What has the Conservative Conference taught us about the Left in Britain?

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What has the Conservative Conference taught us about the Left in Britain?

Each year as Tory party members descend on their chosen city for conference and so do hundreds of protesters who despise everything the Conservatives stand for. This year was as expected – no different. Do these protests serve any real person? Does it say more about who the Tories are or those protesting?

As a party member myself it is nothing less than anything a Conservative expects upon people finding out where your vote lies. This can be in person as the annual conference season shows but it can also be online too. Social media is now a place for left wing activists of all types to come together and denounce the ‘evil Tories’ and their ‘wicked policies’. Engaging with them only causes further hassle, it is often best to leave them to burn themselves out while you get on with your life.

But why does this set up exist? People on the right are no different to those in the centre or the left apart from we ascribe to a different strain of political thought. Yet there seems to be this irrational hatred of those on the right and Conservatives in particular. Disagree with our policies, fair enough. Don’t like how we approach issues and debates, that’s acceptable. However, to make out that to think this way is wrong or inherently evil. That says less about what we as conservatives actually believe and more about your own intolerance.

This week in Manchester all that the protests have done is show to the nation how intolerant a small group of people can be. And it must be emphasised that it is a small group as it would be idiotic to say that the large majority of those that vote for labour or any other left wing party would wish to be associated with that kind of action. The protests told me nothing of the causes that these people care about and think the Tories either don’t take account of or their policies disadvantage in some way. By all means engage in debate about why you disagree, what you would do differently. That’s how a democratic society works.  Don’t come and stand outside the entrance to my party’s conference and simply insult people, spit at them or intimidate them. This from a group of people who like to claim that they are far more tolerant and caring than the ‘heartless Tories’.

The fact they didn’t even differentiate between party members and the press goes to show that this was not a protest thought out logically. I guess in their logic that any party member is fair game and if that’s how they want to play it then they can do that. However it isn’t the right thing and frankly should have been denounced more vocally by prominent members off the left. Yet it wasn’t. Laurie Penny actively defended the actions of these people rather than condemn their thuggish behaviour.

In the end what does this teach us about the left? Speaking personally it shows that there are quite intolerant sections of the left that appear to have a rather vicious hatred of people who thinking with a conservative mind-set. This isn’t to say that intolerance is just confined to the left as we all know that simply isn’t the case. What I feel marks them out as different is the irrational nature of this hatred. Surely you can’t hate someone so much because they happen to think a different policy is better than yours? Time and again though we see this nature manifest itself in the left. You just have to look to social media like Twitter or Facebook where daily denouncements will be made of the Conservatives. Try and rationally debate with these people and it just won’t happen. I wouldn’t say they are incapable of it but I would go as far as to say they don’t want to. Because if they did it may just make the Tories not so bad, not such the evil bogeyman. By characterising us this way it allows them to keep within their mind-set which sees us as the other.

In the end the Conservative Party conference has taught me nothing new about the left. They don’t like us and god forbid if you forget it. They certainly won’t.

Written by Alex Walker