The other day, on a fine and glorious morning, I checked my privilege. Wallowing in an ivory bath of goat’s milk, sipping the curdled blood of cute puppies from a cup carved from the skull of a child labourer from some forsaken eastern country, as the dancing girls fanned me with rare feathers and the latest stock news blared out over the radio, I found my privilege to be of greater worth than the many bricks of gold stored in my Swiss vault.
Hello, my name is Ben and I am a Tory. According to the BBC, the Guardian and George Monbiot I am a climate change denying hound from the depths of a dark and terrible hell, a barbarian and cultural philistine and a throwback to an age best forgotten. The latest research suggests that 85% of my Facebook friends will read the opening paragraph and think it based on a real event.
Privilege is something that is a thing, and the latest fad among the left is to check it on a regular basis, as though it were a medical condition. The purpose of checking ones privilege is self-censorship, for what else does the middle class left love to do but constrain and restrain debate? As a white, heterosexual male my privilege is so exceedingly great that I can express no opinion on women, racism or sexual equality. Which is exactly the kind of repression that women, racial groups and sexual minority groups have fought against. Oh blessed irony!
For all my scorn there is an element of truth in this ridiculous fad: I live a privileged life. My income (which is below the UK average) puts me in the top 3% of world population, I am richer than 6.3 billion people. I am 58x times richer than a billion people. And with this larger income comes a lower proportion spent on food (20% compared to over 50%), an education level that also puts me in the top few percent of the world and twenty four years of peace, living in a country with a good justice system, a working democracy and large levels of infrastructure investment.
All this leaves us with a pertinent and difficult question: why is life so unfair and what can be done about it? By the providence of God I was born into a prosperous life with over 6 billion people around me who are less well off. Having no control over so many aspects of my life, I have privilege that is indeed beyond measure.
On Election Day, I rode to the polling station on a throne carried by the local poor people, with a cripple leading the way blowing a trumpet and shouting "Make way for this Conservative Voter." All well worth the £1.50 I paid him. Arriving at the polling station, I climbed down the backs of the poor to walk along a red carpet rolled out by a member of an ex-miners association, who was chained to a lamppost so he wouldn't do something violent. Handing my solid gold polling card to the lady at the table, I had a street urchin shine my shoes while I waited for my name to be scored off the list. Ballot paper in hand, I went to the booth, stabbed the urchin with a quill and put a X in blood next to the Conservative candidate.
Hello, my name is Ben, and I am a Tory. According to the internet, particularly Facebook, I hate, despise, oppress and seek to destroy: the poor, the disabled, the miners, the Scottish and the NHS. The latest research indicates that 80% of left wing people reading the above story will nod wisely and think: "Yes, I thought so."
The vitriol and hatred displayed on a regular basis against Conservatives is a clear indication of a lack of understanding of Conservative principles and ideology. For it is easy to demean that which we do not understand and easy to simplify that which we put no effort into learning.
Let's get the cold hard truth out here, wild assertions that all Conservatives hate the poor are as crass and unwelcome as any other kind of discrimination. A well reasoned argument as to why conservative policy might harm the poor is perfectly acceptable (if, as I would counter argue, wrong). Spurious nonsense about millions of Britons voting to kill disabled people is childish and limited.