbo, almost like a sentence half started and not finished. I didn't get to play in those Wendy Houses with the 'only child' any more: those little girls played with children of their own class now. A door had been slammed in my face because of the political beliefs of my parents.

This preparedness to punish a child for the beliefs of their parents has quite naturally stuck with me for my whole life. In fact later on , one of the teachers at school used to berate me in class for my 'half baked left wing views'. There is more to that story, but to tell that would reverse-ferret on what I've just written.

Thus I was taught by example what being a Tory means. It means casual cruelty, especially when you think you can get away with it. It means covering up nastiness with a veneer of respectability. It means intolerance. It means bullying. 

I accept that we live in a Tory country where it appears most people don't like people from 'other' cultures, and venerate putting personal interests and furthering of personal wealth-gathering above anything else. I also accept that I will never be able to understand this mindset. Congratulations to the Tories for passing on their nasty values to the electorate. 

'Well done you!' in the words of Martin Newell. 

Luckily, I got vaccinated against this when I was young. Unluckily, I have been sentenced to feeling 'wrong' for my whole life. But do I wish I was one of them? Not bloody likely.

1 comment:

Wilky of St Albans said...

Best description of Toryism I think I've ever read.

Quote my Mum: 'you weren't brought up to vote Labour'