The wonderful thing about the Tories is that their true character is just beneath the surface and it only needs a scratch to expose it. Thus the comments of the Tory leader of Oxfordshire County Council in response to students daring to step into his fiefdom in central Oxford - a public building owned by Council taxpayers to which students, as citizens, are entitled to enter, although not to disrupt - are entirely within the bounds of this negative, fearful, backward-looking party.
Describing them as badly dressed and 'ugly', the good Tory later decried them on the radio, saying of the demonstration: 'this is a dangerous infection in our country which needs to be stamped on'. And that's Conservatism. The cuddly Cameronites dropping their 't's and hugging huskies are a thin veneer over the old-fashioned, reactionary forces which pervade our councils and constituencies across the country. The 'our' in that sentence is important because we need to challenge the execrable Tory idea that we should be humble subjects to which services are provided. No. We pay their allowances so we should have far more of a say over what is done to us. That's something LDs are working hard to achieve in the coalition and I am sure it puts the willies up many people who might be affected.
For the benefit of clarity, of course I don't support the students in disrupting the work of the County Council and I don't support any illegal activity. However, I do recognise the right of people to demonstrate peacefully and I accept that that some young people involved in this demonstration may have been carried along by the usual rent-a-mob wasters who spoil all such protests by their idiotic actions in the name of some '-ism' or other, before they slope off to mummy on the weekend with their washing. That doesn't mean that the majority of the demonstration was an illegal anarchist attempt to take over Oxfordshire or that the majority of the people involved are necessarily 'ugly' or 'badly dressed'. (When you break these comments down they sound increasingly absurd.)
I wish David Cameron well and I applaud his efforts to modernise his party but I fear that his hard work to drag them into the 20th century (one century at a time, folks) will ultimately fail at the first sign of trouble as the 'old' Tories will drag him down under the weight of their own hubris. The leader of Oxfordshire County Council cried 'god help us' as these students are the future of our country. Well we should all thank god that some people are increasingly rooted in the past and pray that they will eventually become an irrelevance.
If you don't like free speech, councillor, leave the country. Please.