No, my forefathers did not die for this. That is, for me to choose between two buffoons, both of whom head parties which will do anything to pick up votes, other than represent their traditional voters.
I sat in despair as I rather reluctantly forced myself to watch all the recent “leaders’” “debates”. The standard of actual debate in these was abysmal, largely because – beyond Brexit – the parties are not adversarial, as they should be. Instead, they stand for the same nonsense principles: egalitarian education; responsive rather than proactive policing; openness to mass immigration; and a preference of modern, liberal values over family-focussed, more traditional values.
The Labour Party, I am told, must be stopped by all means, regardless of the state of the Conservative Party. I disagree. The problem of anti-Semitism has certainly been exaggerated by the Conservative Party, which will wilfully drive any smear campaign in order to pick up a few votes – just as the problem of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party has been exaggerated by Labour for the same reason. Whilst I disagree with Jeremy Corbyn on almost everything, his record on anti-racist measures prevents me from believing he is ragingly anti-Jewish. Likewise, I may disagree with Mr. Corbyn’s plan for the economy, but I don’t find Mr. Johnson’s particularly appealing. In all other areas, the two parties offer the same hopeless, liberal policies, all of which should be rejected by conservatives (especially those of a more traditionalist ilk).
Let’s take the policy areas I mentioned above.
On education, both wish to keep the comprehensive system intact, despite it being a demonstrable failure (read more on this here). A true conservative would do all that he could to bring back the system which does most to help poor, clever children reach their educational potentials – the grammar school system. Mr. Johnson is no such thing.
On policing, the Conservative Party has tried to present itself as ‘tough’ and proactive. This is phoney. The promise, for example, of 20,000 more police is useless, if these are not on the streets – and they won’t be, since the ‘beat’ system was abolished by Labour in the late 1960s, with little-to-no opposition from the Conservative Party at the time. We actually have more police per head of population today than we ever did when the beat system was properly pursued. As such, it matters not how many police we have per se – rather, it matters what they are doing. They should be walking the streets and preventing crime, not sitting in offices or driving to crime scenes in cars, when it is already too late. I have written more on this here. Other measures promised by the Conservatives, such as the increase of ‘stop and search’ powers, will do more to lessen the liberty of the people and should be avoided at all costs.
On immigration, it should first be highlighted that a ‘points-based system’ which Mr. Johnson wishes to implement does not necessarily mean immigration figures will fall (as a large proportion of the population would support). That the prime minister promises this will happen should not fill us with much hope. Conservatives have always promised to lower immigration, since they know this is a vote winner – but the opposite has almost always happened. In any case, Boris is an open social-liberal who has previously dismissed voters for ‘moaning’ about the increase of immigration under Labour. I would take all his promises – especially on issues such as these – with a few handfuls of salt.
Talking of social liberalism, why does anybody believe that Mr. Johnson – a man who will not (and perhaps cannot) even reveal how many children he has – will do any more for traditional, family-based values than Labour would? I found it interesting that he, and other Conservatives, responded to Labour’s plan to ditch the Married Persons Allowance in its typical amoral, neo-liberal style by highlighting the fact this would make individuals slightly less financially well-off – absolutely no mention here of the fact that this aims to further weaken the almost completely desecrated institution of marriage. That this went over the head of the “Conservative” Mr. Johnson is revealing of his dedication to conservatism.
I may, for some time, have understood why a social conservative would choose to vote for the Brexit Party, as a number of my friends will be doing. Not, however, since the release of their ‘Contract with the People’, which explains how the party hopes to ‘change politics for good’. There are certainly many problems with our political system but the House of Lords – a stronghold of rational and calm debate, in stark contrast to the inferior and more petulant house – is not one. Neither is the ‘first past the post’ voting system – the only system which enables the public to completely vote out a dead political party in an election. The proposal for referenda to become more common is also ludicrous. The last one was – and, indeed, still is – such a mess; why on earth would we want any more? So, whilst I share the Brexit Party’s desire to ‘change politics’, their blueprint for doing so is not, for me, ‘for good’.
I end with another phrase uttered so commonly to those – like myself – who refuse to vote for all of the above: ‘if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain when the government starts doing wrong’. This should surely win the stupid saying of the year award: those who vote time and time again for the parties which, already having done wrong, do nothing but further prove their incompetence and inability to listen to their voters are the ones who should be more wary of complaints in the future. Don’t allow the parties to keep doing this. If you really must vote, I suggest you put a large cross over all the parties written on your ballot paper.
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