Alexander Harrison: Why I am a Conservative


We all know the typical process of politicisation that young people tend to undergo when they arrive at University and begin studying for their degree. The amalgamation of adolescent naivety and the ideological luminescence of far-left politics tends to lead people like me into the ranks of the Communist Party and swearing an oath of allegiance to the Communist Manifesto before bedtime.

I come into contact with these people on a daily basis, it is not that they lack the intellectual prowess to avoid being dragged into this rabid politicisation but I think it has long been fashionable for one to boast about how ideologically pure oneself is. Just think, changing your Facebook cover photo to a fabulous snap of you stretched upon a picket fence defending your Comrades from the evils of the wicked Employer and suddenly you’re ascended onto a holier-than-thou pedestal that every revolutionary Socialist would be envious of.

I think you’ve probably already gathered that I’m being rather caustic with my description of students like this, but that answers the point which titles this piece. It is because of the culture and doctrine by which far-left students adhere to, that causes me, as an extremely rare example to embrace right-wing politics as a reaction. My political journey has been an odd one, I’ve tolerated so-called ‘soft left’ politics for most of my adolescence such as the nationalisation of the railways, the protection of our extensive welfare state and the increasing of progressive taxes on the wealthy.

However, the moment I left Sixth Form College and began studying for my degree in Sheffield, I’ve walked away from such ideological positions. I think it is important to mention the fact I am studying History is significant in this shift of political alignment as I now see the past through a different lens. Already in my studies I have had to scrawl with Eric Hobsbawm tomes and analyse his far-Left interpretation of History such as the creation of the English working classes. But I often found myself disagreeing with his conclusions and it dawned on me, I was slowly but surely turning into a Conservative.

From disagreeing with Hobsbawm to accepting the Laffer curve as a correct piece of economic theory to sitting in a Socialist Students seminar on free-market Capitalism and disagreeing with nearly every single one of their criticisms. Contemplating now, I conclude that my positions on Europe, Immigration, Israel and economics make it impossible for me to ever consider re-joining the Labour Party, even as an Arch-Blairite. But the fact of the matter is, the Conservatives and right-wingers in general now seem more of a home to me than the Left could possibly offer.

However, I refuse to sell my soul to David Cameron and George Osborne and get on hand and knee to kiss at the altar of Cameron’s flip-flop politics of spin. This is why I will remain ‘independent’ of party affiliation even though my ideology now reflects that of some in the Conservative Party. Most of my friend’s involved and interested in politics are right-wing leaning and I know they understand that I can lend my support through the medium of discussion but not through restricting my own growth and debate by re-joining a political party. Though, if Michael Gove becomes leader of the Conservatives after Cameron’s deposal, I shall be implored to reconsider.

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