Lifelong Tory voter Anthony O’Toole went with his Labour-supporting sister to hear Jeremy Corbyn speak during his campaign visit to West Kirby in the north-west of England on Saturday afternoon.
He was so impressed that he went home and immediately joined the Labour Party.
The SKWAWKBOX has previously covered the phenomenon of older people with a long history of voting Conservative who are switching their vote to Labour as they see the impact of Tory policies since 2010 on their children, grandchildren and the NHS they rely on.
Those streams became a flood with the release of the Tory manifesto, which promises to remove free school meals for infant school pupils – and to hammer older people by making them pay for all their care out of their assets, down to the last £100,000. Although it has been dubbed the ‘dementia tax’, it is not limited to dementia sufferers but anyone who needs care at home – those in residential care have already suffered from broken Tory promises to cap what they pay for their care.
Theresa May has today announced a supposed U-turn on the ‘dementia tax’ policy – but it’s not really a U-turn. She still intends to make everyone pay – she’s just camouflaging the plan under cover of a promise to ‘consult’ on a cap, which is meaningless.
The SKWAWKBOX spoke to Anthony about his experience, his decision, the ‘dementia tax’ and his view of May’s supposed U-turn. Here’s what he said:
SKWAWKBOX: Anthony, thanks for making time to talk. Was this your first time hearing Corbyn speak and what did you expect?
AO: Yes, it was. I’m not sure what I expected – but it wasn’t what I found!
S: What struck you the most?
AO: Well, the crowd was huge and that was certainly impressive, but it was Corbyn himself who really struck me. It was almost like listening to the Sermon on the Mount – I thought, “Here’s a man who really cares about people and wants to do something about it”.
I’m not saying he’s the Messiah or anything like that, even if they do share initials! But if Jesus fed 5,000, Corbyn’s someone who’ll feed millions, make life better for them.
S: That’s quite a comparison! So you’ve voted Tory all your life?
AO: That’s right. I’m 58 years old and I’ve never voted anything else. I voted in Thatcher, Major, every election going I’ve voted Tory.
S: If you don’t mind us asking – why?
AO: I always thought I was a natural Conservative and I thought I had something to conserve, so they were my natural choice. I run my own landscaping business. I left school at sixteen, went straight into a job and I’ve always worked hard for what I’ve got.
S: But you went straight home on Saturday and joined the Labour Party? That’s quite a turn-around!
AO: That’s right. I feel like I’ve had my eyes opened to what the Tories are really about. They’re not interested in conserving anything for ordinary, hard-working people – just in helping the rich. It’s all a big con.
S: So what do you make of the ‘dementia tax’?
AO: I’m absolutely livid about it. Look, what always drove me was the idea that I could work hard, build something and have something to leave for my kids when I’m gone. Now I’ve got two sons at uni, a daughter about to go and they’re looking at leaving with massive debts – and then the government tells me I’m going to have to use my house to pay for care so I’ll have nothing to leave my children?
I’m not having that. If that went through and I got infirm, I’d walk out into a field somewhere and just lay down to die. In fact, I’d take a chainsaw to the floor beams and then set fire to the ****ing place before I’d let the Conservatives get their hands on it.
S: Your strength of feeling is certainly coming across! Now just today, Mrs May has announced a U-turn – but not really. She’s still saying she’ll make everyone pay out until all their estate is down to £100,000, but she’s promising a ‘consultation’ on a cap to costs. What do you make of all that?
AO: Doesn’t make a blind bit of difference. It’s out there now and we know what she wants to do. She still wants to take what we’ve built up and I wouldn’t trust a word that comes out of her mouth. ‘Strong and stable’?! You’re joking.
S: It sounds like you’ve had a dramatic change in your worldview!
AO: I have – and nobody’s more surprised than I am! I feel like everything looks different, like I’ve had my eyes opened and I’ll never see things the same way again.
S: So you’re happy to go on the record about it all?
AO: Too bloody right! You can tell Theresa May from me personally that her party’s had my vote all my life – but never again. She’s lost me and millions like me. Her true colours showed and there’s no taking that back.
S: Anthony, you’ve been brilliant. Thanks again for making the time to talk!
Theresa May’s decision to hammer both our young and our elderly people has backfired in a way that ‘spectacularly’ doesn’t even begin to cover – and if Anthony’s example is anything to go by, her dodgy ‘U-turn’ today hasn’t fooled anyone. Too little, too late – too weak, too wobbly.
If you’re a former Tory supporter who’s now behind Jeremy Corbyn and his vision for society, the SKWAWKBOX would be delighted to speak to you.
And if you’re not yet registered to vote, you still have until one minute before midnight today, 22 May 2017, to do so in time to vote in the General Election. Please take a few minutes to do so here – and don’t forget to vote Labour.
The SKWAWKBOX is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you found this information helpful and can afford to, please do click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your support so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.