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Reacting to Tories

I have refrained from using this blog to chart my thoughts and feelings on this government since they managed to get into office in 2010 - partly because the posts would be too long and too frequent! However, an incident occurred this morning on the tube - the District Line from Richmond - that I wanted to write about. Writers like to listen to conversations wherever they are 'performed', and make no mistake, this particular one was a performance. The lady, a dowager type with trowelled on make-up and a heavy frame that suggested a regular greedy gobbling of chocolates, was remarking to her Daily Mail reading ex-city type husband, that she didn't know how anyone could vote Labour. I was sat one seat away from her. She was talking loudly and with a sickening grandiosity, as if all Labour supporters were stupid and thick. And yes, I thought, typical bloody Tory, travelling from Richmond where Tory cuts will affect a mere few. The tube, as is often the case on that line, was packed. I felt myself shake at the prospect of pulling her up on her nonsense. Then she said 'Ed Balls - what tosh - Balls by name, Balls by nature!' I leant over so I could see her properly and said 'Who would vote for the Tories, more like!' She fell silent, and then said, with deadened eyes that suggested botox, 'I was talking to my husband!' 'Really? Well we can all hear you too!' Then she lowered her voice and carried on in a mutter. I then carried on trying to read an article on my iPhone, trying to stop my hands trembling, but still spending the rest of the journey wondering if my fellow passengers thought I was mad, but also imagining what I could have said to her. Here's what I would have said, had I known that I was going to respond this way this morning. 'What do you know? Do you realise that most Tories seem only to want to vote Tory because they're the party of the tax-dodger? Because the Tories think they should contribute as little as possible to our shared society? Have you ever ventured out of the Home Counties to the rest of the country to see the regions that are still affected by Thatcher's legacy? Where entire industries were destroyed, industries that we should now be focussing on for the growth of 'UK Plc' that your beloved party keep harping on about? Do you realise that you are blinkered to what is going on in your own country that your voice seems to want to represent? Whole areas do not just despise everything that the Tories stand for because they're having a bad day; they despise them for wanting to fleece hard working people who find their salaries cannot keep up with rents and travel and, god forbid, a holiday once a year. That they stand for dubious narrow values that benefit only themselves and their tiny circles of privilege? That they stand for the ugliest selfishness? That they moan about 'scroungers' claiming housing benefit that they then, as landlords, take gladly, whilst increasing the rent some more. That they would rather have us return to their 'glory Victorian' days where most workers lived in slums and had no rights at work; where the beloved architecture and infrastructure that they hold up as having been achieved by visionary individual men in the nineteenth century was actually made possible only through the sheer hard toil of men, women and children who routinely died through such work; work that failed to sustain them? That the 'empire' that many Tories so glorify was built on the backs, not of them, but of everyone else? That they talk about encouraging the rebirth of these industries, but then send their own often dimwitted children to public school and then onto 'the best' universities to study the subjects that they frown upon those from poorer backgrounds studying?'

And there is far more that I could say - like 'there could come the day, quite easily, when you lose your lovely chintz Home Counties home or your pseudo-bohemian house with its library of enlightened thinkers that are there for show only, that you lose it all because of your banker friends' rampant greed, and you could have a breakdown because of it, affecting your mental and physical health. Where would you turn to then? The Daily Mail? No, you'd want us - the rest of society and the state - to help you - those of us who vote Labour because of everything that Party and its predecessors fought for: an NHS to try and mend you and not leave you in the street, like is common in America; a few quid a week to buy some groceries with; and a roof over your stupid fat head'.

And breathe.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:The London Library

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