Amongst those with whom I enjoy a 'virtual' relationship within the world-wide-web, quite a few are much younger than me - and the likely reason for this age discrepancy is that I may have been chosen as a 'friend' or am being 'followed' because I'm Lloyd's dad. Going on from that, some of these acquaintances may have experienced a similar background to him; going to university during 'the Thatcher years', for example, and, as a consequence, developed a distinctly unfavourable impression of the Tories.
For whatever reason, these sentiments seem to be difficult to disguise - let alone ignore - and, since I sometimes have little better to do during an unwelcome retirement, I may have been guilty of a mischievous tweet from time to time in order to get a reaction. There is no malice intended and those to whom this might apply know who they are - and this is for them......
Almost as soon as I was old enough to have an informed opinion, I realised that I didn't feel a particular attachment to any political party. As time passed, however, although not always agreeing with their policies, it seemed to me that insofar as Conservative candidates were concerned, what you saw was what you got. Very few, for example, denied their connections with commerce and industry and it really wasn't surprising that their policies reflected that fact.
Sadly, the same could not be said for many of those who claim to represent 'the left'. In my lifetime, from Harold Wilson through to Neil Kinnock and John Prescott, I can't begin to imagine how many Labour politicians were anxious to be seen to pour scorn on The Establishment - only to abandon their socialist principles the moment the offer of a lucrative directorship or a peerage came into the equation. If ever examples of poachers becoming gamekeepers were needed, look no further - and, although they are unlikely to admit it, I do wonder if some may have been inadvertently influenced by Churchill's words, " If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain." From their constituents' point of view, however, what they saw certainly wasn't what they ended up getting.
Interestingly, as if to demonstrate the wisdom of Sir Winston's words, as I have matured over the past half-century, I've voted for all three major UK parties. What's more, I voted for the Green party during the most recent election; so, it could be said that my political views have been fairly eclectic. That said, my contempt for those described in the previous paragraph is such that I would find it difficult to bring myself to vote in a manner which might contribute towards a Labour victory.
Now, these sentiments don't make me blind to the shortcomings of the Conservatives. Much though I admired Mrs. Thatcher for curtailing the entirely inappropriate influence the trade unions were enjoying in the sixties and seventies, I looked forward to the 'new dawn' promised by New Labour in the nineties - only to be amongst many who were disappointed by the deceit of Messrs. Mandelson, Campbell, Blair, Brown & Company.
It is in this respect (deceit) where I believe the right-wing of UK politics differ from the left - because, whether you agree with them, or not - what the Conservatives deliver is what is expected of them. In a nutshell and to coin a modern phrase, they do what it says on the tin. The same, however, could not be said of the Labour party during my lifetime and, whilst I sympathise with those who seem unable to recognise the difference, I find it very difficult to understand why.
So, to sum up; I despise anyone who knowingly purports to be one thing and turns out to be something entirely different. I find it much easier to respect an imperfect person (who admits to their shortcomings) than one who may be better - but not what they claim to be. Paradoxically - and to demonstrate this sentiment - as much as I deplored the damage he did to the reputation of this country (industrial action was known as the British disease during the eighties), when Arthur Scargill formed his own political party to stand against official Labour candidates, although I had no sympathy with his political views, the fact that he was true to his convictions persuaded me to send him a cash donation.
Finally, based on Sir Winston's theory on maturing responsibly, my own life, to some extent, could hardly be described as 'text-book'. For example, I started off voting Tory but graduated towards a more liberal stance. Further evidence of a rather back-to-front pattern can be seen in some other respects, too. Instead of taking a 'gap year' before a working life, I was nearly 60 when I drove across the USA, approaching 70 when I embarked on a solo visit to Patagonia and Peru and, as I write, I'm looking into the prospect of sailing around the south Pacific islands in a cargo-boat in an effort to re-live experiences I enjoyed as a DUKW driver during the UK nuclear tests in the fifties.
I'm sure at some time in my life, I will have claimed to be normal; so, perhaps, I should think again before being so adamant that I despise anyone who knowingly purports to be one thing and turns out to be something entirely different.