Plenty has been written about the hatred some on the left feel towards their ‘enemies’, something on display at the moment in Manchester, with journalists being called ‘Tory scum’ for covering a party conference. I’ve bored for Britain on the subject of political hatred of the left, but less has been written about how self-defeating it is.
For example, one of the best things that could happen to the Tories is for the Labour faithful to convince themselves that Corbyn was defeated only because of a biased, Tory-dominated press. This means that, rather than brutally analysing their weaknesses after Corbyn goes, they’re more likely to retreat into their own comfort zone politically. Paranoia leads to poor decision making generally, and if Labour think they were stabbed in the back, then all the better for the other side. If I were working for Tory HQ I would be doing my best to subtly get the message across to Labour party activists that the media is indeed against them.
It’s true that the Tory press are opposed to Labour, but then they always are. Corbyn and in particular McDonnell have left so much ammunition for them that supporters can hardly complain if it is reported (just imagine if Nigel Farage had made similar comments). The BBC appears to be more hostile to Corbyn than to previous Labour leaders, but then the BBC is the voice of the establishment, which is the centre-left.
But the most idiotic thing about the hard-left’s hatred is that it is unable to see the different shades of opinion among its opponents, and therefore to divide them. Among the Tory scum, for example, there are at least three distinctive groups, known in the old days as the wets, the s***s and the loonies; that is the centrists, the social conservatives and the libertarians/Thatcherites. Some people may mix aspects of two, but there are still distinctions, and Tony Blair for one knew that the former could be turned against the others.
Personally I’m a bit of a s*** and am not at all happy with the Government’s stripping of tax credits for the poor, while the new Trade Union Bill looks appalling. Many of the welfare reforms trouble me, which is why I want a strong opposition to challenge them and to restrain the government. Like many Tory supporters, I want them in government because they are the least incompetent, but I don’t want them to have unrestricted power; it’s qualified support I’m giving them. I also genuinely believe that David Cameron and George Osborne, while probably competent financially, are quite callous about the poor.
But the left are so stupid right now, and their wilder supporters so blinded by hatred that they act like the racists they despise, creating Manichean divisions between us and them, lumping whole groups together, making sweeping stereotypes and failing to spot internal differences. Cameron and Osborne must be the luckiest politicians in modern history to have such idiotic opponents.