Callousness and Class Cruelty: The Real Reason the Tory Euro Vote Hasn’t Dropped

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A few days ago I reblogged a piece from Mike over at Vox Political, in which he wondered why the Tory vote hadn’t also been significantly affected by their ruthless austerity policies. The Lib Dems have effectively been wiped out due to their participation in the Coalition. After Clegg’s debate with Farage about the EU, the number of people stating they will vote for the Lib Dems has fallen to 2 per cent. Other polls place them vying for fifth place in national elections with the Greens. In one local election, as reported by Tom Pride over at Pride’s Purge, they came behind Bus-Pass Elvis. This incarnation of the King stood on a platform of legalised brothels with a 30 per cent reduction for OAPs. Such decadence and immorality was clearly much more palatable to the local electors than the lies, hypocrisy and vicious attacks on the poor and underprivileged of the Lib Dems support for their Tories austerity programme. They are looking at political extinction. They deserve it.

The question remains, though. Why weren’t the Tories similarly affected?

The Lib Dems are, after all, only accomplices. Mike acknowledges that they may even be right in their assertion that they have held the Tories back from even more extreme policies. And the Tories are worse liars and hypocrites, and even more cruel, vicious and persecutory towards the working and lower middle classes. Before the 2010 election, they were posing as even more Left-wing than Labour. They went up and down the country engaging in stunts community activism, like trying to get funding for children’s play areas from the local Labour authority. They announced that they were ring-fencing money for the NHS. Osborne declared at one point that he was going to get rid of the PFI. Cameron’s mentor, Philip Blond, promoted an image of the party that he was extremely friendly to the organised working class, even citing the great anarchist, Peter Kropotkin, in his book, Red Tory. All this has been thoroughly discarded as the Tories push through the privatisation of the NHS, even more punitive policies towards the poor and working- and lower-middle class. And the PFI is still going strong under Osborne.

So why haven’t the electorate punished them, as they have the Lib Dems?

I think the answer lies in the type of people, who form the core Tory vote. The Tories have a reputation for being, in general, much more politically committed than Labour supporters. One of the Labour Prime Ministers, for example, was afraid of the effect the scheduling of a general election may have had on the number of people voting for the party, because it clashed with a popular TV programme. The fear was that the working class voters would stay home and watch that, rather than cast their vote at the polls. The turn-out for Euro elections is much lower than for British, and so only the most determined and committed parts of the electorate vote in them.

And in the case of the Tories, it seems those core voters are utter b****rds. Peter Snowden, in his book, Back from the Brink, discussing how the Tories managed to revive their electoral fortunes from the nadir of the Blair years, makes the point that Cameron’s attempt to position the Tories as more ‘Left-wing’ and competitors to Labour as social activists, met with only an indifferent response, if not outright hostility. The Tories simply don’t like community activism. And when Cameron stated at a publicity meeting that he was the heir to Blair, he was criticised by the editor of the Telegraph.

The number of people voting in general elections has declined considerably. Many are turning away from politics because of the apparent lack of any interest or appreciation of the hardships on ordinary working people that have been inflicted by the Neoliberal agendas now shared by all the main parties. Disgust at the greed, self-interest and hypocrisy of the political class has also had a highly corrosive effect on public confidence in them. The result is that membership of these parties has fallen to a rump of a few, very committed supporters, many of whom are tribal voters. In the case of the Tories, these voters appear to be arch-Thatcherites, motivated by a desire to return to a strongly hierarchical class system, and with a bitter hatred of state assistance for the poor and unfortunate.

The Lib Dems’ supporters, on the other hand clearly included many, who saw their party as far more moderate than the extreme Neoliberal organisation into which it has been moulded by Clegg. The ideological heritage of the Liberal party is that of John Stuart Mill – democracy, social justice and in the classic Liberal formulation, the achievement of individual liberty through collective action. In many areas where Labour is weak they are the opposition to the Tories. As a result, their followers feel the Coalition’s betrayal of their initial promises far more than the Tories, who seem largely content. And so they have abandoned the party in their droves. The Tores, however, propped up by class interest and Thatcherite greed, carry on as before.

And so Britain continues to suffer. It’s about time the Tories came to the same fate as the Lib Dems.

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8 Responses to “Callousness and Class Cruelty: The Real Reason the Tory Euro Vote Hasn’t Dropped”

  1. Joanna Says:

    I know this is going to sound awful, but when the election comes, I can see David Cameron using his son Ivan again, like he did last time. He is utterly without morals.
    Gordon Brown like him or not, didn’t use personal tragedies, and he has had a few, a daughter who died shortly after birth, and a son with cystic fibrosis. He wanted it all to be kept private, But the Sun newspaper had other ideas.
    http://sturdyblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/we-need-to-talk-about-ivan/

  2. Mike Sivier Says:

    Reblogged this on Vox Political.

  3. jaynel62 Says:

    Reblogged this on jaynelinney and commented:
    Hard to argue with The Beast’s logic here???

  4. hirsutemal Says:

    Reblogged this on MAL's MURMURINGS.

  5. Barry Davies Says:

    Fully agree with you about camoron’s decidedly foul abusive of his sons memory, it hasn’t stopped him demonising the NHS has it. The difference in the lib dums, wholly pro europhile position, and the tories faux eurosceptic stance, camoron is a dyed in the wool europhile, is part of the reason the lib dums are going to be wiped out. the second part is that the lib dums have gone against every principle their party is supposed to have in firstly putting a minority government into pawer then supporting them for the illusion of some power sitting on the front benches. Clegg had the chance to take the lib dums and move them forewords instead he destroyed the parties standing for self serving reason.

  6. sdbast Says:

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  7. beastrabban Says:

    Jess and Barry – yes, I think that stuck in a lot of people throats, especially the way the he abolished the benefit paid to people looking after disabled children after claiming it for his son.

    As for Cameron being a Europhile, I think you’re right, though he’s desperately trying to keep the Tory party from splitting down the middle over the issue. Hence all the deferred promises for a referendum, hoping to put the crisis off.

  8. Joanna Says:

    Hi, I think you got my name wrong, though Jess is a lovely name.

    Fantastic column as always!!!

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