At some point in the past few years, your dad decided to join Twitter. Perhaps Gary at work told him that Dara Ó Briain is good craic on there or, more likely, someone on TV said something that pissed him off and there was a little box at the bottom of the screen inviting him to log on and "have his say". Whatever the initial reason, it didn't take long for tweeting to become a regular part of his routine. Bored at work, he logs on most mornings to share a few zingers on the issues of the day.
No topic is off limits, but some occupy his attention more than most. Jeremy Corbyn and all those brainwashed, student types who chant his name like they're in a cult or something. Brexit, and that idiot Corbyn's refusal to promise to overturn the referendum result, even though it's obviously a bloody stupid idea and everyone sensible knows that. All of those useless leftist journalists who keep telling their glassy-eyed, moronic followers what they want to hear – that Corbyn is doing a good job as Labour leader – when he's quite obviously an utter disaster. Also: cyclists, who're getting way too cocky nowadays.
Increasingly, your dad gets so riled up enough that he dispenses with the wry, sideways-glancing persona and gives the target of his ire a real piece of his mind. Since the general election result, the Corbyn cultist are just so smug. Even though they lost! Point out a simple fact - that Tony Blair is the only Labour leader to have actually won an election since the mid-70s, for example - and they scoff that he's stuck in the past and politically irrelevant.
Centrist Dad Thinks young people support Corbyn because they're idiots, it's as simple as that.
Most maddeningly of all, they keep implying he's uncool and out of touch. Even though he used to be in a band and was known as a massive shagger back in the day. Even though he partied more than any of the screen-addled, weedy students mocking him do now. Back in the halcyon early years of the Blair era, people knew how to work hard and play harder. Just like D:Ream promised, things really did get better – thanks to New Labour's pragmatic, moderate and evidence-based policies.
Your dad is not, necessarily, actually your dad – though he could well be. He's not necessarily anyone's dad, though he has the weary, lecturing tone of a frustrated parent absolutely nailed on. It's not that he doesn't understand the desire to build a better world. In truth, he's always considered himself a bit of a lefty. He's just also a realist, you know? Your dad is furious that Jeremy Corbyn almost forced him to vote (whisper it) Conservative for the first time, on the basis that Theresa May is at least a proper grown-up, before he bottled it and went for the Lib Dems. He wants his Labour Party back. The party of common sense and compromise and maintaining strategic relationships with important business leaders. It makes him despair that so many people, particularly younger people, have been taken in by Corbyn's ramblings about affordable housing, higher wages and abolishing tuition fees – as if it's possible to just wave a magic wand and make everything nice.
Your dad hasn't thought much about why young people are more excited by these sorts of promises, though he keeps up with current affairs and even describes himself as a "policy wonk". He knows about the housing crisis, wage stagnation and increasing income insecurity that has hit younger generations hardest. Ultimately, though, he considers transforming the system rather than simply mitigating its worst effects a starry-eyed fantasy. Young people support Corbyn because they're idiots, it's as simple as that.
Your dad has noticed people like me using the term "centrist dad" to describe people like him, and has written quite a few tweets explaining that it doesn't bother him at all and is actually a kind of compliment. Secretly, though, he's annoyed that the people he's consistently dismissed as "stupid children", "student hippies" and "Corbyista cultists" are hitting back with an insult of their own. Your dad has already decided which bit of this article he's going to screenshot and post with the claim that it actually reveals more about me than it does about him. Your dad is raging, raging against the dying of the New Labour light. In his heart of hearts, though, your dad knows it's already too late.