Call me naive, but I believe that most people join political parties to serve the greater good. So imagine joining a party and then to be told or have it implied that membership of that group involves hatred of another group – some of whom you count amongst your friends. A former Labour councillor – who happens to be a friend of mine – is struggling with this conundrum – she doesn’t think that being a Labour supporter means you have to hate the evil Tories.
It doesn’t take much digging around to illuminate the fact that the “All Tories are evil” mantra is more than an isolated position from the governing party. Even if you can ignore the fact that Labour has enacted legislation that means that asserting similar generalisations about other groups could land you in prison or that the observation that stoking pathologies is ethically despicable, I think that in the UK this Mugabe-esque strategy is political suicide.
Even if a substantial number of ‘natural’ supporters sign up to the philosophy of hate and all it implies (and given that people tend to base their opinions on their own, this is a big if) to the floating voter this strategy smacks of an organisation that has given up trying to win the intellectual argument. The effectiveness of Labour’s Crewe & Nantwich campaign was a case in point.
From the Tory point of view, Labour’s strategy has plenty of spin-off benefits. Paranoid Labourites attacking each other for not displaying sufficient loyalty or engaging in pointless witch-hunts must be helping the wider Conservative cause. For the record, I hate what Labour have done to this country and am astonished at the residual support for Labour, but Tories won’t succeed by sinking to Labour’s level and allowing ‘hate campaigns’ to be part of mainstream political discourse. Please join me on the unite against hate campaigns group on facebook.