Sunday, November 17, 2019
Home News Reader's Comment of the Day: The Conservatives ceased being conservative long ago

Reader’s Comment of the Day: The Conservatives ceased being conservative long ago

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In response to Jago Pearson: Pomposity and entitlement. Why the Tories can’t win, Alan R wrote:

I disagree with this (except ‘Step two’ of the solution). 

My own reasons for becoming very suspicious of the Tories are entirely rooted in policy. Specifically, enacting policy which runs counter to conservative principles but which benefits some swing voter demographic or business interests, and to add insult to injury, attempting to put a conservative veneer on said policies as a means of validating it. It is pathetic to watch, and unfortunately is causing my family and I increasing amounts of stress.

I am under 40, am married, have an infant child. I have the quaint notion that the dignity of a financially independent life is the essential ingredient from which a stable platform to build and grow a family can be achieved. Solid small ‘c’ conservatism, I’d venture. Our largest expenditure, by a large margin, is housing. Our housing costs are roughly £10,000 per annum, this is for a 4 bed semi in a fairly modest part of the NW. To give some perspective, combining council tax, bills and running our commuting car for 12,000 miles per annum comes to under £6k by comparison.

Since the Conservatives took office, they have shifted position from one of criticism of Labour’s housing bubble, to one of denial, to finally one whereby they are pumping one of their own, via various subsidies (Help to Buy & allowing buy to let financing via the business stream of ‘Funding For Lending’) under the guise of helping people into home ownership. The predictable result is that housing costs have risen further, people are more dependent on inheritances, and crucially, opportunities and aspiration are eroded. As sure as night follows day this is counter to conservatism as I understand it.

And of course, those of us who are unable/unwilling to buy into this obvious car crash in the making, are left to the vagaries of the private rented sector instead. We can be removed from our family home at 2 months’ notice with no recourse whatsoever at the end of the contract term, yet Conservatives make great noises about the importance of a stable family home when asked. They filibustered the opportunity for sensible reforms to the sector to give families more stability.

The last thing I need is ‘wow factor’ leaders, or ‘brand’. What I need is a government who are prepared to act in the National Interest and recognise the obvious economic virtue of driving down unavoidable costs be they housing or any other parasitic drag on independent living. I don’t want to be dependent on a suite of benefits to pretend that I’m an independent person. Ludicrously, having a top 20 per cent income just allows us this personal freedom, but we run an 18 year old car and live carefully.

The current Conservative Party is a throwback to a rentier economy and the only thing that will persuade me otherwise are solid policy actions to the contrary.

Of course this leaves me rather stranded come May, in terms of who to vote for. Won’t touch Labour; Lib Dems a joke obviously. My sitting MP’s majority is in the hundreds, not thousands. Lab-Con marginal.

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