'Did they keep quiet after the election?': 5 ways to identify a 'shy Tory'

Because Conservatives don’t all come in red trousers...

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The Independent Online

If there was one major revelation of this mad election, it’s that Conservatives don’t all come in red trousers dripping in fox blood carrying polo mallets.

2015 saw the rise of the Secret Tory, Conservatives who, whether it be because they’re genuinely embarrassed about their views or fearful of the scorn of liberal friends, keep schtum about voting blue.

Picking them out isn't as easy as spotting the corners of broadsheet Telegraph poking out from a Guardian Berliner but here are a few tips that might just help you identify this muted majority:

Disclaimer: Instructions are not watertight. Liberals may well also play tennis.

Did they keep quiet after the election? Such was the pummelling that Labour and the Lib Dems took last week, apathy’s been off the menu for the liberals of the UK. It feels a bit like a football match where the losers are inconsolable whilst the winners are too sheepish to celebrate. No tears? Probably Tory. What sports do they play? This isn’t to say that if someone goes down to Clapham Common every weekend for a game of rugger with Hugo, Digby and Xander they definitely won’t go to anti-fox hunting protests and love Polly Toynbee, but it’s probably a good sign. Golf, cricket and even an innocent game of tennis can be clues of the furtive Tory.

What magazines do they read? We all know where the newspapers stand but you’ve got to know your magazines for more subtle indications of where people are voting. The Spectator and The Economist for politics and Country Life and Tatler more generally are all blue warning lights, but also look out for Esquire, OK! and GQ -  the more discreet end of the Tory rag.

What do they drink? Are your friends conspicuously steering clear of continental lager beer? Do they order a Bombadier and announce “Bang on!” when it comes? Are they ordering rounds of Jagerbombs and making explosion noises after they neck each one? The testosterone fuelled machismo of the Secret Tory may only be revealed when somewhat squiffy. Of course, in vino veritas, so jump on the vulnerability of inebriation to quiz them about their views on Friedman.

Do they still love Tony Blair? He may now be better known for his slightly suspect relationships with lovely men like Nursultan Nazarbayez these days but it’s worth remembering that the father of New Labour was the best Prime Minister the Conservatives never had. Secret Torys will most likely drop in a load of “yeah but…” comments into conservations about the man who took us to war in Iraq, dragged the Labour party into an ideological and cosies up to dictators. ‘He did do a hell of a lot for the free market though.” Busted!

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