AA Gill On... Being Liberal

Sir/Madam,

I think I'm a liberal. I've always been attracted to proportional representation and closer ties to Europe, but I can't talk to anyone about it.

My parents are missionary position Labour. My dad says liberals should be shot and my mum thinks they're just Tories who don't like being spanked. I know my friends would laugh at me. And what girl's going to go out with a liberal? So I pretend to be an anarchist.

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But I feel like a fraud. My heart's with a caring, devolved society and a fiscally responsible mixed economy, with checks and balances and no nuclear deterrent. What shall I do? I'm marginally desperate.

Sam, by email.

Sam, there are those who think liberalism is a mental disorder and can be cured. They might suggest you try fox hunting, running a hedge fund and listening to thrash metal. You could go into treatment, do aversion therapy by spending six weeks in Finland, but personally I don't hold with that.

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I think you're born liberal and I don't see any reason why you shouldn't marry or adopt children. You don't have to tell everyone straight away, you can have proportional coming out.

You might start just by trying to tell the truth and not saying what you think other people want to hear. And stop smiling in that insincere way and do something about your sweaty hands.

For more advice, get in touch with my helpline: twofacedscab@torybumboy.yuk