Hello hello hello hellooooooooooooo – is there anybody out there?
Caution – this article includes a swear word – repeatedly.
Who the fuck is voting Tory?
Can anybody tell me? I see the supportive news reports, the Tory newspapers, the Theresa May rallies, I see the Tory manifesto launch, the opinion polls putting the Tories in front. And yet I also see the leaders debate where she isn’t there, I see thousands of people cheering on Jeremy Corbyn, I see the popularity of Nicola Sturgeon as she travels around Scotland, I see the meanness of the Tory Policies – take take take with nothing given back except some worn out idea of taking back control – something that wasn’t lost in the first place; I see the WASPI women, I see the foodbanks, I see the nonsensical immigration reports, I see the outraged response to I, Daniel Blake; I see the debt rising, I see the welfare reforms causing misery for the most vulnerable; I asked everyone in the coffee shop this morning but no one has an answer for me.
Who the fuck is voting Tory?
Even my mum, who has been a Tory voter most of her life, won’t vote conservative.
And yet EVERYONE, even my lovely optimistic labour voting cousin seems to believe that Theresa May will win the General Election. So…who is looking at all this stuff- the same stuff I am seeing, the same stuff that makes me shake my head – who is looking at this and saying “Oh this is great – I’ll vote for Theresa May and the conservatives”?
The election material dropping through my door baffles me – no to a second Indy ref is ALL the leaflets say. Ruth Davidson’s smiley face is popping through my letter box saying absolutely nothing about policies except “No to Indy ref 2”. Surely those who are definitely no will remain no and those who are definitely yes will remain Yes and those who aren’t sure, will be fed up hearing about it and looking for real policies? I can accept to a degree that the second Indy ref is pulling people who don’t want an Indy Scotland to the Tories, but the rest of the UK doesn’t have that excuse. The whole world seems to believe that the Tories will win a significant majority.
I remember some interview training I did in the 80s which advised me to get on the other persons “hilltop” to see things from their point of view. That’s ok but what if you can’t even find the other persons hilltop to walk up and get a look? Seriously, I don’t know anyone voting Tory and except on social media where all I get is abuse if I ask nicely why they are voting Tory I haven’t spoken to a single person who is saying to me they are a Tory voter.
So, Who the fuck is voting Tory?
This is a perfect example of what living in an echo chamber is like. I have had my head out of the real life stuff for a while as studying, working and trying to manage my life has pushed active politicking out – I’ve been a “clicktavist” rather than an “activist”. From my Facebook, my Twitter feed, my real life conversations, the Tories seem to be so far off the piece that they will be lucky to keep their deposits, and yet I know that’s not true. We have Tory councillors all over Scotland in numbers we haven’t seen for years. We even have Labour councillors propping up the Tories in bizarre coalitions, not born out of shared social values but out of a hate for the SNP, who have taken Labour’s self satisfied sense of entitlement and shoved it where the sun don’t shine to such a degree that they have been suspended from their party. And yet from my own wide circle of friends – both real life and online – there is no evidence of Tory voters.
So here is the thing, and this is as much a message to my friends south of the border as it is here in Scotland – there are just under three weeks to the General Election. We must not not NOT think this is any kind of done deal. We need to get out and speak to people, knock doors and really engage. Stop clicking, start knocking. Get involved, whatever party, wherever you are, put the work in – be an activist, not a clicktivist, DO something. Because if we don’t, we will be sitting here on 9th June with a Tory majority government still asking ourselves the same question.
Who the ACTUAL fuck is voting Tory?