Discover more from Counter Cut
Left wing intimidation tactics are damaging democracy
After the Birmingham Hustings protest we delve into why demonising Conservative voters is damaging our democratic systems
The Conservative Party leadership contest hustings was in Birmingham last Tuesday, where party members from across the West Midlands were able to hear our future Prime Minister speak in order to make an informed decision when they vote. However, this hustings experienced protests not dissimilar to what happened in Scotland. Protests have become common place at Conservative Party events however this is setting a precedent for intimidation against those who happen to hold Conservative views.
The protests were covered disproportionally compared to the number of members at the event and the 30 people protesting. Jane Haynes tweeted “I’m aware of protests planned outside the #Birmingham hustings tomorrow, on climate change, energy situation, and policies to safeguard vulnerable children. I’ll be there – please drop me a line if you are attending in any capacity.”
What is humorous is that Jane Haynes says that were protesting about specific policy whereas anybody at the hustings will say all they were shouting about was capitalism and Palestine, as well as screaming ‘Tory Scum’. Birmingham Live cherry picked what the protesters were calling for. Jane Haynes’ tweet doesn’t even mention Palestine, anti-police sentiment, or anti-capitalism. Journalism like this polishes anti-tory sentiment to the mainstream.
Most members I spoke to found the protest humorous and just laughed it off, however many people going to the event have no role in the party other than a membership and just wanted to hear candidates speak without being verbally abused. They have Conservative views as millions do and to have abuse yelled at them as they enter the building especially if they are elderly, could be intimidating.
I said online that I hope the protests stay civil because just simply having Conservative beliefs shouldn’t be demonised and my response from left wing twitter was that any Tory deserves any abuse received. In any democratic society their will always be a left wing and a right wing party. The right seems to understand this and focuses its energy on beating their opponents at the ballot box, however in recent times the left has demonised anyone right wing and has tried to eradicate right wing ideas, personalities, and politics from mainstream culture.
University students protest Conservative speakers at University Campuses, where often speakers need police escorts to enter the building or they get cancelled altogether. Conservative professors have been fired for talking at right wing thinktanks. LBC presenter James O’Brien called for right wing thinktanks to be banned from BBC interviews. We have ‘cancel culture’ erasing anything or anyone from public life for not fitting in a ‘woke’ narrative. What this shows is that Conservatives are demonised to such a degree that they are only worthy of protest and societal exclusion, no debate or interaction necessary.
Other examples of the demonization of Tory voters is Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell recently tweeted a picture of her wearing a t-shirt saying, ‘never kissed a Tory’. This is more divisive behaviour from an MP who should know better. Tory voters can’t be liked or ‘kissed’ because they are terrible people in the eyes of the left. This being normalized is not healthy for our democracy.
This is damaging to democracy because it doesn’t allow dissent. All ideologies and beliefs need to be scrutinised. Elections should be what decides the political leaning of a country however with intimidation tactics and demonization it makes right leaning people scared to express themselves or discuss topics meaning that the mainstream view becomes biased towards one political side, and it doesn’t match the way the people have voted.
If Brexit voters are called ‘stupid’ and ‘racist’ they won’t admit to voting Brexit however will still vote for Brexit. This means that you have a loud minority opinion, yet the majority are silent and scared to speak which creates political division and tension.
By Jack Dixon
Thanks for reading Counter Cut! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.