A Twitter account claiming to be the Lincolnshire Conservatives has been suspended after complaints were made about some of its tweets which said poor people were “dangerous” and food bank users had “no cooking skills”.
The tweets were posted overnight on June 2 and originate from an account claiming to be to be the official Twitter account for Lincolnshire Conservatives, with a location tag in Grantham.
Several offensive tweets were posted, including ridiculous with claims that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was “impotent” and “disappoints his wife,” suggesting that he would similarly disappoint voters.
The poster boasted about tweeting from Grantham, the birthplace of Margaret Thatcher, and professing to have “never been more confident” about winning the election.
Tweets from the account also said: “The vast majority of people who use food banks have poor budgeting skills and no cooking skills.
“They usually resort to a life crime and then blame the government for their deplorable lifestyle. Corbyn supports those rogues.”
The account also tweeted that “poor people are not “vulnerable”, they are dangerous due to the fact that they are addicted to drugs and have NOTHING to lose.
It’s certainly true that Conservative ministers and peers such as Iain Duncan Smith and Baroness Jenkin of Kennington, have tended to conflate poverty with poor budgeting and cooking skills. Many Tories have implied poverty arises because of “faulty behaviours” and “lifestyle choices” rather than being a consequence of political choices and policies that extend inequality, and an inevitable feature of our “competitive” economic organisation.
This scapegoating approach has been used by the Conservatives to attempt to justify the extremely punitive “behaviour change” policies and austerity programme directed almost exclusively at the poorest citizens.
Both Iain Duncan Smith and David Cameron have previously implied that poverty arises because of “worklessness”, obesity, alcoholism and substance misuse. There is no evidence to support this claim. In fact the available evidence strongly suggests that individuals are more likely to drink regularly and above recommended limits during the week if s/he is a high-income earning managerial/professional worker.
The tweets, from a fake account or otherwise, certainly capture something of the Conservative mindset, and reflect their traditional prejudices.
Richard Davies, Conservative county councillor for Grantham, North West, told Lincolnshire Reporter: “It’s a fake account.
“We’ve reported it to Twitter for impersonating us and they’ve taken it down.
“Our account is @LincsTories.”
It’s unusual for Conservatives to call themselves “Tories” because of the derogatory connotations of the word – “Tory” derives from the Irish word tóraidhe; modern Irish tóraí; modern Scottish Gaelic Tòraidh: outlaw, robber or brigand, from the Irish word tóir, meaning “pursuit”, since outlaws were “pursued men”. The term was originally a term of abuse, and remains a pejorative.
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