Why does the Left have to rely on hate figures

Maybe I am wrong, but I’ve always thought that some on the left of politics really seem to need to have hate figures on the right. For some, Thatcher may as well have eaten their first born she is hated so much.

When false rumours of her passing have circulated over the internet you could not imagine (or maybe you could) the pleasure expressed at the news. Personally I thought Brown was a poor Prime Minister, and took some appalling decision that damaged the country. Those same feelings are probably shared about Thatcher by those who weren’t fans. Yet will I celebrate if his family or indeed the man himself faces tragedy? No, because he doesn’t invoke such strong feeling of ‘hatred’ and I do use that word intentionally, that some on the left feel towards those on the right.

We see the same views expressed to Murdoch. On a twitter exchange (which isn’t the best forum for reasoned debate) it was put to me that Murdoch was responsible for the Iraq war. No mention of Saddam Hussein then? Of course not, because Murdoch is totally hated. Far be it for me to point out that Maxwell was a rather naughty media baron on the other side of the political divide. Then of course they have Lord Ashcroft. Oh how they hate him. Don’t mention what he does for charity as it wont fit their narrative. Better not tell them he has his own online media empire or they will detest him even more.

Now not everyone on the other side of politics feel this way. I have good friends in the other parties and we can have a robust debate and still like each other. But there does seem to be a significant grouping of those on the left who can see no good in anyone on the right and are far too party political to see anything of virtue across the political divide. You could almost call it politically bigoted.

Do people on the right have such hate figures? I’m not sure they do. Tony Benn has been a darling of those on the left. He was my MP. I fundamentally disagree with much of what he stands for (though agree with his scepticism of the EU, if for different reasons). Is he a hate figure for me? No, I just think he is misguided about much of what he believes. Try as I might I can’t really think of anyone that would fit that bill, and yet they think Tories and those on the right are the nasty ones.

This article first appeared in Dale & Co

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