As a young person whose political allegiances lie with the Conservatives I have received a lot of abuse. The most common accusations and comments I’ve received are usually along the lines of calling me rich and selfish. Personal insults have also been thrown, however, in my eyes these do not hold any sort of standing as they are not political arguments and are instead attacks on me for daring to hold a different opinion. It’s often too difficult to respond with short answers as the reasons I identify as a Conservative are too long and complex to be broken down into small responses.
Before I start I’m going to state categorically – I don’t hate the poor or the disabled and I would not describe myself as selfish (except in terms of food, I’m sure most of my friends including the ones who hold different political opinions would back me up on this).
I’ll also state that this post isn’t a way for me to try and force my opinions on anybody else, this is simply a post in which I explain my opinions and hopefully those that disagree will be able to understand why I shall be voting Conservative.
It’s also important in any functioning democracy for everyone to hold slightly or completely different opinions, values and political ideologies. I welcome different opinions and learning about different political ideologies. This is how we hold whoever is in government to account and aim to create a better society for everyone.
My core values are small government, low taxes, low welfare and greater personal responsibility. Although not all of these align completely with the Conservatives (especially under Theresa May) it is definitely the party I align with and believe in the most.
To me the Conservative party is about aspiration, I believe that anyone anywhere with the right mindset and hard work can achieve. Obviously that’s not the case for everyone and those people should be given our support. However, I know so many people who have come from disadvantaged backgrounds and have used that as motivation to take control of their own future and achieve. The image below is one of my favourite campaign posters.
I don’t hate the poor, I grew up in a working class household where my mum who was single at the time struggled to support us. After working hard to get a promotion at work (she works in the public sector) things began to improve and improved even more when she married my stepdad as obviously two wages are better than one. I accept that things don’t always happen that way, some people work their arses off and struggle to make ends meet and that is wrong.
I have lived in a poor environment, a well off environment and now in a poor environment again. I don’t put that down to the government. I put that down to poor budgeting and sometimes these things happen.
As soon as I was 16 my parents told me that if I didn’t get a job they would not fund anything and would not buy me anything, they expected me to earn money if I wanted nice things and as I worked they did not mind subsidising things I was unable to afford. If I wanted anything I had to work for it. I am so grateful that my parents instilled these values into me.
I vehemently disagree with individuals being handed out benefits by the dozen, I disagree with a large welfare state. A fellow Conservative described the philosophy with a succinct phrase – “Hand up, not hand out”. In my opinion it’s wrong that people that sit at home all day scrounging off the state can actually earn more than those people who work. I agree that the Conservatives have made mistakes; cutting disability benefits being one of those mistakes. Those who genuinely can’t work should be given help and support, they are vulnerable and must be looked after. Those who can work and choose not to should not receive any financial support, people who work hard should not fund the lives of those who can’t be arsed. A large welfare state encourages failure, plenty of people do not see the value in working because they can (I’m not going to use the word earn because they don’t EARN their money) receive more money by not working. The Conservative party (although they make mistakes) acknowledge this, hence why they reduced the benefits cap down to £23K in London and £20K elsewhere. I agree that mistakes have been made that will impact the most vulnerable in our society and those decisions were wrong. But I would also like to add that several people have stated that they received the help they need because of a Conservative government, not in spite of it. However, to me the Labour party increases the welfare state, it keeps those who are poor poor and encourages the mindset that everyone else is to blame. As I stated above the Conservative party to me and pretty much every other Conservative member is the party of aspiration. We take responsibility for ourselves, I recognise that I’m the only one who can take control and improve my life.
Another reason why I support the Conservatives is that they are (mainly, not always and when they’re not it pisses me off) the party of low taxes. They believe that working people should take home more of what they earn and hand less over to the state. I believe in keeping taxes as low as possible. A high-tax state (if of course the tax is too high) usually results in people leaving the country and gives people more of an incentive to avoid/evade tax (obviously regardless of the tax rate some people will still attempt to do this but you get my point).
A Conservative led government increased the personal allowance from £6,475 to £11,500, hundreds of thousands if not millions of people have been taken out of paying income tax all together. As of 2015 this meant that 26 million people are now keeping more of their own money. David Cameron actually proposed (I’m not quite sure if it has been implemented because of his resignation and other external factors) to raise it further meaning that those working 30 hours a week on minimum wage pay no income tax at all.
I disagree with increasing taxes on the rich, to me it seems bizarre that we should be punishing people who have worked hard and earn more. Most people that are earning large wages have not simply walked into that role, they’ve worked extremely hard and therefore should not be punished for simply earning more. It punishes aspiration. Yes a lot of people on low incomes work hard as well and that links to my point above. The rich are already paying their fair share. More than a quarter of income tax is paid by the top 1% of earners, and 90% of income tax is paid by the top 50% of earners. I cannot understand the mindset of people thinking they are actually entitled to other peoples money.
Next, I believe in free market capitalism. This involves the laws and forces of supply and demand being free from intervention of the government. It is a result of recognising a need, followed by the need being met. I believe the less government intervention, the more free we all are – “The freer the market, the freer the people”.
This leads me onto my next point, I abhor Socialism. I cannot even begin to describe just how much I disagree with it. I profusely disagree with handing more power over to government. I have a lot of strong opinions and views on Socialism and why I disagree with it etc but that is for another post.
I also believe that the greatest solution to poverty and maintaining public services is a strong economy. The Conservative party helps to encourage investment into the country by reducing corporation tax from 28% in 2010 to 17% by 2020. In the current uncertain climate after Brexit we must provide businesses with an incentive to invest in our country to ensure the highest chances of economic success.
To sum up, I believe that the Conservative party is the party of aspiration, it encourages success. It helps our country to have a strong economy. It allows us to be patriotic and also traditional in some areas whilst also being progressive where needed. I am more than willing to acknowledge the government’s failures and mistakes. It is inevitable that every government will make mistakes, and that is the beauty of democracy; if the government pisses us off we can simply get rid of them at the next election.
I know a lot of points were missed out and over simplified but I know already that this is a very long post and I feel as though I have rambled on enough and people get the idea. I may write another post in the future regarding some of the missed issues but for now I feel that this is enough.
I’ll add one of my favourite quotes below…
“YOU CANNOT LEGISLATE THE POOR INTO PROSPERITY BY LEGISLATING THE WEALTHY OUT OF PROSPERITY. WHAT ONE PERSON RECEIVES WITHOUT WORKING FOR ANOTHER PERSON MUST WORK FOR WITHOUT RECEIVING. THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT GIVE TO ANYBODY ANYTHING THAT THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT FIRST TAKE FROM SOMEBODY ELSE. WHEN HALF OF THE PEOPLE GET THE IDEA THAT THEY DO NOT HAVE TO WORK BECAUSE THE OTHER HALF IS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF THEM AND WHEN THE OTHER HALF GETS THE IDEA THAT IT DOES NO GOOD TO WORK BECAUSE SOMEBODY ELSE IS GOING TO GET WHAT THEY WORK FOR THAT MY DEAR FRIEND IS THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF ANY NATION. YOU CANNOT MULTIPLY WEALTH BY DIVIDING IT.” – ADRIAN ROGERS
This post was originally published by the author on her personal blog: https://politicalemily.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/why-im-voting-conservative/