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Paul T Horgan: Shy Tories saved us in 1992. This time ‘Terrified Tories’ did the job


Well, as Sir John Major once said, who’d have thought it? David Cameron has managed the apparently impossible feat of an incumbent securing more seats in a second election after a full term. Labour’s disaster had nothing to do with being all but wiped out in Scotland. One opposition party merely exchanged seats with another. Labour lost this election in England’s green and pleasant land. The New Jerusalem will be built with under the logo of the Union-Jacked oak instead of the red rose with that secret caricature of Lenin concealed within its petals.

The pollsters have been confounded, as they were in 1992. It is perhaps for the same reasons. People are afraid to come out as Tories. As self-identified Tory voter Lewis Barber wrote in last Saturday’s Independent:

…any movement away from the “progressive line” is treated as treason. Tories are seen as inherently bad. Those who support fiscal sensibility are painted as devious or tricksters who have pulled the wool over an electorate made out to be naturally left wing.”

That the Left are disgusting in their intolerance of different views is not above-the-fold headline news any more. There was an apparently spontaneous anti-austerity protest in Whitehall on Saturday. A war memorial dedicated to the work of British Women in the Second World war was obscenely defaced. What was more disgusting were the words of semi-retired socialist writer Laurie Penny who defended the vandalism by tweeting:

I don’t have a problem with this. The bravery of past generations does not oblige us to be cowed today.”

Responding to the universal criticism to this on Twitter, she justified herself by saying she had the ‘right’ to defend the defacement because her grandmother had won the George Cross in the same war, completely missing the irony of this self-assumed hereditary privilege.

Terrified Tory voters have had to be shy for at least three decades, if not longer. Petronella Wyatt, the daughter of the late journalist and politician Woodrow Wyatt wrote many years ago in The Daily Telegraph of her first and last two weeks as a student at Oxford University in the mid-1980s where she was subject to ostracism, intimidation and abuse because of her father’s role as an adviser to Margaret Thatcher. She fled the dreaming spires.

Here is some of what she experienced:

Early one morning a group of undergraduates began banging on my door. I heard vicious shouts. My father had written a piece supporting Margaret Thatcher’s stance against South African sanctions. “Let’s lynch her dad. I bet he’d like to lynch coloured people. […] Let’s lynch you. Like father like daughter.”

My door was locked. I cowered inside, and after five minutes, my pursuers gave up. When they left, I packed a suitcase and caught the first train to London. I never went back.”

The people that oppressed this poor young woman presumably graduated with degrees of varying quality and probably now hold positions of power and influence. It would appear they remain unrepentant over committing what in other circumstances would have been a hate-crime. None have come forward to apologise or atone. Because Petronella was a middle-class heterosexual, it was acceptable.

Boris Johnson was one of the big winners of the Blair years, building his reputation on television after he was sacked by Radio 4 from his position as occasional presenter of the show ‘The Week in Westminster’ because his voice was too ‘plummy’. Before he shot to stardom with his appearances on the TV show ‘Have I Got News For You’, he had appeared once on its direct ancestor, Radio 4’s ‘The News Quiz’. This panel show is meant to be a good-humoured take on the week’s news. Boris could not get a word in edgeways as the perpetually unfunny tone-deaf socialist comedian Jeremy Hardy took an opportunity to turn the programme into an attack platform, interrupting and barracking Boris every time he tried to speak. Comedy it was not. The BBC did not bat an eyelid.

I have to tell you of my own experience on election day. A colleague whom I have befriended on Facebook – let’s call him Peter – decided to post a link to an article by George Monbiot, a person who is apparently paid by The Guardian to author terrible articles when he is not libelling retired Tory officials. This article lambasted all the parties over their policies to alleviate poverty and was based on a report by an organisation that called itself the ‘Inequality Trust’, another of those leftist think-tanks that attempt to provide credibility for socialism. I decided to ‘fisk’ the key paragraph of the misguided article, that is to take each point made and to refute it and post the result to the conversation thread, something I have rarely done before on Facebook. In the first sentence, Monbiot stated, ‘the poor in this country pay more tax than the rich.’ I stated that this was simply not true. That was all I said about this statement.

‘Peter’ was apparently aghast. ‘Provide evidence to prove he is wrong, please.‘, he replied. I refused to do so, stating ‘Monbiot should provide the facts to back himself up. He does not do so in this article and trots out this fiction instead with no backing facts. An article stands or falls on its supporting arguments. Monbiot does not know this and so the article fails.’

Peter was more insistent this time. ‘I asked you for facts, not Monbiot. Please try again, or I will dismiss your counter-arguments as Tory diatribe. Your reluctance speaks volume; you cannot prove his claims.‘. Please note that ‘Peter’ was not refuting my claim or indeed opposing it at this point, even though he clearly found it unacceptable. He somehow felt that I was required to convince him. He did not know the meaning of the word ‘diatribe’. And he was trying to goad me. ‘There we stand.‘, I replied. I did not feel the need to be a political evangelist in this case.

This was not enough for ‘Peter’. ‘Mr Horgan,’, he said, ‘there we indeed stand. Your eagerness to dismiss him comes from what? A disagreement with previous articles as you have intimated? The fact that he hasn’t provided evidence is moot, you said he has written fiction. Please demonstrate to me that it is fiction.‘ . Again ‘Peter’ did not want to refute my statement. And he was upset I would not play his game. ‘I don’t need to.‘, I replied, ‘Monbiot should have written an article that was able to stand on its own merits. He failed.’.

‘Peter’, by way of refutation, posted a link to another Guardian article that reinforced Monbiot’s mistaken point. The only problem was that the article was based on information that came from the same organisation, the ‘Inequality Trust’.  After I pointed this out, ‘Peter’ quickly deleted the posting, replying, ‘So he *did* use evidence then? Now provide me the courtesy of evidence to support your view that the poor don’t pay as much tax proportionally as the rich and I’ll stand down.‘ This was somehow a matter of pride, yet ‘Peter’ was not actually arguing his case of why he supported the article enough to post it to Facebook. This does represent the poor standard of debate, born of the poor quality of writing and discussion in the Left’s journals of choice.

‘Peter’ also misquoted me. I pointed this out to ‘Peter’. I had not talked about the proportion of tax, but then neither had Monbiot’s sentence, which is why Monbiot is such a bad writer. I did not point that out as I don’t believe in giving a debating opponent any chances. ‘Peter’ goaded me again. ‘Also, your favourites, the BBC and the Telegraph are hardly likely to report anything that annoys the wealthy, are they?‘, he wrote. What had I done to deserve this treatment? Of course. I had disagreed with the socialist narrative. ‘Peter’ provided a link to a Daily Mirror article attacking the Tories, demanding I dismiss it due to lack of evidence. What this had to do with my original point I still do not quite understand. Fortunately Guido Fawkes had just published a report from a Guardian-supported group called the Media Standards Trust that demonstrated that the Mirror is the most biased newspaper in Fleet Street.

‘Peter’ became desperate. ‘I don’t care about Monbiot’s sources or facts. I care about your stark refutation of his statement, which seems to have hit a personal nerve. I am genuinely interested as to your sources to refute this. Please let me know, that’s all I asked. I didn’t want to get into one-upmanship, but to learn more about other people’s views.‘, he begged. So he was not now disagreeing with me, even though he had previously been trying to refute my claim, but badly. But then why try to goad me earlier? Why, instead of posting links to refute my simple statement, did he not make an argument himself? Why was it now suddenly my job to enlighten him? So far he had made no points. He wanted someone else to do all the work for him, but make no investment himself. Just like socialism.

It is untrue because the poor do not pay more in tax than the rich. That is what is untrue. ‘, is all I replied.

Someone else posted onto the timeline pointing out that Monbiot had phrased the sentence badly, but that he had also gone on to talk about the proportion of the income paid out in taxes by the low-paid. This was something that I had refuted later on in my fisking of the paragraph. ‘Peter’ refused to engage on this and stopped discussing the matter. I did not goad him to continue. There it ended.

‘Peter’ did not behave like those well-educated scoundrels who ganged up and victimised a poor teenaged girl who was alone and away from the protection of home or loved ones. However he came across to me as having the same mindset of social intolerance against those that do not follow the accepted ‘party line’. While unable to frame an argument themselves, their bogus self-appointed virtue somehow permits them to behave in irrational and illogical manner, such that a feminist supports the defacing of a feminist monument, simply because of its proximity to Downing Street while there is a Tory incumbent at No 10.

The Terrified Tories spoke last Thursday and gave David Cameron the party’s first majority in over two decades. Part of his job should be to make it so that ordinary people who defend and support conservatism are no longer afraid to speak their minds in daily life. The Left pride themselves on their so-called tolerance. They are actually both dishonest and disgusting.

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Paul T Horgan
Paul T Horgan
Paul T Horgan worked in the IT Sector. He lives in Berkshire.

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