There’s an amazing article in the Mirror today, which reveals the details of a leaked email sent by an ex-young Tory, Adele Douglas, who has quit the Conservative Youth group because of repeated bullying over her Mancunian accent.
This reminds me of when Tory leader David Cameron claimed that ‘Britain doesn’t have strong regional identities’, which I blogged about before.
We also had the Think Tank closely associated with the Tories (the Policy Exchange) who suggested people quit the North and move down South.
The Mirror article also reveals that the Tories put Adele to speak at their party conference so they could say someone with a Northern accent spoke, and she also suffered racist abuse from a Parliamentary Candidate who called her ‘p*ki sh*gger’ when he found out she was in a relationship with someone who was Asian.
Recently it was also revealed (and is mentioned in the Mirror article mentioned above) that the founder of the Tory LGBT group has quit the party and will be voting Labour based on the homophobic abuse she received while being in the party. The last straw was Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling defending the rights of B&B owners to discriminate against gay people, something Shipley MP Philip Davies spent an hour defending on BBC Radio 5 Live the other night (if you’re interested in hearing it I have it copied on MP3).
David Cameron has now been leader of his party longer than either Gordon Brown or Nick Clegg has been the leader of theirs, but the litany of evidence on his and his party’s attitude at a grassroots level towards homosexuality, race or ‘regional identity’ show how Cameron’s ‘modernisation’ of his party is barely even skin deep.
The problem for Labour is, the Tories pre-Cameron were so bad that even backing civil partnerships and showing a willingness to talk to gay people makes the Tories seem so much better than they used to be the sympathetic sections of the media often give them an easier ride than they should.
Cameron insists he wants to be a ‘one nation’ Prime Minister but the polls persistently show that their lead is weaker if it exists at all in the North, Scotland and Wales than anywhere else in the UK. This shouldn’t be a surprise when stories such as the one revealed by the Mirror today come out on a semi-regular basis.
The reality is that the Tories are still playing catch up with Labour and the Liberal Democrats when it comes to these sorts of issues and at this rate they will be doing so for many years to come.