by Martin Odoni

Winston Churchill is popularly – and probably wrongly – credited with the amusing but insulting remark,

If, by the age of 25, you are not a liberal, you have no heart.

If, by the age of 35, you are not a conservative, you have no brain.

I wish to apply an addendum to that.

If, by the age of 18, you are in full knowledge of the Election Expenses Fraud, the deaths caused by benefit sanctions, the deceitful repetition of the fiction that ‘Labour caused the banking crash’, the equally-deceitful assertions that the National Debt is chiefly caused ‘by Welfare and excessive Labour spending’, the 2011 riots, the corrupt military action against Syria in flat violation of Parliament’s express wishes, the completely needless renewed recession triggered in late-2010 after there had been an initial economic recovery in the last six months of the previous Government, the pledge to eliminate the Public Sector Deficit completely by spring 2015 that is still over £50 billion adrift of the target over two years on, the repeatedly-failed pledge not to lose the UK’s AAA credit rating, the sell-off to private firms of vast swathes of the National Health Service, attempts to block a cap on bankers’ bonuses despite the Credit Crunch being caused by the banking industry, unquestioning military support for the House of al-Saud as it butchers the people of Yemen, the cover-up of a nuclear weapons test failure just a month prior to a vote on renewing Trident, the public panic-mongering over the National Debt when in reality there is no danger of bankruptcy, the dangerous new contract forced onto junior doctors, the program to rehabilitate the economy by driving up household debt once more and creating the very serious danger of a second Credit Crunch, the unashamed protection of mega-rich tax-dodgers, the guiltily-silent disregard for The Panama Papers, the cynical use in Parliament of dirty filibustering tactics to block Member’s Bills that include protection for domestic violence victims and tenants of irresponsible private landlords, the badly-under-priced sell-off of the Royal Mail, the idiotically large loss made on the sale of the assets of the Northern Rock Bank to Virgin Money,  the indiscriminate imposition of the Bedroom Tax on anyone claiming housing benefit including such people as domestic violence victims who live in ‘Sanctuary Scheme’ homes, the near-racist Election campaign for the London Mayor’s office, the idiotic and bombastic threats of war over Gibraltar, the reckless ‘Brexit‘ referendum that has destabilised the country just to pacify a handful of right-wing extremists in the House Of Commons, the shambolic and uselessly expensive introduction of ‘Universal Credit‘, the cuts of up to a quarter in further-education funding in some subjects, the ideological stupidity of the ‘Free Schools‘ program, the broken promise to reduce class sizes in schools, the closure of hundreds of Sure-Start Centres, the lack of interest in the Westminster Paedophile Scandal, the pointless plan to reverse the ban on fox-hunting, the moves to abandon green energy commitments, the closure of hundreds of public libraries, the refusal to hold a public Inquiry into police brutality at the Battle Of Orgreave, the ill-planned military intervention in Libya that has played an indirect but key role in the growing refugee crisis, the selfish refusal to take in more than a tiny handful of refugees, the cowardly broken promise to take in unaccompanied child refugees, the increasing dis-empowerment of workers due to new Trade Union laws, the sell-off of utilities and rail services to private companies that include some foreign firms (some of them foreign state companies, paradoxically), the “Snoopers’ Charter” Investigatory Powers Act, and the one-tone and intelligence-insulting General Election campaign of endless recitals of ‘Strong-And-Stable‘, and you have read the completely non-objectionable and at points very inspiring draft-Manifesto from the Labour Party, and you are still a conservative, then you have neither a heart, nor a brain.

That may just be the longest sentence I have ever typed, and I have no doubt readers can suggest plenty of other Tory-travesties I have forgotten – feel free to use the comments section below. For now though, here is a shorter sentence, but one that comes from both my heart and my brain; –