Saturday, 2 September 2017

On Tory attempts to Activate British youth

Skepta will make a video on a skateboard park with his crew, singing ‘I’d do anything to please her, my Theresa, got a smile like Mona Lisa, as strong as Julius Caesar, as long as DUP get money to appease her’


Mark Steel in The Independent


This is a wonderful development: a youth group has spontaneously erupted to support the Conservatives, and calls itself Activate. It’s surprising this has taken so long, as you often hear young people in nightclub queues saying: “Listen up blud, a man Hammond getting bare fiscal growth yu get me, him one sick chancellor bruv.”

The plan must be for Chris Grayling to appear on Radio 1, interviewed about Brexit by Jameela Jamil, who says: “Wow, your riff with the Danes about butter tariffs was like totally AWESOME.”

At their conference, Conservative members will be told to wander into random locations chanting “Oooo Andrea Leadsom”, as this will result in young people joining in until it’s a Christmas number one featuring Stormzy in a duet with Amber Rudd.

Skepta will make a video on a skateboard park with his crew, singing: “I’d do anything to please her, my Theresa, got a smile like Mona Lisa, as strong as Julius Caesar, as long as DUP get money to appease her.”

Or the Conservatives may concede that the grime scene has committed itself to Labour, so they’ll have to co-opt a different style of youth music – such as thrash metal.

Then at fundraising garden fetes, the local Conservative MP can announce: “Thank you so much to Thomas and Frances Diddlesbury for such generous use of their grounds as ever, and for Lady Spiglington who surpassed herself this year with her delightful vol-au-vents and exquisite cranberry salad, and now I’m sure you’ll all join me in welcoming our special guest band to see us through the evening – let’s hear it for ‘Skull-crushing Death’.”

Then the singer will inform the crowd: “This first song is about the need for a tough stance on Brexit – sing along with the chorus that goes ‘They’re gonna crush your bones, crush your bones nnnnnygggggghaaaa vrrrrrr the European single market will lead us to Satan Satan Satan Luxembourg is run by Satan’.”

It’s typically astute that the spontaneous young Conservatives chose Activate as the name of their group, proving their sharp sense of youth culture, because like Momentum, this has the crucial quality of being three syllables.

They probably had lengthy discussions on which three-syllable word to choose, from a shortlist that included Caliphate, Urinate, Camper van, Rwanda and Wheelie-bin.

The next stage will be for Activate to collect millions of followers on Twitter, posting pithy youthful Tory tweets such as: “OMG! David Davis negotiation Gr8 massive love bro”, and “Bring back da hunt dem fox get merked proper lol.”

Because what the Conservatives have worked out, is that Jeremy Corbyn succeeded in appealing to millions of young people because he put stuff on Twitter.

No one was bothered about what he said on Twitter; it could be abolish tuition fees, or quadruple them – but the main thing is he said it on Twitter.

Then lots of young people said, “Oh look, like wow that old dude is on Twitter and shit”, and started singing his name.

So the Conservatives just have to copy the Corbyn image and they’ll win back the youth vote. Michael Fallon will grow a beard, and when he’s asked about Trident, he’ll say, “Talking of massive weapons, look at this beauty” – and display a prize-winning radish from his allotment.

This is why they’re promoting Jacob Rees-Mogg. Corbyn may be naïve enough to think he won popularity amongst the young by opposing zero-hour contracts, but the real reason was that young people are won over by anyone who seems a bit quirky.

So if Mogg doesn’t work, they’ll pick a leader from the people who go out on the first heats of Britain’s Got Talent, choosing someone who dresses as an ostrich and eats bees.

The Conservatives have a problem in trying to create an organisation that copies Momentum. It’s that Momentum didn’t just enrage the Tories – it also infuriated most Labour MPs, by backing someone who had spent his life on the edge of the Labour Party (usually in opposition to the leadership).

So it’s handy that they claim Activate has sprung up spontaneously, in a vast surge of natural youthful enthusiasm for working without a contract and having nowhere to live.

Amongst this energised adolescence is Activate’s National Chairman, Gary Markwell, who has suddenly decided to pull together these young forces who are crying out to be led.

He’s a reflection of how this is a grassroots movement, because up until now Gary has had no connection whatsoever with the hierarchy of the Conservative Party – except for being a campaign manager for Theresa May and Boris Johnson for ten years.


Now he’s suddenly decided to spontaneously set up Activate, in the same way that Nigel Farage might announce: “It’s never occurred to me before, but I think I might start campaigning to leave the EU.”

They’ve made an excellent start, because the way to win young people over, according to any faint study of the nation’s youth, must be to prove the Conservatives are the party of compassion and spirit and youthful energy.
So a Whatsapp group, described as a “precursor” to Activate, has been revealed to have had a fascinating discussion about the issue of “chavs”. An event in a working-class area is described as: “A fine opportunity to observe homo chav. And gas them all.”

It’s then suggested they could have medical experiments performed on them, to see how “they’re good at producing despite living rough”, and “substituted for animals for testing” and on and on.

That should do it. The Tories are already on 17 per cent of the under-24 vote, and Activate should guarantee it goes a long way down from there.

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