Typical of these myths are the following:
"Tories don't care"
...and "Tories want to punish the poor"*
Here's a pretty typical example from Bob Holman (who is, I think, an official progressive saint) in an article about Iain Duncan Smith filled with crocodile tears:
The IDS I knew was a politician who almost wept at the plight of the poor. My guess is that, in order to reach his costly goal of a universal credit scheme, he has had to mollify the chancellor, George Osborne – and that can only be done by being like those Tories who take pleasure in punishing the poor.
The last sentence is a statement of the myth. I was brought up in the Conservative Party - my grandfathers were both Councillors, my father was a Councillor and mother, aunts and grandmas were all actively involved. I undoubtedly know more about "Tories" and what they take pleasure in than all the Guardian columnists and left-wing "community workers" put together.
And I can say categorically that from among the hundreds of Conservatives I have known well - from every background and at every level - I cannot recall a single one who took "pleasure in punishing the poor". Not one.
Rather the opposite - my experience is of good people who really care. Care enough to volunteer their time, expertise and cash to help others. People who would go out of their way to assist if they could. People who had a genuine sense that helping others is a duty placed on us all. Without those "uncaring Tories", meals-on-wheels wouldn't have been delivered, charity shops manned, soup kitchens run, community groups' books audited, children taken on trips...any one of a thousand acts of charity would have gone undone.
What the left mean when they say Tories want to "punish the poor" is that we don't 'get' that taking money in taxes and redistributing it in welfare is remotely "caring". It isn't care - it's the nationalisation of that duty we all have to our neighbours. The left have abrogated any responsibility to care to professional carers - social workers, community workers, youth workers and such like. And the result is the mess we're in, the dysfunction, the division and the failure of services.
All my life I've been surrounded by caring people – nearly all of them Tories - prepared to put their own time and effort into improving the chances of the poor. I have never heard any Tory suggest - even in jest - that we should 'punish' anyone for their circumstances, ill-luck or disadvantage.
Yet the myth persists. It is a lie and the people who say it should be ashamed of themselves.
*Note you can substitute 'poor' in this statement with any other group of your choice.