Being Right-Wing

Does that make you selfish, or just not interested?

My interest in this question stems from something I heard during the UK general election last May 2015. I was watching one of the many political TV programmes on at the time, and they were interviewing the novelist Lionel Shriver. The discussion was around how people were likely to vote, and she mentioned the idea of the ‘shy Tory’.

For those who may not be aware, ‘Tory’ is a British colloquialism for the UK right-leaning political party; the Conservatives. But the point being made was that it might be difficult to determine the outcome of the election, because those voting for the Conservatives (Tory) were reluctant to admit the fact – the shy Tory.

So why would people feel shy about the fact they were voting for a right-wing political party? Ms Shriver suggested that perhaps they were fearful of being lectured to, by people of a left-leaning political persuasion, but again why? Both these questions got me thinking about the people I know who vote, and if any of this corresponds to their voting behaviour.

Remembering anything I say can only be a generalisation, I do however get the sense that the people I know who vote for the right-wing Conservatives, tend to be less forthcoming in proudly declaring their political allegiances. The opposite is also true for those at the opposite end of the political scale – ‘lefties’ do seem to be the more ‘loud and proud’ type.

The vast majority of people I know who are left-leaning seem far more politically active and more interested in political ideologies generally. They also appear to care more about society at large, and are concerned with how politics effects the big picture. Conversely, the right-wingers tend to be more concerned with how politics directly effects them and their immediate family, with less concern or understanding of the wider issues.

So, perhaps Tory voters are shy about their voting habits because they feel their political preference is a more self-centred one, when compared to leftist views.

Right-wing shyness may also be in part, due to a realisation that left-leaning voters are often more interested and knowledgeable than they are, when it come to politics. They know they don’t really have the weaponry to win the argument, should they be challenged on their political views.

Well, that’s my just experience, but I wonder if it’s the same for others? Do these particular traits in people correlate strongly with their voting habits? Could it be scaled up to a national or even global level?

If any of this is in anyway true, a question still remains; should Tory voters feel ashamed about the reasons behind them making that choice?

An Aside – Define Right-Wing

I’d guess people have varying views as to what Right-Wing means to them. Here are some of the terms I’d use to define it:

  • Greater social inequality (seen as inevitable, acceptable, desirable even)
  • Conservative (conserve status quo)
  • Reactionary
  • Favour Market/Capitalist led economies – even in areas unsuitable (health, education, etc)
  • Authoritarian
  • Nationalist
  • Elitist
  • Autocratic (tendencies)
  • Individualism (opposing Socialism)
  • Supporting of and supported by the ‘Privileged’
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