There’s nothing special about my origins. My family are hard-working folk from humble backgrounds and have done well for themselves through their own efforts and endeavours. Some of my family are apolitical, others would be classed as ‘floating voters’ and a few are strongly aligned to a particular party.
Rightly, no particular suasion has been encouraged upon me by kin. Their sacrifices and investment in my future have given me the best upbringing and education any young person could ask for. From this I have learnt that diligence is an indispensable trait and I’d like to think that I put this at the very heart of my every consideration of political affairs.
I can’t boast to have been involved in politics for a very long time, maybe a year or so; however, upon joining ‘big school’, I began to develop an interest in the world around me. Fortunately, my school always encouraged this in me and in other pupils, posing questions in assemblies and introducing discussion in the classroom. This was fundamental in the personal advancement of my political and social understanding. For this, I am very grateful.
Soon enough I became one of those people who were devastated knowing that there wouldn’t be a fifth episode of Inside the Commons and who constantly refresh all news apps on their phone. My interest flourishes more and more by the day.
As I became further aware of domestic matters, I decided to go about discovering my own politics. This journey started by reading numerous books covering various topics, with one of the most informative and commendable ones being Andrew Heywood’s Political Ideologies. On reflection, this was only a relatively short process, taking just a few weeks in the summer of 2014. It didn’t take me too long to recognise that I was neither a Marxist nor a fascist, so I had to be somewhere in between.
I now consider ‘conservatism’ to be a rather simple concept to express. It encompasses a respect and pride of institutions and traditions, and stresses the importance of individual responsibility and enterprise, above all else. It says a statist approach is wrong, and that politicians should only interfere where necessary. It says government will incentivise any one person to exercise their talents and abilities to as best they can, through low taxation and limited regulation, in order to achieve what they wish. This is what I found myself to have the broadest level of agreement with, and so I settled with the outcome.
As a young person, I look forward to further testing my own talents in later life and using the right to thrive on my accord. Whilst taking my GCSEs, one of my teachers said at the beginning of the academic year that our success or failings were entirely his responsibility. With just a few weeks to go until that particular subject’s examination, the same teacher explained that he had given us the right devices to succeed and that it was now our responsibility to do so. I see this as being a good analogy for my politics; if given the right environment, anyone can work hard and achieve.
It would have been quite unwise to have based my decision solely on ideological grounds, and so I looked at parties themselves whilst partaking in this wider reading. I saw a Conservative Party that was enacting a comprehensive strategy based upon pragmatism that was willing to take difficult, and sometimes unpopular, stances in order to improve the position of the country, which of course won acclaim amongst many world-leading economic think tanks and bodies. A party that stood proud and principled in the face of guilt trips from opponents and the aggressive independence campaign north of the border. The mandate granted to the party in the most recent general election shows a recognition of its aptitude of governance and the pleasure of the people with its record in the five preceding years.
Despite feeling very positive about the Conservatives, I did look further afar. In my opinion, the Liberal Democrats frustrated the government’s agenda within the coalition and, increasingly so under their current leadership, pander towards the Labour Party in an attempt to steal some votes from their demographics. Due to this practise, the classical liberals that still remain in the party should be brave and defect to their ideological home, the Tories.
As I looked towards the opposition benches, I saw a Labour Party with very little to offer for aspirational people and that had failed to heed the public opinion and perception that had electorally punished the party so gravely just a few years earlier. Their pacification of the Scottish nationalists was highly concerning and continues to be a foolish political ploy by Labour. We have seen from them, once again, a failure to recognise their own faults after the humiliating defeat of 2015 and a subsequent dangerous leftwards shift.
Although I welcome the newfound excitement in politics, I challenge any Corbynite to prove how their brand is ‘new’ and ‘kind’, considering both the failure that socialism has delivered in countries across the world, in the past and in the present, and some of the ridiculous remarks that have been made by the party’s current leadership across a number of decades and have yet to be justified or indeed retracted and apologised for.
The Green Party failed to convince me that it was more serious than the ‘tree-hugger’ reputation that so often taints them. To this day, I am still unsure of UKIP party policy on anything, except immigration and membership of the European Union.
My entry into the Conservative Party itself came somewhat quicker than I’d previously expected, and so at the time I felt as though destiny had agreed that I had chosen the right path for myself. A good friend’s father was looking at standing for Parliament in the upcoming general election and asked me to help on his campaign, I was more than happy to oblige and enjoyed campaigning with the whole team right up until May 7th. It did concern me slightly that in all three constituencies where I offered my support, we, as party, failed to remove any of the Labour incumbents. On the other hand, they were all regarded as uphill battles, I was obviously overjoyed with the national result and we did achieve in local elections.
I’m very pleased that in the half-a-year or so of this majority Conservative government we can already see both aspiration and security being championed at the very top and that the country is moving quickly in the right direction, and long may it continue.
This article is part of our ongoing ‘Why I am a Conservative’ series, in which supporters of CfL talk about their beliefs and values. If you would like to take part please email blog@con4lib.
The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty