Election season brings out the worst in people. We turn a blind eye to our politicians as they rummage through dirty laundry, hoping for something gross. Some of us even salute them for it (their courage, strength and indefatigability). But all I see are shameless perverts - looking for panties to sniff. But even in this toxic atmosphere, one group gets it worse than others.
Tories may have 'something of the night about them', but underneath the ugly grey suits and thick-rimmed glasses - they are flesh, bones, and beating hearts. Yet despite our shared humanity, dreams and aspirations - they are constantly vilified. However, for victims of Conservatiphobia, there's good news on the horizon. If Labour gets into power - criticising ideas may become a criminal offence.
Atop a long list of unwarranted impugnments sits the idea that Tories take a dim view of homosexuals and women. The truth is, of course, far more complex. According to Ken Livingstone, the party is 'riddled' with homosexuality. And Emily Davison was killed by a horse in her efforts to vote Conservative. Yet still, the stereotypes flourish (a bigot won't let a fact get in the way of a good story).
Part of the problem stems from a misunderstanding of the texts. These hatemongers seem to view the Manifesto as the final and unalterable word of Cameron, and wilfully misrepresent certain policies to suit their agenda. In doing so, they fail to consider the context in which it was written, or acknowledge its more nuanced societal function. Take the example of the planned 12bn in welfare cuts: At face value it can be seen as an attack on society's most vulnerable (or if you believe the thugs at the London School of Economics, part of a campaign of upward financial redistribution). But if you actually took the time to visit a Conservative Club and speak to a councillor, they would inform you that it's really part of a 'long term economic plan' designed to benefit 'hard working families'.
The media plays a major role in the spread of this sickening phenomenon. We are inundated with negative stories about paedophile rings, high finance swindlers and offshore tax avoidance - which create pantomime villains in our minds. But the fact is that less than 25% of them are child molesters, and even fewer run hedge funds.
We are constantly reminded that it's not acceptable to vilify an entire group of people based on cherry-picked quotations, or on the actions of a few lone wolves. Yet people do exactly this when it comes to Tories: dehumanising over twenty million people based on the actions of a minority (who aren't even acting in the name of Conservatism).
It must therefore be encouraging for them to hear that Ed Milliband intends to criminalize Islamophobia if he wins the upcoming election. Someone who is willing to outlaw the criticism of one set of ideas must be open to others (regardless of validity). So if you're a Tory, and sick of the relentless attacks, vote Labour. Your questionable ideas may get the legal ring-fencing they deserve.