Comment: The case against perspective

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The only thing worse than a shy Tory is a smug Tory; and the only thing worse than a smug Tory is a patronising Tory.

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“There is no final victory. There is no final defeat. There is just the same battle. To be fought over and over again.” Tony Benn

I’ve seen a lot of people talking about perspective and respect for the democratic process on social media, as if the democratic process is the point of politics. It’s not. The only point of democracy is to keep democracy working, everything outside of that is politics, and politics isn’t about getting along all the time.

The need for antagonism is advocated by theorists such as Mouffe and Laclau, and when you don’t have it you get ideological convergence, pragmatism and disillusionment with politics. Then people believe that there’s absolutely no difference between parties and it’s all one political class that’s out for itself. Do you know what happens then? Scotland fucks off and UKIP get 13% of the popular vote.

This election is terrible. It’s awful, there’s no spinning it any other way. A lot of people are saying it wouldn’t be as terrible if we had proportional representation, that’s pretty much bullshit. There’d be more variety, but the Conservatives and UKIP would still have 50% of the vote, and when you add the anal prolapse that is the DUP that’s easily a working majority. A change in how we count the votes won’t change the fact that the Left needs to seriously reconsider how it gets across it’s message, and that we need to get away from this post-political consensus.

The Torys have a signal to go to the right with the popular vote for UKIP and they’ve already started. Cutting schemes to help disabled people into work, fox hunting, increased government surveillance, all within 24 hours of the exit poll. Therefore if Labour decides to stay centre then they’ll be dragged with them. Best case scenario Labour push left (or if they try and go more Blairite UNITE leaves and backs a new socialist party), we get rid of the fucking Green party and have a real alternative to consensus politics on the Left, but this is unlikely.

What’s probably going to happen is Labour will shift right and after 10 years they might stand a chance again (this result makes 2020 so much more likely to go Tory with Boris ‘I’m a bigoted cunt but aren’t I silly’ Johnson at the helm), but by then the damage will be done. The NHS and public services will have been decimated, and those on the margins of society will have suffered.

tumblr_no1764Ai2o1qjkr8io1_540I don’t respect that image of Britain. I think it’s fucking awful. I think it’s literally going to kill and ruin the lives of millions of people. So fuck your perspective, fuck appreciating democracy for the sake of it. I’ve seen Torys on social media gloating about the result and how “sub £40k ers” are going to face cuts. Appealing to people like that for sympathy is pointless and it’s never going to work. I don’t want to debate and respect people like that in the hope they suddenly have a lovely epiphany, I want to beat them.

I want to beat them, take the money and privilege they think being born in Surrey means they’re deserving of and give it to real humans. I want to show them how average they are. How wrong they are. I want them to be as far away from power as possible. I want them to know I think they’re wrong, and eventually I want them to see how wrong they are too, then we can chat. In return I don’t want Tory sympathy, and I don’t expect it.

As Tony Benn said, “There is no final victory. There is no final defeat. There is just the same battle. To be fought over and over again. So toughen up. Bloody toughen up!”

So let’s toughen up. Fuck your sympathy.

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Thomas Gane is the former Online Editor (2014-15) and bite Editor (2012-13) at bathimpact. He writes about popular culture, music, the University of Bath and both local and national politics.

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