Ok, inappropriate title… But you can’t have missed the amusing and revealing article that appeared in the Guardian about ‘Never Kissed a Tory’ T-shirts…
Never kissed a Tory and got the T-shirt to prove it? It’s not a garment I have hanging in my own wardrobe – it wouldn’t be true. But then we all make mistakes (and some of them wear chinos).
While some would argue that sleeping with the enemy makes you a political traitor, others believe that it’s useful to know them even in the biblical sense. Shagging someone from the dark side certainly has the capacity to upset your parents, according to a new YouGov survey suggesting that British political party supporters are becoming increasingly entrenched and partisan. The proportion of parents who would be “very upset” if their offspring married someone of a different political persuasion has more than doubled in eight years, with 28% of Labour supporters saying they would be unhappy if their son or daughter married a Tory and one in five Tories saying the same of a Labour son- or daughter-in-law.
Of course we know it’s a joke, part in jest. Evil Tories, some of whom believe in economic sanity — ok just Steve Baker, Syed Kamall and JP Floru… Evil, evil, blah, blah, blah… We all know the old trope…
The issue here though is that some people are probably quite serious about it. And this is quite revealing in regards to some supposedly ‘liberal’ people’s thinking.
An underbelly of totalitarianism runs through modern ‘liberalism’. The world can be divided between good and bad people and those who question the NHS are definitely bad. They are people not to be associated with and possibly driven from society.
It is a de-humanising outlook, one that judges a person on their beliefs rather than their character and actions. I’d challenge anyone to meet Syed Kamall, who gave a wonderful talk on social action at Libertarian Home, and tell me all Tories are evil.
Some ‘liberals’ will be outraged by the suggestion that they are closet totalitarians. But just imagine someone wearing an “I’d Never Kiss a Muslim” t-shirt or saying, “I’d never bring home an Israeli”… Actually, wait, people probably do say that last one… People would shout, “Bigot” — and they’d be right. Essentially If you can’t see past someone’s political or religious views then you have a questionable outlook on life.
Even people who hold what we might call extreme views cannot be classified as evil across the board. Salafism, for example, isn’t a particularly enlightened or forward thinking outlook on the world. To suggest though all Salafists desire to take up arms against the West and massacre the non-believer would be quite ridiculous. Simply not true and quite inaccurate.
I hope the people who wear these T-shirts are just joking. It’s a sad indictment against their character if they’re not and think what they could be missing out on… I was raised by a Tory father and a socialist, feminist Mother. They had their disagreements, but they’re both decent, intelligent people who got on fine. And to be honest growing up in a divided household was great — fun even. It taught me tolerance, differing ideas and probably explains why the title of this post is quite true…