Last night, during a Facebook messenger conversation with a friend, I got called a Tory. Twice.
I don't think that I've been called a Tory since the 20th May 2014 when a Guardian reading, small-l "liberal", semi-detached Victorian Townhouse dwelling man declined my canvass approach and told me to "stick it up your Tory arse."
Charming. What a command of the language.
Anyway, as someone who is categorically not a Tory, I took offence at my friends suggestion. Well, you would, wouldn't you?
It was OK, though... because what my friend meant was "not a Tory in the political sense". I didn't know there was any other sense, but they explained further by saying I was "a social conservative".
Reader, I am not sure this is any better.
Had my correspondent described me as "socially conservative", then this would possibly have been accurate. Like most people, I am a creature of my upbringing which was, indeed, socially conservative. I don't drink in excess, I don't do drugs, I don't have tattoos (although I have had piercings), I like home comforts and I'm not particularly impulsive.*
There are, though, ways in which I am not socially conservative: I have no particular desire to "get on the housing ladder", I eschew having a doctor even when on one level I know that is something a man my age should have sorted and any previous thoughts of coupling and settling down have long since gone by the wayside.
In fact, on this last, I get incredibly annoyed at society's expectation of this being the "norm" and that there is something wrong with those who don't, either through circumstance or conscious decision.
To suggest, because I may appear to be socially conservative in light of my own life circumstances and choices, that this means I am a social conservative is wrong.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
I am a Liberal - and want people to be free to live their lives as *they* see fit. And if that means marriage, kids and a two-up, two-down, then fine. But if it means an open relationship, or a polygamous relationship, or giving it all up and living in a camper-van, or anything else, then that's fine too. As long as they're not harming others, then 'tevs (as I'm told the young people say).
And I want a society where people are free to be as open (or not) about all these things and more.
I am not a social conservative. I'm a Liberal who happens, most of the time, to be socially conservative in his behaviour.
I hope I've cleared that up.
*some of these things are due to psychological factors - but that's not what this is about.