An Attempt at a Productive Conversation with a Conservative: A Fantasy Saga

How do you chat politics with a Tory (without frothing at the mouth)? Invent one.

This is an article about why you should vote against the Tories.

If you’re already planning to, then feel free to stop reading now. Have some crisps and play with your phone or something, there’s nothing for you here. Alternatively you might want to read what I hope will be an enthrallingly persuasive piece of writing, and pass its arguments off as your own as the hour of reckoning approaches. I don’t mind, in fact I’d be flattered.

No this is a piece aimed at people who intend to vote conservative, in which I will attempt to win you over with good humour, honesty and respect. Please don’t leave, we might have disparate viewpoints on just about everything but I bet we also have stuff in common. Here’s a list of broad things I’m positively not indifferent to, if you can match at least one or two then why not stick around?

Football
The Beatles
Beer (both tins of cheap head hurter and bottles of micro-brewery silt juice)
Wine
Gin and Tonic
Tasty food (chips, fruit, cake etc.)
Sea air
Nice views
Theoretical books on the beauty of decaying urban/suburban landscapes
Crime dramas

If from the above you reckon you could get through an evening with me then please read on. I’d do the same for you, and if proof is needed hear this: I once read a Toby Young book. I’m not proud of it and I didn’t realise who he was (in fact I thought it was a satirical novel about the ignorance of privilege) but I still read the whole thing.

I promise my eventual misery was greater than yours could ever be from reading this.

So we’ll start now, under the assumption that a Tory remains, although I’m loath to make the same mistakes as David Cameron. Ready? Now.

Hello Tory, how the devil are you, you racist old nonce? (Sorry, that one slipped out. Being a Tory doesn’t necessarily make you racist or a nonce, it just makes you an enabler of both racism and child abuse, and that’s only nearly as bad).

Anyway, I want to discuss a few sticking points that might be putting you off voting against the Tories, to see if we can’t come to some sort of agreement. Since I’m imagining you, I’ll get your arguments from those of other Tories on the internet. I’m leaving my bubble now, but I will return.

Some time passes….

Fucking hell, man! That was…. I need a Dettol bath or something. At first I couldn’t find it, I was typing in stuff like “Pro Tory” and it was coming back with left wing people saying stuff like “Ignore the Pro Tory Trolls” and I thought that you’d all gone and that we’d won already, but man, I fucking found you. I remembered Breitbart and The Daily Mail and that Milo man and James Delingpole and LBC and I fucking found you, I pulled on the book that made the wall revolve and I fell into your dungeon and now I’m back but I’m not the same, I’ll never be the same.

I’ve got to give it to you, it looks fun in a kind of computer game sort of way, y’know, if your actions had no real world consequences and those weren’t actual lives that you’re destroying. Anyway, I’m back and I’ve got some of your arguments written down on a tear, blood and sweat soaked page.

Conservatives are Strong and Stable. They will ensure we only spend what we can afford on public services.

Hi Tory. Thanks for this. The Labour manifesto has been fully costed, whereas the Conservative one hasn’t. Also, although the Conservatives have spent less (when inflation is taken into account) than the previous Labour Government, it isn’t a lot less, so they haven’t saved much money. In fact, the deficit is now wider.homeless, Conversation with a Conservative

With things like the welfare state, tories have paid less in benefits but paid more in paying private companies to conduct needless (not to mention distressing and dehumanising) medicals (PIP, ESA), and on hastily designed and ultimately useless (and discarded) computer systems (Universal Credit). So the money used by the welfare state hasn’t gone to the people who need it the most, but to private and wealthy companies like Atos. They have wasted money, with no appropriate tax measures in having been put in place to deal with their spending. Things are less stable than ever.

Conservatives are Strong and Stable. We are safer with them in charge, Corbyn is a terrorist sympathiser.

Right, so you’re aware who the Home Secretary has been for the last seven years? It’s Theresa May, she who has cut the police by 20,000, the fire service by 10,000, and who thinks its fine to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia (who also, funnily enough, like to donate money to the Conservative Party.) Labour has pledged to fund more police jobs and to stop selling weapons to terrorists.

Oh and Corbyn actually isn’t a terrorist sympathiser, he’s just someone who believes in discourse. That’s the thing we’re having now and look how much you’re learning! You could argue it was unwise, insensitive and even foolhardy for Corbyn to participate in discussions with the IRA in the way that he did (several decades ago), but there is no record of him anywhere sympathising with terrorist acts. And look, we don’t have the IRA planting bombs in our town centres anymore like they did in my home town in 1993, so maybe having uncomfortable conversations with people as a way of negotiating an end to terrorism is something that it’s worth having a crack at.

Conservatives are Strong and Stable and I want to keep all of my money I don’t want to give it away to single mothers and people who need operations and sick people and give children meals. They should all just be massively successful like me.

Right, I’m gonna blow your fucking mind here and talk about money with you. Because the way Conservatives talk about money, you’d think it was a finite resource like coal or oil. Only so much of it to go around so we have to be careful and so on. But get this, we (humans) made it up! It actually doesn’t grow on trees, if it did we’d have to be way more careful with it. It’s actually an abstract concept for measuring the value of goods and services. The trouble is that some people have lots of it, and can therefore access more goods and services than they need, and some people have so little of it they cannot adequately access goods and services.

Now the structure that enables some people to make more abstract concept than others is complex. It calls to individual intelligence and effort as you like to claim. But you can also get more abstract concept because of advantages you have over others: things like the colour of your skin, your gender, or how much abstract concept your parents have. You could also get some abstract concept by conning people out of their abstract concept on either a small or large scale depending on your ambitions (low end cowboy builder, high end Hedge Fund Manager).

I love a bit of abstract concept. I love payday. I’ll come home to my wife and say, “Hey baby, I’ve got a pocket full of abstract concept, let’s go out and access some services” and she’ll say “Hey baby, me too, because it’s impossible for a household to survive on one income what with the disparities between pay and cost of living,” and I’ll say “You know it baby!” and then we’ll have a takeaway or something.

And I know you love abstract concept too, so get ready for mega news. In fact I’m going to capitalise it like Tories do on social media. UNDER A LABOUR GOVERNMENT THERE WILL BE NO UPPER LIMIT TO HOW MUCH ABSTRACT CONCEPT YOU CAN GET! Did you know that? In fact the proposed tax increases are so small, they will affect hardly anyone and those who they do affect will be able to comfortably afford it. And the passported advantages are so great for them (no student fees, free school meals) that it will actually be like paying a small dividend towards your children’s future, and they in turn will live in a more peaceful, tolerant, wealthy society, with plenty of abstract concept for all.

But the deficit….

It doesn’t matter sweet, it’s not real, and it wasn’t your kids who made it, it was greedy corporate bankers.

I made my abstract,… I made my money, it’s my money!

And it always will be you greedy bastard. Think of the extra few quid you’re sticking in as a rich arsehole’s membership fee that goes towards repairing some of the damage caused by your greed.

A membership fee you say?

Yeah. Look I didn’t want to have to resort to this but the tax increases, if they affect you, are like a membership fee to a very exclusive club made up only of the very elite. An unforged tax return is your membership card.

A club? What are the perks of membership?

A stinking sense of superiority.

Haha, fuck off Pleb, I already have that!

It’s probably impossible to win over Tories to our way of thinking, maybe the best we can do is make a big song and dance about voting ourselves, and try to win over their children. At least on an individual level, we might spoil their Christmas or something.

Get out on June the 8th and vote for whoever beats a stinking, selfish, shitbag Tory in your area.

Image by Pixabay/Josemdelaa

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About Gareth Roberts 4 Articles
Gareth Roberts is a musician and writer who lives in the North West of England. His band, Man & The Echo are signed to 1965 records and will release their debut album in 2016. Twitter: @manandtheecho www.manandtheecho.com

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