UoS Conservative Society leader warns that identity politics could be ‘dangerous’

Micheal Khayne at the City of Westminster College for his Student Governors Speech, 2017.

A NUMBER of right-wing voters claim they are vilified and feel their views are invalidated by left-leaning voters.

The 2020 US election highlighted immense political polarization, and more notably, it also demonstrated that Donald Trump’s 2016 victory was more than a political fluke.

However, it is not simply the US where such political polarisation exists. A number of right-leaning UK voters also feel as though they are vilified and overlooked.

Micheal Khayne, President of UoS Conservative society said: “I’ve had a lot of political arguments when people see things in one way and one way only and my views aren’t correct. End of story. And I don’t think that’s a beneficial way to debate on any topic.

“When I first started the (Conservative society) page, I advertised on the Universities’ fresher page. I just posted on there ‘we’ve got a conservative page if anyone wants to join you’re more than welcome this is the fee and this is the benefits’.

“There were a lot of people who were like ‘this must be a joke’ and I got quite a lot of backlash but I suspect a lot of them were keyboard warriors, to be honest.”

Khayne also warned of the dangers of identity politics in the UK.

“A lot of people have questions to that effect, ‘how can you be black and be a Conservative’ even though that shouldn’t ever be a debate or a question and I don’t know why that is.

“I think it’s because a lot of people see constitutional racism and they’re like ‘well do you not think that they’re not the party for you’. Well, they are, because all the opportunities I’ve been given so far are down to them, and I can 100% say that.

“I do believe it can be very dangerous and I am worried about it.

“I don’t understand why we can’t put the party politics to one side and say is ‘that person a decent person and does that person have decent policies if they do I’m voting for them.’ End of story, that’s what it should come down to.”

Another Conservative voter, who has asked to remain anonymous, said: “For me, intellectual fascism is the notion of individuals believing that they are better than others because they are more educated.

“It’s used often to dismiss and discredit supporters of various organisations as just being stupid and unintelligent without actually debating or discussing the ideas they advocate.

“Nowadays it also extends to social media, where people will simply dismiss you based on something you say without attempting to understand why you hold specific opinions. Instead of engaging in discourse, you get assigned a label which ultimately determines if your opinion is ‘valid’.”

Rashida Richardson, a professor and institute director of policy research at the New York University School of Law spoke on Netflix’s documentary The Social Dilemma about the harm of social media in creating echo chambers and narrowing world-views.

She said: “We all simply are operating on a different set of facts. When that happens to scale, you’re no longer able to recon with or even consume information that contradicts with that world view you’ve created that means we aren’t actually being objective, constructive individuals.”

This rhetoric is also applicable to Brexit voters. Despite a 61% majority in Sunderland voting in favour of it, Brexit supporters have also faced criticism.

Nigel Farage, Brexit Party, delivers a speech at CPAC 2020 at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center. He is one of the key figures behind Brexit. 

Khayne said: “I think we’re vilified, but the only reason for that was because of Nigel Farage.

“The reason I say that is because Nigel, I believe, is one of those people who tries to vilify immigrants and people who move around for their own economical benefit. Not only that, you’ve got people who do move around for legitimate reasons.

“Take Nigel Farage out of the equation, and you have Boris who is the next best evil out of the two. A lot of people don’t like Nigel and don’t like Boris, and then obviously anyone who supports them or supports Brexit as those two do are the enemy.

“I don’t believe that’s correct. We need to look at the bigger argument.”

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