Tom Foster

Mike Weatherley MP (Conservative) was attacked on campus a fortnight ago.

Sussex students are often as liberal as Brighton is, and I don’t think anyone can doubt these liberal dispositions incline us to bear left in the political spectrum. Yet are we starting to take this statement as fact?

‘Tory scum’ and other insults aimed at the conservative party are often flung about by students. Whilst attending a police crime commissioner hustings, the mere mention that Katy Elizabeth Bourne stood as a conservative candidate invoked mocking. When Mike

erley was pelted with rocks there was no real sympathy for him from students; partly due to his polices on squatting however also a strong factor of it was him being a conservative MP.

So are we starting to subconsciously just accept the umbrella statement; that liberal tendencies such as equal rights are belonging just to the left? Talking about politics is always going to be heated, however, when someone even utters that they agree or sympathise with conservative ideology it’s going to be a bloodbath! Often I find that in these debates that the hatred towards conservatives stems from the words ‘cuts’ or ‘elitism’. Both terms are increasingly becoming vacuous and just popular rhetoric I find, because, they are being used without actually any direct reference to anything. Also there becoming blanket terms so to describe anyone affiliated with the conservative party as elitist public school boys, who love to cut benefits and party with bankers. Well this obviously isn’t true for everyone in the conservative party, some members are women.

So are we starting to have pre-conceived prejudices against conservatives? What do you think when you see conservative. I bet it isn’t complimentary, mine wasn’t. So is it fair for us to hold these prejudices, and are we applying them as a blanket term? My friend recently told me she leaned towards conservative ideology, and I wasn’t bothered but thinking of the ‘bloodbaths’ I was present at, I knew plenty who would be. When I was in sixth form I definitely held prejudices against those who supported conservatives, but then I started to realise I was going against my ethics of freedom of speech and thought. To have freedom of speech and thought we first of all need to accept that we live in a pluralistic society; consequently not everyone is going to have the same political opinion. Also people are diverse within political parties, just because someone is a conservative doesn’t automatically mean they value freedom and equality any more than a left politician. Sometimes policies which people support are honestly because they think it is the best option for the country; rather than just because they want to maintain inequality. Maybe I am wrong and all conservatives are evil, but before that is proven lets ditch the pre-conceived prejudices against individuals whom may bear right rather than left.

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3 Comments

  • I firmly believe that the strongly held prejustices against Conservatism held by the Students’ Union actively encourage students to instantly hate anything even moderate with a passion, an issue which should be addressed as an immediate priority.

  • I think it is inherently wrong to criticize those with differing opinions without intense dicussion and debate, but any radicalism is counter productive, and many open and devoute radicals unfortunately reside within the conservative party, the prejudice of many students i think is only justified if they understand in depth the conservative party ideology and admitence that some individuals within the party make pertinent rational points. but the whole ethos of conservativism only helps to cement the common held view that they are so called ” Tory scum” but that is also true with the labour and socialist parties which creates equal animosity towards their movement.

    also Ricky, you seem to alude to the fact that anything that is liberal not moderate, liberalism in its original sense is the most moderate form of political ideology and to state it as a blanket term defeats the whole point of this article