TW: Tory Bashing, Non-Labour Bashing, Cyberbullying
I’m writing this as an open letter to the few vocal left wingers out there that currently dominate the Oxford social media scene for one simple reason: I believe it’s time that someone drew attention to the systematic abuse of non-Labour voters by you Left-Wing Keyboard Warriors.
Arriving at Oxford, I assumed that given the average net worth of an Oxford student’s family, I would find myself at the left-wing end of the student population. By the end of Fresher’s week, however, I realised this wasn’t the case. Those with parents at the head of large multi-national-corporations were mini Maos in the making.
I don’t find this problematic. A wider breadth and expression of political views makes for a healthier democracy. Such pluralism isn’t shared by a certain, vocal minority of the Oxford’s leftists, though. Their raison d’être is seemingly to publicly shame/harass/quasi-libellously slander anyone who doesn’t have the Labour rose or the hammer and sickle (although nowadays, there’s not much of a distinction) as their cover photo.
Being more outspoken than some of my fellow Conservatives, I have found myself open to a torrent of abuse about my political views since joining Oxford. I’ve been compared to Hitler, Stalin (yeah, cos’ he was really noted for his advocacy of privatisation) and even a prominent fictional character that likes to make puppies into fur coats. People have yelled at me, cried in my presence, blocked me on Facebook – and, in one rather extreme case, even refused to date me; all on the basis that anyone who isn’t doesn’t idolise the glorious leader, Comrade Corbachev, must inevitably be a horrible person.
Unlike you lefties, not all non-Labour voters vote ideologically. Instead, some of us are governed by something called pragmatic rationality. You might like to acquire it sometime. Let me explain, using the example of economic policy. Labour’s is to borrow and spend. So, while many people identify with Labour on social issues, they feel that its economic illiteracy makes their voting for the red rose about as likely as Attlee rising from the dead.
Then again, even if we do agree with other parties on multiple social issues – and I want you to read this very carefully – that doesn’t make us bad people. Feel free to ask questions, engage us in polite debate, or even attempt to explain to why we are mistaken. All of that is part of a healthy democratic discourse. What is not healthy however, is calling people names and tagging them in enough Guardian and Independent articles to amount to cyberbullying.
One last word on the subject before I go and hide under my desk from the countless accusations of ‘Thatcherite’, and the death threats that are sure to be heading my way once this is published. I think it’s time everyone got off their political high horses and admitted that the British bi-party system is a frankly shared delusion. Right wing and Left wing? More like slightly skewed centre. There’s basically no difference.
It’s time you put aside the childish social media posturing, and look for the common ground. We’re all anti-violence, all pro-democracy, and think repression of any minority is unacceptable. Crucially, any person smart enough to get into Oxford thinks that Trump is an arsehole. So why not stop tagging me in pictures of Darth Vader over what is essentially a disagreement on who has the least ineffective fiscal policy, and start working together on what we’re going to do if the Donald wins the presidential election?