On Saturday 1st Feb 2020, the morning after our George Square event and as part of our "Great British Brexit Celebrations continued", 10 of our AFFG activists went along to Holyrood where around 2-300 Scottish nationalists were having a Brexit Cry and Moan Pity Party.
Our aim was to cheer them up! We wanted to remind them to count their blessings, to remind them that they live in one of the best countries in the world; and especially to tell them to stop being serial losers, and to join The Winning Team.
We didn't want them to be sad on such a happy occasion!
We asked them to Rejoice for Brexit.
And you know what? We certainly helped enliven their little Cry-In.
Half of them spent their entire time looking at us, making rude gestures and attempting to formulate coherent sentences, which they would then attempt to articulate at volume...unsuccessfully.
Furthermore, their "un-Sound System" took over an hour to get working. It appeared to be powered by a petrol generator – which was confusing, since batteries have been in operation now for several decades.
Nevertheless, when it started working...we are told (because we couldn't hear) that an SNP MSP named "Stuart McMillan" addressed the sobbing crowds. (Yes, we had to google him too – and we still don't recognise him.)
According to the Herald on Sunday (2-2-20) he told them that there were 15% of floating voters who could be convinced of their losing cause.
We have to presume that this number does not include "Tories", since the infamous "Tory Scum Out" banner made an appearance. It was held directly across from us for the duration of the hour and a half that we were there.
Let's talk about this banner and its interesting message.
The first thing to be said is that we, at AFFG, think it is a hateful and shameful message; but we don't care if they want to hold it.
We don't care if they bring it to their events and marches. We are certainly not going to complain about it! If these people want to broadcast their particularly nasty views on that matter, in that way, then sobeit. It should not be against the law, and people who are prepared to make such statements can just deal with whatever fall-out, or support, results from their crass behaviour.
Secondly, we have a certain respect for those who hold the banner because – as we told them directly on our megaphone – they are the most honest men at these events!
This is because many of the other participants believe exactly that also, but are too scared, or too wrapped up in "trying to be respectable" to say such things openly. So these folk with the banner are giving voice to something which others believe, but will try to hide from view.
MAKING POLITICS PERSONAL
Thirdly, the slogan is a fascinating one because it makes the personal, political.
Think about it?
This is because it is not saying "Conservative Party Out". It is saying "Tory Scum Out". It is not attacking the party, it is attacking the person, and the people, who support the party.
It makes the personal matter (being a person who supports the Conservative Party) a political matter, and it makes the political matter a personal one.
In a way, the Conservative Party is at a disadvantage here, because there is a word – "Tory" – which has also come to mean "a person who is a supporter of the Conservative Party".
This is unique because there is not a handy little word, for example, to describe a person who is a supporter of the Labour Party.
Perhaps "a Labourite" would be the nearest word, but it is clunkly and awkward and 3 syllables, and doesn't have the bite which "Tory" has.
What would we call a person who supports the SNP? We tend to use the word "ScotNat"; although that is a modern word, which we never heard prior to 2014.
Lib Dems? "Liberal Democrat"? But nobody is going to say "Liberal Democrat Scum Out". That would be kind of weird, and too funny to be taken seriously.
No, unfortunately for supporters of the Conservative Party, it is the word "Tory" which enables some people to focus their hate in a personal way. It is the word "Tory" which enables a ready-made political Bogeyman to manifest in our minds.
"Before you go to sleep children, always remember to check in the cupboard for the Tory Man."
In Scotland, this fear and hatred is encouraged by 3 main groups.
THE ROOTS OF ANTI-TORY HATE
Anti-Tory hate was encouraged by the Labour Party during the Thatcher years and prior to devolution. However, that has abated to an extent since the slogan "Red Tories Out" has now come back to bite the Labour Party.
The Daily Record newspaper is the second biggest promoter of anti-Tory hate. It has always done this and always will. Politically, it keeps Scotland mired, daily, in bitterness, envy and anger. More than any other newspaper, it makes money from encouraging and perpetuating a certain kind of Scottish chippiness. It truly is a bane on our society.
And of course, thirdly, the prime promoter of anti-Tory hate these days is the SNP.
The permission to hate Tories publicly comes from the very top.
After all, according to Nicola Sturgeon at an SNP rally in George Square, Glasgow, Saturday 2 November 2019: "The Scotland we seek is open, welcoming, diverse and inclusive, and no Tory is ever going to be allowed to change that."
THEY HATE YOU, NOT JUST YOUR IDEAS
Why is "the Tory" demonised?
Many people on "the Right" prefer to deal with grand ideas – agreeing or disagreeing with the ideas, per se. The Left, much more than the Right, like to make the political personal – focusing on the person, not just the ideas.
You even see it in the Obituaries. If a prominent leftist dies, the right-wing will write articles about how they "did not agree with him" but he was a jolly good chap, and an especially fine debater, and we'll miss him. Whereas if a prominent right-winger dies, the left will write articles about what an old bastard he was.
The journalist Tim S