My Knee-Jerk Politics

Approaching Tooting Station this morning, I saw two nice young people handing out leaflets. As I passed them, I smiled and took one, without stopping. I think I just caught the headline “Fair Deal For Tooting Station” and then I saw that horrible scribbly-tree logo, and the word “Conservatives”. I involuntarily blurted, “Oh! No thanks”, stopped, turned and gave the leaflet back. I didn’t catch the reaction to that, but it was clear why I did it.

I hate the Tories. Sometimes it feels like a knee-jerk reaction, or a throwback to an earlier, simpler age. Other times my hatred and contempt for them burns with a flame that is clean and pure. But should I have read the leaflet? Probably. What “fair deal” could they be offering? Tooting is in Wandsworth, a Tory local authority, hence the poor street cleaning and low council tax. The Tories forced through the dismembering of British Rail that left us with Railtrack vs. the Infracos. They’re already responsible – what possible suggestions could they have?

Maybe I should have read the leaflet. But it’s like music – people may say (no-one I like or trust, mind you), “Matt, have you heard the new U2 album? I know you don’t like U2, but this one’s really good”. It’s U2, though, isn’t it? Bonio, The Side or whatever he calls himself, the lot of them. The personnel are the same. They’ll never change.