Ted Yarbrough: Why I am a Conservative


In what might be a first for this wonderful series by Conservatives for Liberty, I am writing as an American Conservative. Not just a “conservative” (America has a number of those) but a Conservative, as in the Conservative party. I hope my story will encourage Britons to support the Conservative party, and encourage it to be the wonderful vehicle for good it usually is.

Growing up as a child in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA (you might know the place from Breaking Bad) I developed a great love for all things British. My father was a moderate anglophile but at a young age my anglophilia quickly surpassed his.

I memorised the British monarchs at 10. At 13 I started watching PMQs, and yes, Blair disgusted me back then too. By 14 I had read William Manchester’s two volume biography of Churchill and at university I majored in history with an emphasis on British history and I wrote a thesis on Thatcher’s impact on British culture.

As I wrote in my first Daily Globe article:

To me, the history of Shakespeare’s sceptered isle is the greatest story ever told.”

The world today needs the United Kingdom more than ever before.

I know what the reader must be thinking right now: “Ok, you watched Mary Poppins one too many times when you were younger, but get to the point man!” Why are you Conservative? My answer is simple.

I am a Conservative because the party is the vehicle that – through the (preferably limited) use of government – helps bring out the best in the United Kingdom. The Conservative party, when in the hands of great leadership like Churchill, Thatcher and more often than not Cameron, helps bring out the very best in the British people.

So what do I mean by, “bring out the very best” in the United Kingdom? Isn’t this supposed to be Conservatives for Liberty not Conservatives for Government Action? Well, what I mean by “bring out the best” is a combination of factors, all compatible with liberty.

A Conservative Party that is at its best is patriotic, preserves the liberties of the people and works to ensure that the people of the United Kingdom are prosperous. I support the Conservative party because it has a record of success on all three counts.

I support the Conservative party because unlike Labour, (who I wrote in Conservative Home actually do not believe in Britain), support the United Kingdom. A Conservative party leader will always sing the national anthem. Unlike the left wing parties who are ashamed in the flag and whose councils often restrict it, the Conservative party covers its conference in Union Jacks.

Unlike the left, most of the Conservative Party understands the importance of a strong national defence, the monarchy, small but important traditions like wearing wigs (just ask Jacob Rees-Mogg), the importance of fox-hunting to the countryside, the importance of teaching patriotic British history in schools, and for most of us who are not named Kenneth Clarke, the importance of maintaining sovereignty from the European Union.

I believe, barring a miraculous Cameron “renegotiation”, that most Conservatives will campaign for Leave in order to restore complete British national sovereignty and have the United Kingdom embrace her full global potential.

I support the Conservative party because it is the best vehicle to preserve the liberties of the people. Labour are inherently totalitarian. What have they done their whole history? Taken free people and coerced them into dependence on government, whether through the dole or the just as sinister “working dependence” of tax credits that Brown introduced to have people depending on the state even when they work.

In contrast, the Conservatives fight for a higher wage, lower tax and lower welfare economy. Conservatives sold nationalised industries back to the people. Conservatives let people buy their previously state-owned homes. Conservatives want people to be free to get on in life.

Worst of all, Labour even want to censor what people can say with the law, just look at the charming Bahar Mustafa who ironically got herself arrested for the very politically-correct quasi-totalitarian system New Labour created. Labour even goes further in their sinister disregard for traditional liberties, look at the whole Levenson report. It was Labour and the Liberal Democrats who supported limiting the freedom of the press- the Conservatives who opposed and quashed the implementation of the Leveson Report recommendations into law.

Lastly, I am a Conservative because I believe the Conservative Party is the vehicle to help create the biggest amount of prosperity for the British people. Though I feel like the Chancellor’s budget was much still too “nanny-state like”, the Conservatives have produced an economic plan that has taken a country that was nearly bankrupt after not one but two Labour governments, and created economic booms, one in the 1980s, one today.

Britain is the fastest growing economy in the G7 because the Conservatives have cut taxes, including creating the lowest corporate tax rate, at 18%, in the G20. Britain is the fastest growing economy in the G7 because the Conservative government has, very uniquely to modern governments, actually cut tape. Britain is the fastest growing economy in the G7 because the Conservatives have cut welfare benefits and encouraged work to the point where the UK now has record employment with almost three quarters of Britons in work. Of course, the true answer is Britain is the fastest growing economy in the G7 because of the British people. However, the Conservative party helped bring out the best in the British people.

Now, I am sure the more purist among you reading this are fuming. You are probably thinking in your head (or out loud in screams of fury) something along the lines of “this stupid American has been duped by the Cameroons!” (Like I haven’t heard that one in my over two years of blogging on British politics).

Or you are thinking that I don’t realise Cameron is wobbly on the EU and he is going to back “in” and sack all of the “Leave” ministers. (I think the former will happen, I doubt the latter will honestly). Or you might be pointing out how the Conservatives are going to ram through anti-terror legislation that could do damage to liberties in this country.

Maybe you are howling with protest that for all the bluster the budget is still not balanced and the tax cuts for the middle and higher earners have not been cut deep and fast enough. Or maybe you think I forgot that a Conservative led government banned people from smoking in their own car with their children. Or even that I forgot about the international aid target! Ok, I agree with the aid target, (I think it’s good for “soft power”) but no, I fully appreciate your concerns.

But for those members on the right pre-ordained for sainthood who will not sully themselves with unholy Cameron oil, please consider my round-up below of why I support this Conservative Party:

I am a Conservative in 2015 because only Conservatives introduced universal credit and helped bring employment levels to record highs. Because Britain now has the lowest corporate tax rate in the G20 and the government saw that it shouldn’t run banks and the postal service, and sold Royal Mail, Lloyds, and RBS.

I am a Conservative because they will now allow people to buy their Housing Association homes, following in the footsteps of Margaret Thatcher. I am a Conservative because they gave Margaret Thatcher the funeral she deserved. I am a Conservative because they fought to preserve freedom of the press.  I am a Conservative because Michael Gove took on the teachers unions, expanded free schools and academies not run by the government, and installed a patriotic history curriculum in schools. I am a Conservative because Nicky Morgan approved a grammar school annexe after 50 years of class-based insane discrimination.

I am a Conservative because of the government is introducing a British Bill of Rights after Labour decided to hand over the responsibility of the rights of Britons to European judges, and because they are giving the British people a say on membership in the European Union.

I am a Conservative because the Conservatives are passing legislation in the trade union bill to empower the union member individual against the creepy and thieving overlords who run the unions. I am a Conservative because the government passed a fiscal charter to commit future bloated government s to living within their means in balanced budgets.

I am a Conservative because the they scrapped the 50p rate even though it was unpopular, because they are cutting tax credits even though it might be unpopular and are screpping inheritance tax for millions. The Conservative party empowered pensioners to have control of their own money. I am a Conservative because I believe Great Britain should defend itself and meet its 2% NATO target.

I am a Conservative because they repealed the criminalising “insulting” language under the Public Order Act.  I am a Conservative because after they were spit on by angry mobs by protestors they laughed it off with jokes- Labour, after being spit on, would have been proposed new legislation to curb this type of behavior!

Is the Conservative party perfect? No, far from it. But would Labour have done anything mentioned in the paragraph above? No they would not have, and think of what the state of the UK would have been in had Brown or Miliband been PM. I support Conservatives for Liberty because they work to bring out the best in the Conservative Party. I support the Conservative party because they work to bring the best out of the British people.

Ted is an attorney based in Dallas. He is a long time blogger on British politics and co-founder of the Daily Globe

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