For the Left, I am the target of deepest hatred.
For my trenchant views, expressed in this newspaper, they call me ‘insane’, ‘reactionary’, ‘racist’, a ‘Nazi’, a ‘shroudwaver’, a ‘witch’ and a ‘warmonger’.
I have been accused of ‘unmatched depths of ignorance and bigotry’ and being the ‘queen of mean’.
It was even suggested (in a particularly extreme spasm of hyperbole) that I eat broken bottles and kill rats with my teeth.
This resort to crude insult against anyone who dares to challenge their shibboleths is typical of the Left.
It doesn’t argue its case. It simply tries to shut down debate by bullying its targets and labelling them as extremists and enemies of humanity in order to frighten people away from listening to them.
But they reserve a special loathing for me. This is not just because I refuse to be cowed.
It’s because I was once one of them, one of the elect, a believer.
I come from the kind of family in which it was simply unthinkable to vote Conservative. For my parents, the Tory Party represented the boss class, while Labour supported the little man — people like us.
My father was haunted all his life by the poverty he endured growing up in the old East End of London in the Twenties and Thirties.
His family of six lived in two rooms; he never had enough to eat. He left school at the age of 13.
As a university-educated young woman with hippie-style hair and an attitude, I, too, generally toed the standard Leftist line in the late Seventies and early Eighties.