I'm so tired. The ancient tribalism of party politics, left vs right feels so last century, so pathetically inadequate and out of date. Not the leaders. The followers.
I’m tired of the angry, ranting preaching to the converted on Facebook – a distorting mirror to the world whose very algorithms are designed to re-enforce already held prejudices.
I’m tired of all the bollocks passed off as truth because nobody bothers to fact-check anymore but rather copy and paste the 'facts' that suit their cause, never questioning.
I’m tired of everyone getting so angry and offended because someone has an opinion that dares to be different to their's.
I’m tired of everyone demanding nice simple answers that allow them onto the top perch of the moral high ground. When really we live in a global mess of a world which is a lot more complex than they want it to be: a butterfly farts in China and the price of Fabreze goes through the roof in London.
But most of all I’m tired of the bullying.
I hobbled home tonight. Yes hobbled. On crutches. I thought I’d throw that in for extra sympathy because that is ultimately all I want. I’m too tired to want anything else.
I passed my car which is parked on a Soho street. It’s a Jag. It had been scratched all over, the windscreen smashed in and it was plastered in little stickers most of which said “Fuck off back to Eton you fucking toff”.
I didn’t go to Eton. I went to Fullbrook Comprehensive. My father was a carpenter and the four of us lived in a 2 bed bungalow just above the breadline.
I’ve never been queer bashed in my life. But I have been beaten up 3 times for having a posh accent. One time they re-arranged my nose so that I still can’t fully breathe through it.
When I was 10 we held a mock election at school. I stood for the Liberal Party because I thought they seemed the kindest party – they seemed open and nice and not angry and shouty like the other two were at the time. I won. I don’t think I won because I was clever. Or posh. I think I won because (and I still believe this) at heart people are good and it wasn’t hard to persuade a bunch of kids to vote for kindness.
But things can go wrong when we form gangs.
I’ve voted Labour or Liberal all my life. I don’t despise the Conservatives, I just happen to believe in a more progressive taxation system than they do. I run a business in which all my staff are on full contract and paid above minimum wage. I do this not because I have to but because I want to. They are my little family of misfits and I care for them. Well, most of them.
Back to my car. The one that got smashed. The one I was hobbling past on my crutches. It was a Jag. OK, it was more than just a Jag. It was a fuck off full throttle Jag that could accelerate faster than Usain Bolt with a rocket up his arse. It was my pride and joy. Now it’s just my pride. My poor, humiliated, broken-nosed pride.
I bought it as a treat to myself the day I finally paid off all the debt my company owed. The company that made me double mortgage my home, then homeless, then live in a camp bed in a windowless room at work. Finally we were out of debt and I thought I deserved a little treat.
A gang of others thought otherwise. A gang of others who were busy protesting against democracy. They were furious that the people had voted but the majority hadn’t agreed with their view of how things should be. So they took it out on my car.
A lot of people don’t like UKIP. I can’t pretend I like them much either. I certainly wouldn’t have a pint with Nigel Farage any more than he would have a Dirty Martini with me.
But UKIP are not the ones who make me despair, make me tired of life. Leave that to the Left. Not the Left I remember fondly through my Rose D’Anjou tinted glass (though I must confess even in my day, I remember going on an Anti-Nazi League demo only to find an embarrassing lack of Nazis to protest against. So we kicked some bins over instead. That showed ‘em).
No, I mean the new Left, the fundamentalist Left that has hijacked feminism and queer politics and redirected them towards a new kind of Leftist, regressive fascism.
The bullied who have become the bullies.
The Left that refer to anyone who DARES to have an alternative opinion as a “fascist Cunt”. They love that word, CUNT. It makes them think they’re working class. Which of course they’re not. They’re all working through different variations of white, middle class guilt. The very definition of a bully is someone who externalises hatred for something that they feel within themselves.
I can feel some sympathetic heads nodding (I had you at the hobbling). But just before we all click ‘like’ and move on, let’s stop externalising blame and look inwards.
Have you called Michael Gove a Fascist Cunt? David Cameron may have the face of a freshly smacked buttock and may not be the brightest in the gene pool but does he deserve to be described as an Evil Fucking Ladypart? How about Katie Hopkins? Ever called her a “vile stinking bitch who should be skewered and left for dead” (note the residue of ladyhating in that one)? How does that make you better than her?
If you have written any of this or similar then you helped bash my car in, you hate-baiter you.
I used to be in your gang. Not any more. Nowadays I sit at home in a smug fug of independent thought and small ‘l’ liberal kindness with only an occasional rant on Facebook.