Martin Freeman – the artist best known as Bilbo Baggins / Dr. Watson – now says that it is wrong to call conservatives ‘evil’. But that’s not what he was hinting before the general election…
Now that he is no longer shilling for Ed Miliband and the Labour Party, actor Martin Freeman has come over all thoughtful and introspective.
Well, everything’s relative. But in a new interview given to the pretentious Rake magazine, Freeman pontificates that it is wrong and unfair to call Tories and those with conservative political opinions “evil”.
The Spectator notes:
In an interview with The Rake, Martin Freeman — who starred in Labour’s election broadcast when Ed Miliband was leader — says it’s unfair to call all Tories ‘evil’, as the left has been responsible for more deaths in recent years.
While Rake quotes Freeman as saying:
My team — the left, generally — has been responsible for more deaths in the last century than the other team if you count Stalin, Mao, the Khmer Rouge, the Shining Path… that’s not a good team.
The left is quite at home with evil bastards, actually. Religion doesn’t have a downpayment on genocide: there are atheists, materialists and socialists who have gone on quite happily with rape and murder.
How magnanimous of Martin Freeman, placing us all (conservatives, left-wingers and genocidal maniacs alike) on the same end of the sliding scale of evil – as though there were no difference between government making an honest and sometimes flawed effort to help and work for citizens on the one hand, and deliberately terrorising and oppressing them on the other.
But Bilbo Baggins was not always so well disposed to people on the political Right. Only a few short months ago, Martin Freeman’s face was barking at us from our television screens with his Labour-supporting party political broadcast, part hagiography of Milibandism and part bully pulpit from which to bash the Evil Tories.
Just for fun, let’s remind ourselves of what Martin Freeman was saying about anybody who failed to appreciate the wonders of Ed Miliband before the general election. I’ll interject with some observations of my own every now and then.
It’s a choice between two completely different sets of values. A choice about what kind of country we want to live in.
Well, if by “completely different” you mean New Labour with a red rosette and New Labour with a blue rosette, then yes. The colours under which the two main parties are fighting the campaign, blue and red, are indeed very different.
Now I don’t know about you, but my values are about community, compassion, decency, that’s how I was brought up.
Won’t somebody give that saint a halo already? The man cares about decency and compassion, didn’t you hear him? And as we all know, the basic human tenets of compassion and decency can now only be found in those who espouse left-wing politics.
So yeah, I could tell you the Tories would take us on a rollercoaster of cuts while Labour will make sure the economy works for all of us, not just the privileged few – like me. But it’s not just about that.
He could tell you that the Evil Tories are the barbarians at the gate, chomping at the bit to sink their fangs into our Precious Public Services and rip them to shreds. Martin Freeman could tell you that. He could wax eloquent on the subject for days. But he’s just a humble guy like you and me; he isn’t the kind of person to sully himself with party politics. So he’ll just let you know what he would say, were he inclined to mention the Tories.
I could tell you it seems like the Tories don’t believe in the NHS, while Labour is passionate about protecting it.
Martin Freeman could tell us that the Tories hate Our Blessed NHS, but since it would be based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever – neither the declared intentions of the Conservative Party or a reasonable inference from observing their behaviour in government over the past five years – instead he will just leave the vague accusation hanging ominously in the air. Because that’s what humble, regular guys like Martin Freeman do all the time. It certainly isn’t a long-practised political smear.
I could tell you that the Tories have got sod all to offer the young, whereas Labour will invest in the next generation’s education and guarantee – that word again – apprenticeships for them.
If Martin Freeman were so uncouth as to talk politics with us, he could mention how the Evil Tories absolutely loathe the young, and yearn for a future where a failed generation of ill educated and uninspired young people sit around getting pregnant, committing crimes and claiming endless benefits. As we all know, the Tories simply love it when people fail to reach their potential as human beings and live stunted lives of despair, deprivation and grinding poverty. What can I say – it gives us a warm glow inside. And Martin Freeman could tell us all about that, if only his speech were some kind of political message.
I could tell you that Labour will put the minimum wage up to £8, and ban those ‘orrible zero hours contracts, while the Tories would presumably do more of their tax cutting for millionaires.
Bilbo could tell us this, but he doesn’t know for sure. As the inclusion of the word “presumably” indicates, Martin Freeman didn’t actually bother to do any research before standing in front of the camera to pitch for Ed Miliband. Maybe the Tories would undo some more of Gordon Brown’s spiteful and counterproductive tax hikes on the rich (tax cuts for millionaires!), or maybe they might – oh, I don’t know – introduce a national living wage of £9 per hour, even higher than Labour propose. But since he couldn’t say for certain before the election, it was probably right to assume that those Nasty Tories will keep turning the screws on the poor.
But real though all that stuff is, and important though it is if you’re young in this country or broke in this country or if you’re unwell in this country – and let’s face it, we all need the NHS at some point – or if you are just plain working hard and finding life tough, there is a choice of two paths. The bottom line is what values are we choosing. Because in the end this choice we make really does matter.
Labour: they start from the right place. Community, compassion, fairness – I think all the best things about this country. I love this country so much and I love the people in it, and I think you do too. But really, for me, there’s only one choice. And I choose Labour.
Martin Freeman loves this country and everyone in it. Everyone, that is, apart from those people who disagree with him and think that a Labour government and a prime minister Ed Miliband would have been an unmitigated disaster and an utter failure of national aspiration. Those people, Bilbo Baggins somehow isn’t quite so keen on.
So to paraphrase Martin Freeman’s sanctimonious, moralising, self-aggrandising attitude toward the nearly 50% of his fellow British citizens who voted for a more right-leaning party in 2015: “I’m not saying that all Tories are Evil Nazi Scum. They may hate the sick and yearn to destroy Our NHS. They may have no compassion, unlike we Virtuous People of the Left. They may not care about the future of our children. But they’re not evil. Heavens, no. I certainly never intended to give that impression. The Tories aren’t scum, they’re just ethically challenged.”
Conservatives should rejoice, to thus receive the benediction of Martin Freeman. They aren’t evil after all. They just hold evil values. Not proper, wholesome Labour values.
What pious, self-regarding, moralising nonsense Bilbo Baggins talks. In fact, Martin Freeman represents everything that is wrong with left-wing politics today – captivated by its own supposed virtue, yet utterly bereft of ideas for improving or transforming the country besides the same old, tired schemes to bash the rich, punish success and reward mediocrity.
And now here comes Martin Freeman once again – a diminished and discredited figure after his beloved Ed Miliband barely persuaded his own friends and family to vote Labour at the general election – attempting to worm his way back into the good graces of the public by smugly pontificating against those who took him at his word back in May, and who now hysterically accuse conservatives of being “evil”. Suddenly, calling conservatives “evil” is a terribly gauche and inappropriate thing to do.
But that’s not what you were saying back in April and May 2015, is it, Mr. Freeman? When the general election campaign was raging, you lent your voice, image and public profile to a party political broadcast designed to benefit the Labour Party and in which you made highly speculative and slanderous statements about the priorities and the very character of conservative-minded voters.
Well, Martin Freeman can keep his values, and he can stick them. The hobbit’s newfound realisation that it is wrong to demonise half the population as being greedy, avaricious and soulless monsters is tired, belated and hypocritical in the extreme – especially considering the fact that Bilbo Baggins was leading the charge against the Evil Tory Scum on national television only a few months ago.
Martin Freeman: your half-hearted, obscure non-apology is most sincerely not accepted.
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