Monday, June 25, 2007

"You're an intelligent chap Ben, why do you vote Conservative?"

I posted this article a year and a day ago. Some people who read it emailed me to say it changed the way they thought about the Conservative party and indeed may join as a result, so I thought I would give it a run out again.

Here it is:

I used to get this all the time from a friend of mine, who supported Labour.

Well one night before the May 2005 general election I sat down and explained lots of areas of conservative party policy to him and another "New Labour" friend, and they all agreed the policies were good.

So I think the question says more about the person asking it than me.

I have always voted Conservative in national and local elections. During the 2005 general election I was hoping (against all the evidence) for a conservative win. I had read all the policy documents I could find, and had no problem getting people behind the policy. I then saw Tim Yeo on Newsnight talking about the environment and nuclear power. It seemed he had not read the policy document at all. This made me angry. I emailed the party to say that if they did not pull their finger out and win the election, then I would join and give them all a good kick up the A....

Well I have. I joined around the 15th of May 2005 and have since been to a few meetings.

So why a Conservative?

Well, it's all down to what you believe, and to some extent in what order of priority. I believe:

1. In the rights (and responsibilities) of the individual.
2. In The rule of law.
3. That the individual is best placed to make their own decisions.
4. That the individual has the right to make their own mistakes.
5. The right to create wealth.

I suppose the obvious question is "Why believe that?"

Well, any unit larger than the individual is made up of individuals. In law all sorts of non persons are treated as individual persons, for example a company is an individual person at law.

Given that, individuals need rights and protection from each other. A person doing work needs the right to get paid for it and the person who is paying for the work needs the right to expect it to be carried out to a good standard.

Individuals are better placed to know what they want to achieve, what makes them happy and what is for them a fulfilling life. This means giving people choices.

When making choices we make mistakes. "The man who has never made a mistake has never done anything." Furthermore what may be a mistake to you may be my deliberate choice as an adult.

I think the last point is obvious. Everyone should have the right to generate their own wealth and provide for themselves.

So what are conservative party values?

Well, on the conservative party web site there is an article titled built to last
which starts with these two paragraphs:
"Our enduring values mean we believe in trusting people, sharing responsibility, championing freedom and supporting the institutions and culture we share as one nation.

Conservatives are not ideologues. That is why in each generation we change, applying our values to new challenges."

Well it seems to me to close enough.

The next question will be why not any of the other parties, and perhaps I will post another article on that another day!

You can read the originals comments here.


youdontknowme said...

I think everyone will agree with those 5 points. It's difficult not to.

Benedict White said...

youdontknowme, You might think that, but in practice Labour tend to fram policy in such a way as to show they don't.