Abbie Maguire: Why I am a Conservative

What does the Conservative Party offer a young, working class student and mother from a small commuter town in Essex? They made her a Tory. Diligence, opportunity, sensible frugality and little government, but not little England, drew me to the Conservative Party all those years ago, and the attempted elimination of those socialist pathogenic mantras of ‘blame the rich’, ‘Tories kill the disabled’, ‘the Conservatives are for the elite’ kept me. Recent events have made me more of a  Conservative than ever.
The Brexit aftermath has reaffirmed my beliefs that the Tories are the only party with an appreciation for democracy. On the day of his resignation, a sombre David Cameron said “The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected.” The party accepted the decision, because of a value of free thought and independence, and not the cult-like culture UKIP are associated with.
Labour MP David Lammy then claimed “We need a second referendum – the consequences of Brexit are too grave.” What he means is, not only did the result not suit his purpose, democracy somehow has connotations with danger. He succinctly combined this blatant patronisation, as if the public are incapable of predicting the consequences of their own decision. I dread to think of the day protestors are standing outside polling stations urging the electorate to vote in line with their own beliefs, in a similar fashion to women who rightly exercise their freedom to choose to have a private abortion.
This ‘selective democracy’ didn’t begin at the EU referendum. The Tories Out campaign poured scorn on the 2015 general election result, declaring the result wholly undemocratic after only 24.3 per cent voted for the Conservative Party to govern, yet Sadiq Khan’s victory in the mayoral election was met with no such bitterness, despite his meagre mandate of only 19.8 per cent.
Even our new ‘Remainer’ Prime Minister Theresa May already revealed a second EU referendum is firmly off the table, underpinned by the slogan ‘Brexit means Brexit.’ If that wasn’t enough to prove the Conservative Party don’t do ‘selective democracy’, May’s main Cabinet has been complied through talent, not cliques (see Boris’ appointment as foreign secretary), when in the same evening, Labour leadership candidate Owen Smith promised a second EU referendum should he be successful in his bid. An acceptance of democracy and not a hunt for a loophole is why I am a Conservative.
Leftie newspaper The Independent ran with the headline ‘Only two days after vote for Brexit and already the broken promises are mounting’, yet they seemed to have experienced political amnesia when, after a summer of campaigning to keep Londoner’s TfL costs low, newly elected Mayor Sadiq Khan revealed just four weeks after his win that he will break his election promise of residents “not pay[ing] a penny more for travel.” Additionally, not only does Nicola Sturgeon demonstrate her contradictory desire for being independent yet being part of the euro, she cannot resist her contempt for democracy even after a declared vote split based on Holyrood 2016 past votes concluded more SNP supporters voted for Leave than Tory supporters.
These politicians represent the kind of flawed bureaucracy us democratic Leavers were trying to get away from. Theresa May will have a tough job over the next few years in convincing the Remainers 17 million people didn’t open pandora’s box, but if she is to be anything like her female predecessor Margaret Thatcher – another reason I became a Conservative – she will have to have a strong liking for making British interests heard. This clear vision to keep the promise of sovereignty is why I’m a Conservative.
Then there is the upshot of the Brexit vote – the leadership election. Of the five candidates, two were women, one was from a council estate in Wales, another was a former GP, one was even adopted by a Labour-supporting Scottish family as a child, and none of them went to Eton. No shortlists or quotas bought us this selection – it was an expression of desire by five talented individuals for the role of prime minister.
The fact very few mention these facts in the social media domain add to my Conservative pride: it doesn’t matter who you are, or how you got to where you are, it’s what you have to say that counts. It’s no secret how much of an admirer I am of Lady Thatcher – I named my child after her – but Margaret Thatcher wasn’t a great prime minister because she was a woman, but because she was courageous and resolute in her beliefs. A focus on political acumen and talent, not biological characteristics or upbringings, rich or poor, is why I’m a Conservative.
Now is the time for sensibility – the more scaremongering continues, the faster we talk ourselves into recession – people fear for their livelihood because others are telling them now is the time to be frightened, and consumer confidence plunges. Theresa May as our next prime minister needs to say no to trickle up poverty and trickle down fear, and instead inspire aspiration, confidence and stability and take lessons from the mud-slinging, albeit wildly entertaining, Labour Party. Now the dust has finally settled, hopefully we can all be reminded why we are Conservatives.

Abbie Maguire is a linguistics student at Queen Mary University of London and made the national press in early 2016 after naming her son Thatcher.

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The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty