We are told that our values can define our political beliefs, and the values imparted to me by my parents helped to shape my own. I grew up during the premierships of John Major and Tony Blair and, although I was nine years old at the time, I was old enough to witness the iconic 1997 General Election. I often joked later that the New Labour, New Danger adverts scared me into being a Tory. I missed out on being able to vote in the 2005 General Election, but I remember the disappointment of having Blair for two more years.
My parents taught me throughout those years that one could achieve one’s goals through hard work and perseverance. It was helpful that the newspapers in the house had a right-leaning view of the world. As I became more politically aware, I read about the different parties and people which helped shape Britain into the country it is today. They also taught me how to be independent, which came in useful during my university years.
My extended family, while having a range of political opinions, nevertheless was close-knit during my childhood, for which we have a set of maternal great-grandparents to thank. My mother’s grandfather fought for his country in Europe during the Second World War and should have been a prime Labour voter afterward, but he firmly believed that it was the Conservative Party which best represented the working man. I later worked in jobs which, though indirect, brought me into contact with those whom New Labour had created as clients during their 13 years in power and believed my great-grandfather was right.
The attitudes and values of those around me as I grew up helped to shape my own and as an adult, the friends I made helped confirm me in those beliefs. I joined the Conservative Party in 2006 during my first year at Keele University and from there I have witnessed the sheer tenacity of Conservatives in their beliefs and actions. I am a Conservative because I believe in being compassionate, in evolutionary change and in allowing those who put in hard work to be rewarded.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.