I tend towards the free market way of thinking as I believe that in a genuine free market, not skewed by heavy regulation and the influence of giant global corporations that the lives of all people are improved when competition and aspiration are the driving forces.
HOWEVER, if you read this article (see link below) you’ll see how ‘free market’ style economics are being used to make it impossible for people to earn a decent living. The same people working in those jobs don’t have the option to use the same free market tools and access to the level the playing field so that they can earn a wage and work under conditions which will make their lives bearable (or shock horror, perish the thought… even enjoyable).
If you are convinced the Tories are guaranteed to win in 2020, please read the article because there are people all over the country having their jobs destroyed by shenanigans of this kind. By 2020 it may be the case that enough has been done to shift opinion towards a Labour party which promises to implement market controls such as rent capping and increased minimum wage rates.
People could be seduced by a Labour offer, which will have a typical Labour flavour of a promise to solve the problems of the average voter. A quick fix, if you will. Conservative voices offering the usual counter-arguments warning people against measures such as rent controls or increases in minimum wage rates will have to compete with 10 years of unsuccessfully trying it the Conservative way (i.e. the Tory record in government) and if the economy does not turn a sharp corner soon, Labour could win with some very simple economically illiterate promises.
I think it would be wrong to assume this is an ideological battle between a free market Conservative party and a Leninist Labour. Ideology, even if misguided, is implicitly idealistic; and you don’t expect pure ideology to cause so much difficulty for so many citizens if fully implemented. In other words, if you were to give either the Conservatives or Labour a free run to implement their ideology, causing severe economic difficulties for citizens wouldn’t be part of the ideal vision. An ideology wouldn’t permit it.
What I see as the big issue bubbling beneath the surface is the motivation driving much of government policy and corporate activity: the idea that the workforce is under total control and paid the absolute minimum which will keep them working at the lowest possible cost or highest profit ratio for the organisation. The premise underpinning the article linked below is that no jobs have immunity from the sharp practices you’d only expect to find in the Sports Direct warehouse. The article goes on to describe how exactly the same treatment of workers is occurring at Coventry University, far removed from the minimum wage environment of the warehouse floor. The UK is being treated by global investors like a cash cow. I believe the money is being taken out of our economy and is being stockpiled in the non-domiciled bank accounts of global investors and institutions. In the past more of that wealth would have remained in the local economy making life much more comfortable for every citizen in the country. Increasing GDP per capita would right so many wrongs.
The problem with the current modus operandi is that it seems to be both unstoppable and terminal. No single individual has the strength to overcome the forces at work here, whether they be small business owners squeezed by bleeding landlords and hungry cash-strapped local authorities or politicians who successfully shift the narrative. Change is blocked by decades of legal framework and entrenched corporate behaviour which prevents the competitive element of a genuine free market from checking and balancing as necessary for it to function.
The Conservatives pride themselves in being the party with great ability to do what is necessary to win elections, (whether voters like it or not) and if they want to avoid an embarrassing defeat in 2020 they must do something which will dramatically swing the economy away from benefiting gigantic offshore global corporations and more in favour of the people whose votes they will want at the next election. They must do that or arrange for a general election soon enough to avoid a battle with a reinvigorated post-Corbyn Labour party.
The fact of the matter is that the election between term two and three for the governing party is always pivotal. Fewer governments last for three terms, more often the majority changes hands and goes to the opposition after two terms. So I offer a message to my friends in the Conservative party, ask yourselves which change is more preferable. Would you prefer a substantial change to how we structure our economy or a change to majority government by an angry far-left Labour party!