Keep your friends close—and your enemies closerby Charlotte Gill / August 29, 2017 / Leave a comment
Labour MP Laura Pidcock managed to hijack headlines last week after making unflattering comments about the Conservatives. Speaking to Labour blog Skwawkbox (one has to start somewhere) she said that she would never “hang out” with Tory politicians, adding that: “The idea that they’re not the enemy is simply delusional when you see the effect they have on people.”
These sorts of insults are exactly what British politics does not need at the moment. It is more polarised than it has been in decades, and there is a desperate need for parliamentary figures to pull us back together.
Pidcock’s interview may have worked well as a PR exercise, but these sorts of statements about Conservatives have a wide impact on how people treat one another—as does any simplistic description of a political group. As a young Conservative, particularly, I am exhausted of being slated in social situations, which has become increasingly common with the ascent of Jeremy Corbyn. In the last year, one of my worst experiences was a (former) friend shouting at me on a bus “your party is killing people!” Then there was the hot boy who stopped Whatsapping me when I confessed I was voting Conservative. I tried to move the subject away from the election, but he remarked: “it’s not really about politics. It’s morality.”
Aside from dashing my dreams of a beautiful cross-party baby, this experience indicated to me just how black and white politics has become in this country, with Corbynism and Conservatism being painted as the fight between good and evil, respectively. Particularly among young people, there is a brainless groupthink culture that promotes Corbynism as the one answer to all of our woes. Scenes at Glastonbury in June, far from the dazzling spectacle reported, were disturbing as I watched Labour’s Glorious Leader hailed by tens of thousands of people my own age. There, Corbyn asked for “unity” in the country, but the fact is were a Tory Stormzy fan to have raised their hand, they would have been eaten alive.