The Conservative Party have got a serious problem with their party support and membership – the lack of young people. A generation has been blighted by absurd university tuition fees and student debt, with little hope of ever owning their own home and poorer life prospects than their parents, combined with growing inequality in the UK, with the rich getting richer and the working classes increasingly worse off, increased use of food banks, cruel benefits cuts and harsh austerity imposed for nearly a decade: it’s no wonder the Tory party have lost the youth vote.
For the young people who aren’t now completely apathetic to politics, blocking out and muting political coverage and news reports, anaesthetised to the impending Brexit apocalypse – their unlikely saviour is “JC” or “Jezza” the far-left socialist rebel and Grandad figure (although, ironically some 55% of them believe he is Pro-EU). He was bought to the Labour leadership thanks to a narrow faction of the party and their Momentum campaign. In contrast, the Conservatives have “Moggmentum”, a campaign to catapult their hero, ultra right-wing, eurosceptic, anti-gay rights, “abortion is a sin”, Jacob Rees-Mogg to the premiership. (Lord help us all if they succeed). The Liberal Democrats of course have the 74-year-old Vince Cable, no spring chicken himself.
One thing that is consistently missing from the political debate, and political activism, is young people (unless it is a rare march for free education, then they turn out in their droves). Nonetheless, the Labour party has the upper hand of the main three, courting the most favour with the youth, after Jeremy Corbyn was backed by numerous pop culture figures and gave a rousing speech at Glastonbury music festival. The Conservative’s rather lack-lustre reaction s was to organise a “Conservative Ideas Festival”, a one-day event held in September at a “secret rural location” (presumably to keep the plebs out and prevent a Corynista style protest). Nonetheless, the Conservatives have a huge problem with their demographics…
Apparently the Tory party’s solution to these concerning statistics is a youth engagement strategy that involves recruiting a reality TV star… Because there clearly aren’t enough reality TV stars cocking up world politics at the moment.
The Conservatives have apparently met with Georgia Toffolo or “Toff”, a 23-year-old reality TV star, made famous on the show ‘Made in Chelsea’ and more recently being crowned “Queen of the Jungle” on ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!’.
“I sort of just fell into it. It’s like the perfect job. Well, it’s not really a job, but just me hanging out with my friends.” – Georgia Toffolo
Now if the Conservatives are trying to appeal to the left-wing, Pro-Corbyn, Pro-European youth to win votes back from Labour, Lib-Dems and the Greens, they may have missed a trick. Georgia Toffolo may have 1.8million followers on Instagram thanks to her TV appearances, but it doesn’t take a lot of research to discover that “Toff” comes from a background of quite exceptional privilege: £23, 000 per year private school education and the West London town house that allowed her to be cast in ‘Made in Chelsea’.
“I left school and went straight into Made In Chelsea – I’ve never had any challenge.” – Georgia Toffolo
I highly doubt she has ever worked a day in her life as a cleaner making beds and scrubbing toilets, or as a cook preparing meals for hundreds at the Youth Hostel, or as bar staff working into the small hours of the morning and having to deal with drunken punters before they can make their sorry way home to stumble exhausted into a student style squat. She clearly has zero comprehension of the struggles that the majority of the young British generations face, having gone straight from private boarding school to reality TV. The idea that she should be the face of a political youth movement is foolish at best and dangerous at worst.
Georgia Toffolo claims that “I want everyone to work to be equal!” and she votes Conservative on Welfare politics because, “It angers me, I watch television programmes, and you see people that are sat there that, you know, are clever, you know can go and work, and choose not to, they choose to go and sign on. It angers me.” Whilst she herself apparently pays her rent with her Instagram account…
I was recently criticised for posting on Facebook, describing Gerorgia Toffolo as a “Vacuous, reality TV, celebrity, Bimbo”. But I still can’t think of a more accurate description. Thankfully many of my followers jumped to my defence, agreeing that she had indeed, created a career out of cultivating this image.
I hope that the Conservatives are utterly mistaken in their belief that Georgia Toffolo’s endorsement will bring the youth vote to their party in swathes, because I believe that Britain’s young people are intelligent enough to see “Toff” for what she is – an over privileged, upper class, elitist white woman with no sense of her own good fortune in life. And certainly no sense of what it means to live with inequality, discrimination or disability. However, she clearly has a significant influence through her social media following, how else could she “pay her rent” through commercial endorsement. And despite having any experience or knowledge in politics, her opinions may well have an impact in favour of the Tory party. Although, hopefully her impact will be negligible, as i’m not sure how anyone who considers Jacob Rees-Mogg to be “a sex god” can be taken seriously.
My advice: Keep Reality TV Stars who have no experience and little knowledge of politics and no sense of what it means to live as a “normal” person in society, out of the political debate.