Every Decreasing Socialism 2: Same Old Tory
You see, I experienced something like this once before when I wrote a miniblog entry on Tumblr about the whole Bigotgate scandal. You must remember. It was when Gordon Brown was caught off the record saying he dislikes bigotry and got pilloried for it. The gist of what I wrote was that whatever you thought of his policies I considered that his treatment by the press had been unfair. The link to this miniblog was retweeted a couple of times and before I knew it was was drowning in angry responses from people who loathed Brown and completely missing the point I was trying to make were telling me so in no uncertain terms.
Of course many of them were dyed in the wool Tories, which is fair enough, but some of them I suspect were something more sinister.
Another entry last year was about the phenomena of Every Decreasing Socialism - the observation that many people seem to get more right wing as they get older. I argued that rather than being a calcification of the human mind which caused it to slip ever rightwards as it aged, these people were probably always right wing but when young and in the public eye adopted a faux leftie stance simply to appear cool. Belief as fashion accessory. When they got older they cared less for the cool and allowed their real selves out to play.
I stated my own political beliefs in this entry - a kind of instinctive socialism based upon what makes my blood boil. This blog entry is about the behaviour of some people around politics, and NOT about the political views themselves although if I start getting hot under the collar my own might slip in by accident. That was a disclaimer for anyone planning to Have A Go.
The last few years have been interesting ones in British politics from the point of view of the responses of these false socialists to political events. Things not being quite as expected led to some interesting behaviour.
Firstly, wasn't it peculiar how the faux-left pundits and bigmouths alike stuck the boot into "Bliar" and his party with far more enthusiasm than they'd ever attacked the Tories? Were these people really more incensed by the war in Iraq than by anything Thatcher and Major had ever perpetrated in the previous decades or was it that as Crypto-Tories they were suddenly delighted to be able to legitimately stick it Labour? Quite unexpectedly the cool point of view coincided with their genuine feelings even if they were missing the point (caring not about an illegal war in Iraq but merely for the opportunity to Have A Go). In the press, the Mail and Independent alike were attacking the same targets even if their agendas were very different. The same was happening with the Crypto-Tories and the genuine left.
With a marvellous irony (in hindsight) some of them made a big noise about how Labour had failed them, publicly crossed the floor and set up camp with the Liberal Democrats whom they now claimed were the only voice truly representing the left.
The result of the 2010 election must have been a delightful surprise to them. Their true masters had gained power in no small part thanks to their pretend support for the Lib-Dems. They'd voted Tory without any of the shame or loss of coolface caused by having done so.
Now that the coalition government has bedded in and is slitting the throat of the nation's future whilst enthusiastically raping its corpse these commentators are conspicuous by their absence. Their protesting screams of "Bliar!" whilst on anti-war marches have fallen silent even though there's still much to complain about, a lot of it far closer to home as the private security force once known as the police cracks heads and abuses children.
This is because their burning desire to look cool doesn't extend to actually slagging off those with whom their loyalties really lie. Some of them are still banging on about Blair - hey everyone, lets move his autobiography to the crime section, eh? That'll be good for a laugh, but even those who realise that they've got to move on seem to be reserving all their bile for Clegg who has unwittingly been forced into the role of the figure its OK to hate. That way they get to keep up their fashionable appearance without actually betraying their Tory masters.
Cameron seems to be getting away scott free.