I have now been writing this column for a few weeks, and I’ve recently made the simultaneously regrettable and self-indulgent decision to read the comments it gets online. They are almost universally completely negative. However, they are also hilariously funny. You should read them. Although I’m sure it doesn’t compare much, I feel now that I have some more sympathy for the opposition, specifically, its Leader.
We run through the same hackneyed arguments about respect and nationalism every year when it gets near Remembrance Sunday, only this year Corbyn is at the focus, and the right-wing media (for it is they) now have a prefabricated “anti-Britain, pinko nutter” towards which to focus their forensic deconstruction of every potential affront to the Glorious Dead. Nod-gate (you heard it here first) is ridiculous, the man clearly cares about dead soldiers just as much as every other politician present at the commemoration, and the journalists and backbenchers picking at his every move are just as cynical as the Labour Party would have you believe. Perhaps it isn’t the case that Corbyn’s brief bow was a carefully calculated cold insult to the dead but rather, at the relatively mature age of 66, he didn’t want to overstretch his back. It is down to Conservatives to call out these ad hominem attacks, and focus our criticism on the man’s policies instead, which, to be honest, don’t require much scrutiny before they start showing their seams.
I’m told by the editor that I am really supposed to write something about what the Conservative Society is doing in York, and not just mouth on about national politics, so, this is what we’ve been doing. We braved our own potential media storm and held a Fox Hunting social. It was tremendously well attended, and, unlike the last time we did it, no one sent us threats. It seems since the next election will not even be seen at university by those currently applying to York, the national and local media have given us a bit of time off. The biannual Hagueathon is coming up, and while last year BBC Yorkshire and the Mirror bothered us for doing what is by all accounts a pretty tame drinking event, the interest doesn’t seem to be there anymore. Whilst it really should be a blessing, there is some pathos to the realisation that we are no longer interesting to the media, even the student papers. They’re probably off writing attack articles on John McDonnell’s offensive sneezing, or books cataloging all the times Owen Jones has farted on the tube.
Oliver Wilson is the Internal Vice Chairman of the York Conservative and Unionist Association.