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Laura Perrins: Dave’s vision of cradle to the grave conservatism is not for me


If you ever want a conservative government again, do not vote Conservative.

I have woken up two nights in a row thinking about who on earth I will vote for at the election. My three-month-old baby snoozes on beside me, yet I am the one awake at 4 am. Go figure.

I have pondered, what is best for my family? What is best for the common good? Are these two at odds with each other? Should I perhaps even vote for the Liberal Democrats whom I dislike intensely at a national level?   The Lib Dem councillor who is standing for MP has done an excellent job for us locally? I am in anguish.

Then came the Conservative manifesto and an asinine campaign ad. It hit me – if I ever, ever want a conservative government again, I cannot vote Tory.

The Tory hierarchy (I am not talking about the backbenchers) are progressives and have pursued a relentlessly progressive agenda. If they succeed, the agenda will get ever more progressive to the misery and destruction of the country.

I am not even talking about socially progressive – Britain is socially progressive so I guess there must be give and take here. Let’s park gay marriage; let’s park the anti-marriage tax system.

On every issue that counts, the Tories are not just right of centre, but deeply, deeply progressive. I do not want to spend my life choosing between Labour and the liberal Conservatives. I want a choice.

The Conservatives are progressive because they have not even attempted to change the terms of the debate on how to reform institutions for the common good of the country. Instead, and this how we know they are progressive, they have entered into a bidding war with Labour as to how much money we can throw at a defunct and broken system.

Take the biggest drain, the NHS. The Conservatives need to say, even if it means losing the election, that it is no longer sustainable in its current form. Last week there were reports of an A and E department under such pressure and in such a meltdown that a woman was left to endure her miscarriage in the corridor and people were having heart attacks in waiting ambulances.

The doctors had to implement a triage system most commonly found in third world countries. This is not compassion, this is not humane and this cannot go on. Throwing more money at the system will not solve the problem and neither will a bidding war.

The second most prominent bidding war is on childcare. I have written how this is an odious, odious policy. It does not even make economic sense. Ryan Bourne of the Institute of Economic Affairs has written time and again on pro-market solutions to expensive childcare (for those who want or need it) but has been comprehensively ignored.

I cannot think of anything more progressive than the State looking after three-year-olds for 30 hours a week but this is now Conservative policy flogged on the doorsteps like Del Boy would a dodgy Rolex.

Then we have education. There have been some improvements led by  Michael Gove, but he was fired. Nicky Morgan is completely useless and any reform is likely to be stalled. Chris McGovern has explained again why a bidding war in education will not necessarily drive up standards but the conservatives persist.

When was the last time you heard Cameron even utter the word liberty? When did George Osborne last speak of freedom? When did either of them last tell you that the State needs to be limited so it does not crush civil or family life?

Instead, Cameron told us, with no sense of irony, “we have a plan for every stage of your life”. Just think about that, contemplate it at four in the morning.

As others have noted, this should strike fear in the heart of any conservative and is very, very similar to a now much derided Life of Julia graphic put out by, the progressive party in US, the Democrats.

Finally, there is this advertisement by the Conservatives. In this shameless, shameless pitch, featuring parents speaking about their hopes and dreams for their children, on at least three separate occasions the parents say they ‘do not want their kids to have any worries.’

The first point to note is how these toddlers are all actually with their parents either feeding the ducks, pottering around the house and generally chilling out. Quite ironic don’t you think when Dave and George believe they would be better off in all-day nursery five days a week. It is just galling.

But more than this, is this idea that government, the State, can put in place policies that will mean the children will not just be without struggle, but be without any worries. What, ever? Even when they are adults? Are we serious? Pass the soma, why don’t you?

You might think this is small fry – but it isn’t. It reveals the mindset at the top. The mindset of a group of people who are power-hungry megalomaniacs who think government can – literally – solve all our ‘worries’. Soon Dave will tell us, perhaps while dressed in white, that he will wipe away all the tears from our eyes and there will be no more death.

This is not what government can or should ever strive to do. It is communist nonsense.

Tim Montgomerie made a pitch last week for the Ukippers to vote Tory. Do you really hate David Cameron more than you love your country, he questioned.

The problem is, they do not love the country that Dave wants the UK to be. Not because they are all racist (I am sure they are in there) or homophobic (a fair few there also) but because Dave is a progressive. If he is anointed PM again, that is it forever. We will never have a small state Conservative party again. It is a life sentence we will all have to endure.

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