I’m left, but my best friend is a Tory
I never thought I would end up defending a Conservative
What is it like being best friends with a 'Tory wanker'? Well, when my mate and I have political debates and we chat shit, it's hard not to consider whether it's actually worth being friends with somebody that is politically different from you.
When someone who has never had the money to actually go outside of the UK talks to someone who went on three foreign holidays last year and refuses to acknowledge that he is rich, it's hard to stay calm.
We're all wankers really. But the real wankers are the ones that refuse to be affiliated and open to other opinions. Yes, there are self proclaimed Conservatives that are racist, nationalist pricks, and there are self proclaimed Labour supporters that can easily pass for radicals. One thing I've learned especially from being best friends with a die hard Conservative is that these dickheads don't represent the entire party. I'd personally rather be open and understanding of other peoples views because it has not only made me secure in mine, but actually made me more informed and understanding of other political views.
Me and my friend had multiple angry arguments and I had often considered whether I could actually be friends with somebody who indirectly supports some of the policies and actions of their party. After many in depth debates, we actually do have the same moral foundation and agree on a lot of things – we just disagree on the method of getting there. I realised that he is only doing what HE thinks is the best option to get to a "strong and stable" nation. How could I hate him for that? And more importantly, he is so much more than his political views. Closing yourself off to people with different views is closing yourself off to a potential best friend that is actually super supportive and kind and funny!
Overall I'm glad I've been able to open my mind to other political perspectives and stay true to my own. I don't want to live in a bubble full of people that agree with me, how does one develop politically and intellectually? Now, if someone is being a judgemental, hateful asshole then sure, dont be friends with them! But thats because they're a judgemental, hateful asshole. Not because they support Conservative or Labour or Green or whatever.
There was even recently a cross-party social featuring the main parties at the University of Southampton, which I'm actually kind of proud to say happened!
President of the Labour Party, Ben Seifert, said this: "I think generally all the politics societies get on quite well together and recognise that our disagreements aren't personal. We occasionally work together on events like voter registration drives and political debates, and I think being able to talk to each other helps us engage more students and find consensus around certain issues."
And shoot for me for this but damn, leave the campus Tories alone. Have intellectual debates with them, literally no policy or law will change by slagging them off. Personally I feel the change in leadership of the society has actually improved the way they come across.
I'll admit, sometimes I have wanted to give myself a concussion because of some of the comments of some people on Facebook, and all I tell myself is that one or a couple dickheads being ignorant don't completely represent an entire nation of conservative supporters. That's May's job.
Essentially, there is fuck all point hating each other, your petty arguments on Facebook won't magically reach Westminster and suddenly change the legislation on whatever people are moaning about that day. Just do what you can to help other people, regardless of whether you agree with them or not.