A TEENAGER’S dress sense is synonymous with lurid streaks of hair extensions, jeans strewn with missing patches, tight little tube tops with lewd slogans and Conserve in every colour imaginable. I, being a little different from most teenagers my age, have a shirt which I quite simply adore for many reasons, but one of the most significant of them is that it embraces my political beliefs – a t-shirt that reads: ‘I Kissed A Tory And I Liked It.’ Of course, wearing such a shirt invites a couple of questions but the one that provoked the most thought and precision when answering was a question I got from one of my twelve year old friends: “Abbie, why are you a Tory?” Of course, I didn’t expect a twelve year old to understand the political spectrum, but I felt the need to explain it to her regardless.
So, what am I a Tory? Why would I, given a sudden two year age boost, vote for Conservatives? Why would I wear blue and not red? During the reign of the Labour government, the amount of violent crime doubled in figures, the public services that were paid for by the hard working tax payer didn’t return its money’s worth and our economy was riddled with the bitter taste of debt. Labour assumes that when every individual is left to make decisions, it will be a wrongful decision and they adopt a distrustful philosophy to the very people who voted them in. Everything was obsessively controlled with no concept of responsibility.
On 6th December 2005, David Cameron assumed office as the leader of the Conservative Party and made a commitment to empowering people and not just parliament. In 2007, he elucidated to the things that, given the opportunity, he would set out to change, aiding the way individuals run their lives and helping Britain as a whole. He detailed a needed improvement of our National Health Service; a better quality of life; detailed investigations into the causes of crime; the support of same sex relationships, and allowing businesses to take their social responsibilities with pride.
As a Conservative, I believe in giving people responsibility which develops into them relishing opportunity. I believe in a government that doesn’t control but guides, that presents opportunities to those who withhold their responsibility for the benefit of local and national citizens alike. The idea of responsibility allows room for freedom where it was once encroached, because without having control over your affairs, it is near impossible to declare responsibility for it. The idea of opportunity pushes people to achieve all they can achieve without allowing them to forget why they were given them. Ultimately, being a Conservative means you believe in giving people more power in their lives and not relentlessly positioned by the state.
I am a strong believer in the values of family and the fact people should rely on them and not their government. A Conservative government is there to support families instead, not to dictate how they should run their lives. To a certain degree, being a Conservative means being more concerned with people and empowering them, than empowering the politics that would have controlled them in the past. They believe in the politics of families, their social responsibilities, and the opportunities they need to be valued members of society.
As with every government, there is a constant desire for lower taxes and someone who has an influential and respected say within the European Union and detailed investigations and effective programmes to decrease the crime rates. However, it is a truth no longer able to be denied that British politics revolves around society and its components. We all want a reliable health service when we need it, we want an environment that is unpolluted and benign and we want the morals of Britons to coincide with the rules imposed in society, without social breakdowns by splinter groups. Without a strong government to embed this ethos, it disfigures our country as it once did before the Conservatives came into power.
David Cameron immediately recognised the educational failure within the country, which also contributes to an excessive welfare dependency. From an educational point of view, being a Conservative means giving parents the power of choice within independent schools in the state sector that have minimum interference with regards to their disciplinal practices and an individualised budget. These are choices where not only parents have a emotional investment in the place where their children are educated but where the teachers are dedicated in creating a positive environment similar to the environment created by a Conservative parliament in the real world.
As a Conservative, I’ve always felt a sense of community is imperative and should be maintained and cherished. A town where you know your local people, shopkeepers and police officers (because they are actually out on the streets and not buried under what was formerly Labour’s targets and paperwork), gives everyone a responsibility in society and the opportunity to invest in what they believe. Community enforces support given by a Conservative government, for example, those trying to find employment are not shackled to welfare or parental dependency or poverty, and thereby, community schemes can be summoned to aid, underpinned by the idea of responsibility in schools.
Economic freedom is also part of being a Conservative; withholding consumer confidence and allowing people to confidently assert their opinions of what they are doing with their money and where it is going. Unlike with a Labour government, they are not in a locked position. Rather than solely concentrating on financial wealth and assets, Conservatives are more inclined to put effort into a person’s wellbeing, so, when put into a difficult situation such as financial struggle, it is easier to get support both from both governmental schemes and care in the community, as well as the obvious – family.
Controversial cuts have only occurred because of the financial turmoil Gordon Brown left the country in. It is predicted we owe every man, woman and child in the UK £15,178, because Labour have a habit of living beyond their means. Conservatives are therefore responsible and sensible, and rather than spend more money trying to fix things, want to reduce the debt and give power to the people who can help their country, as oppose to borrowing money from others. Given the choice, Conservatives promote opportunity and responsibility, despite the fact they have been forced to cut jobs and resources in order to prevent a deepening of financial ruin, and praise those who embrace and seize it, and find ways of reforming those who do not do so.
An ongoing fallacy that persists during the onset of every election is that the Conservatives only care about the rich. All political parties care about the rich because they have more money to put back into the economy. They earn more, which means they pay more income tax; they can afford to have more than one car, which means they pay more road tax; they can afford to take out private health insurance, which is yet more money to the government and they can afford to send their children to grammar schools where league tables are infinitely better, allowing them to go on to higher paid occupations where they too can put more money into the economy. It is not just the Conservatives who fuel that notion. Conservatives then use that money to pay for things that benefit everybody rather than Labour tying it up in endless debt and putting it where people are unsure of where it is going. Conservatives are, unfortunately, still viewed as what they were in the 1980s and that prevents some people from listening as to why cuts are happening, because they are blinded by ignorance and an outdated stereotype.
So to answer the original question briefly, I am a Tory because I have faith in people and families and believe everyone must embrace their responsibility, but equally, deserve opportunity. If you believe in all this, then you’re most likely a Conservative too, although I can’t guarantee you’ll be kissed by a Tory!