Cameron Scheijde argues that as students, we need to get out of our left wing bubble and understand that Conservatives are not all evil.
Come on, guys. We’re better than this.
Students get a bit of stick from general society sometimes. The majority of the time it’s not exactly justified. However – when I look on my Facebook I see just how much ammunition left-wing students give the rest of society, mainly from their denunciations of the Conservative party, of those who vote Conservative, or would call themselves even vaguely ‘right-wing’, I see how we earn our reputation.
Has voting for a right wing party now become a thought-crime?
These denunciations are not simply normal criticism of policy or measured debate. They are instead attacks on the moral integrity of conservatives, on how they could possibly vote for such an evil, deranged party with a programme of state-lead murder that (of course) the ‘biased mainstream media’ are covering up.
Just how distanced have students become from the real world? The Conservatives won the most votes, the most seats and remain the party of government. At what point did the young left become so ‘morally superior’ that exercising one’s free, democratic liberty and voting Conservative is now a crime akin to murdering someone’s marginalised friend? Has voting for a right wing party now become a thought-crime?
Proof that Labour is the workers’ party (and party of unemployed, non-workers and students too). pic.twitter.com/Mhb6GeNEGE
— Will Straw (@wdjstraw) June 13, 2017
Has voting for a right wing party now become a thought-crime? Yes I don’t like Nigel Farage and yes I think Trump is unhinged and unfit for office. I don’t think Jeremy Corbyn’s policies are much good and I think John McDonnell would bankrupt the economy. Do I think any of them to be ‘evil’, ‘morally bankrupt’ or even murderous? Of course not.
Now I’ll be honest, I don’t usually write strongly-worded articles. I am a fairly middle of the road liberal and in my opinion there are always two sides to any story. Therefore to have a strong and somewhat unchangeable opinion, for me, is rare.
However, I have to make an exception to denounce the hateful and intolerant narrative that is slowly worming its way into my newsfeed. Since when did Britain, the nation of moderation and measure, become prone to believing conspiracies that wouldn’t look out of place on the other side of the pond?
When did Lily Allen become more of a beacon of truth than verified, fact-checked and balanced articles on the BBC?
Our millennial generation is one that uses social media almost religiously – but we are using it increasingly to spread hateful and intolerant material that is somehow “ok”, because it comes from a left-wing standpoint.
To use James Ball’s succinct point: we would rather listen to unverified “facts” and speculation than wait for the truth. Many decent people have suddenly started spreading narrative that the parties such as that one that won the General Election (yes, they did) are evil. This has lead to fact-checked, professional, quality sources of journalism, such as the BBC, being targets of protests and chants, while pay-by-click, highly partisan websites such as The Canary are trusted unquestionably.
When, my friends, did we all lose our minds? When did Lily Allen become more of a beacon of truth than verified, fact-checked and balanced articles on the BBC?
I wish I could answer this question. I wish public debate that has now descended not only from someone holding an opposing view as “wrong”, but this opposing view must be “evil” and “murderous” and downright morally defunct. The government must be hiding something from you all. It’s all a bit American. Of course in mainstream politics the right is just as guilty and criticism of the Conservatives is very legitimate. I myself disagree with almost everything they stand for. But in our student bubble, the left is falling for the same traps as the right; and we’re better than that.
The oft-quoted phrase from the late MP Jo Cox is very appropriate: ‘We are more united than that which divides us’.
Yes, that includes Theresa May.
I encourage anyone reading this to go and buy James Ball’s ‘Post Truth: How Bullshit Conquered the World’. It’s a brilliant insight into all this.
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