As the Tory party conference draws to a close, it is clear that the threat of a government led by Jeremy Corbyn is ever in the minds of much of the Tory faithful. Their unwavering defence of a decrepit status quo has alienated many – particularly younger – voters, who see in Labour a positive alternative to austerity. The Party was in luck however, as the Plymouth University Conservative Society decided to provide some insight into just how much fun it is to be a young Tory.
A sordid Facebook picture emerged of many of the society members, including the president, on a drunken night out wearing blue t-shirts with various offensive slogans scrawled across them. One of the most prominent phrases visible in the photograph reads ‘F**k the NHS’, they evidently didn’t get the memo from HQ that the privatisation of the NHS was meant to be subtle.
Yet this was in fact one of the milder slogans that the future of the Tory party managed to dream up with their boundless wit. Others included references to Donald Trump and Enoch Powell – infamous for his ‘rivers of blood’ speech. One member felt the phrase ‘Blair was right’ to be worthy of a spot on their sleeve.
One society member on the left can be seen sporting a drawn-on Hitler moustache. While another on the right poses making a OK hand symbol which has recently become a white supremacist dog-whistle where the three fingers form a W (White) and the index finger and thumb with the forearm create a P (Power).
Most disturbingly of all, many of those photographed appear to have a Star of David and the German word Jude written on them. Undoubtedly in reference to the yellow badges that Jewish people were forced to wear in Nazi Germany in order to mark them out from the rest of the population. And they say the Labour Party has a problem with anti-Semitism.
The photo produced outrage among the students at Plymouth University and beyond. The society has been suspended by the student union who stated: ‘We totally condemn behaviour of this kind along with all forms of racism and anti-Semitism.’
The Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton & Devonport also released a statement denouncing the actions of the society: ‘Hitler moustaches, the Nazi slogans on their clothing, the hate and the white power symbols should not be acceptable in mainstream politics in 2018. … There’s no place for hate in our society and these young Tories have demonstrated there should be no place for them in politics.”
Although the Conservative Party has launched an investigation into those featured in the photograph, this event is indicative of more than just a few students who had a few too many to drink. The Tories have run out of ideas and are unable to attract new voters to the party. A recent YouGov poll found that if only the votes of 18-24 year olds were considered Labour would win 66% of the vote and 600 seats in parliament. While the Tories would only receive a 12% vote share and no seats.
This is because the Conservatives offer nothing but a vile and vacuous politics that has delivered to young people a lower quality of life compared to what their parents enjoyed. It should be no surprise therefore that the only youth representatives the Tories can find for their party are as morally bankrupt as the economic system they defend.
by Joe Scott-Oliver, KCL Marxists