"We are the Tory haters!"

Demonstrations and chants go hand in hand. But if you thought left-wing sing-songs were weak enough already, wait till you see them down in print...

by Henry Hill on 22 November 2012 13:04

I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb if I say that most of you are reading this are on the right of the political spectrum. So, most of you probably have little experience of political marching culture. I looked at the reasons for that after the ‘Rally Against Debt’ last year.

There are several aspects of marches that stick out: the professional, mass-produced union placards; the bizarre fancy dress of CND types; the impenetrable hard-left parties on the fringes; the posing mainstream-left politicians. But what sticks out the most? For me, at least, it’s the chants.

You know the ones I mean. Hundreds or thousands of people endlessly bellowing and echoing the same drab clichés, directing venom at ‘Tories’ (don’t you UKIP and libertarian folk think you’re off the hook; in the mouths of the marchers, ‘Tory’, like ‘fascist’, takes on a McCarthyesque broadness of scope).

More even than that, often there’s violent or revolutionary imagery too! Not to mention ‘class war’ rhetoric. All part of the same faux-radical fantasy by first-world children wanting to be given free stuff.

Now, those chants can still sound vaguely credible being shouted by thousands. Have you ever wondered if some righty ought to have written them down, laid them out in cold print, stripped of the theatrics that lend them what little aura they possess?

Better still, wouldn’t it be hilarious if some left-wing student hack, under the guise of creating a ‘chant guide’ for a protest, actually did that job for us? 

Thank you then to Vicky Spooner Baars, NUS VP for Union Development, who did just that.

I’ll leave you to savour that ridiculous document at your leisure. But as a parting note, I’m informed that it was “roundly condemned” by the SU officers’ mailing list and has since been withdrawn. Since I’m familiar with half the chants they’re clearly part of the culture, but I imagine it must be fairly awkward being pinned to that kind of banal hatred in print.

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