The following was written by @debhal72
The whole episode of the tearful Tory voter and the realisation that her political choice would affect the living standards of her family has left me in a dilemma. I’m generally an empathetic person that looks for the best in everyone and tries to put myself in other people’s shoes, but in this instance I am having difficulty summoning up any sympathy for the tax cut affected Tory voter’s plight.
Is it the lies, spin and scaremongering of the Conservatives and their vast army of media bullshitters which has frightened and persuaded people like this to vote against their own interest? To a degree I can buy this argument, however, this Tory voter does not live in a vacuum.
(During the last parliament)
We have effectively had a Conservative government for the last five years. This Tory voter has a family, friends and work colleagues, they live in a community and they use public services. Can we really believe for the whole of the last five years they have not been aware of the disabled and ill dying after being found Fit For Work, other people’s children going hungry in the summer without school dinners, the well documented rise in foodbanks and homelessness, and that disabled and elderly people are sitting in nappies due to social care cuts? Not to mention the vicious, and much reported use of sanctions in the social security system, topped off by the ideologically driven bedroom tax which has caused misery and debt stress for many.
Are these issues wilfully ignored because they are happening to other people? Does the Tory voter’s reality only extend to their own immediate experience? Maybe this lady bought lock, stock and barrel into the rhetoric of scroungers and underserving poor, firmly placing herself in the striver’s camp, whilst viewing the rising tide of struggling humanity as some other workshy England in which she didn’t belong? Why would a low paid, single parent in rented accommodation ever vote Tory? I simply do not know.
However, aside from the possible reasons behind the Tory vote, I have to come back to the irrefutable fact that the Tories made no secret that there would be ‘welfare cuts’, and this voter was happy to support the policy when she thought it would not affect her personally.
This is one of the points I’m having trouble looking past.
Where consideration and empathy only extends to yourself, your own pocket and your own aspiration you lose the ability to be a socially caring human being and the UK is much poorer because of this. I do think the relentless and hateful propaganda, in which ‘New’ Labour has been complicit, against specific sectors of our society contributes to this enormously and we have to find a way to combat this together. We have to fight against the division in our society; we are all the ‘other’ and we should be focused on making things better for each and every one of us.
To be clear, I take no pleasure in this lady’s plight and would not wish any harm on her or her children, but something is clearly very wrong with our society and political system when someone in her circumstance sees the only credible political option being Tory. This is truly depressing and certainly Labour has been hugely at fault here.
Some people won’t be hit directly by the tax credit cuts, so why should they care?
Well, because like it or not, we all stand on the shoulders of others.
Everyone relies to a greater or lesser extent on other people; we especially rely on those workers in low paid but socially vital employment. So we need to be very, very clear: this ‘work penalty’ is an attack upon us all. Most of all, it is an attack upon our children and their standard of living. We on the left must highlight at every single opportunity the hypocrisy of Cameron’s hollow support for ordinary working people. The Tories are not the party of the workers and they never will be.
If we on the left want a better future for all of us, we (including me) need to put aside the dilemma and struggle with finding sympathy for the lady who voted Tory. These people are also hurting due to Tory lies and actions; we need to give them, and their families, hope for the future and include them in our fight for something better.
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