As a working class, state educated northerner, I’m naturally inclined to the Conservative Party.
Growing up had its challenges that are so common in today’s climate. A single parent family on a low income meant sacrifices had to be made. Normal luxuries were invariably rare, and when they did come around they were a result of genius frugality.
Education dished out its own problems – promotion of attitudes that some were capable, and some simply weren’t. From a very young age I recall being at a complete loss as to why a nation with such an extensive state education system appeared to be so encapsulated with the idea that financial and social circumstances somehow set aside students from less privileged backgrounds, such as myself, as an inevitable failure. Before politics even entered my head, these sorts of segregative attitudes evident in so many areas of life peeved me, to put it lightly.
Were I a leftie, my background would be gold dust to use for spreading their dangerous ideologies.
But no, I’m a Conservative through and through.
If there’s one thing that makes me so sure of my position, it’s one simple concept: freedom. From the start, freedom was so formative in shaping my political views. Coming from a totally non-political family, I was already free from one thing: the pernicious influence of identity politics. I was free to be inspired by Conservative ideas without any obligation to fit in with some insubstantial class based politics used by the left to divide people based on their background.
The money we lived on, despite its scarcity, was all earned through hard work. Growing up under Labour, we’d have been far better off on benefits, but I was always explicitly told by those closest to me that working was always better than claiming, if there’s the option to do so. This work ethic led me to realise that background doesn’t matter – if you want something; you want to succeed; to achieve your dreams, you can get it through hard work. When you’re free and aspirational, you can make it. Do the right thing and you’ll reap the rewards. There is only one party that supports this principle: the Conservatives.
Joining the Conservatives at 14, I became exposed to inspirational freedom fighters – notably, of course, the great Lady Thatcher. I knew I wanted to make sure these principles were spread as far as possible. Everyone deserves to chase their dreams, and should not be held back by circumstances of your origins, or indeed any obligation to conform to any stereotypical expectation based on where you come from.
In a nutshell, my approach to life can be expressed in three principles: freedom, aspiration, and hard work. There is only one party that embodies these: the Conservatives.
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