Up until the last few weeks of the General Election, you couldn’t have dreamt that a hung parliament would ensue. We all woke up on the morning of the 9th June seeing just that.
The evidence is clear the voters showed the same amount of contempt as they did against Ed Milliband two years ago. They couldn’t elect someone being indecisive, having a lack of personality and having little idea of what changes they will make to the country. Very few of us would have thought this could be someone other than Jeremy Corbyn.
Almost everything that was written about the Labour leader seemed to be aimed at the wrong person. The mainstream media, Journalists and even her own MPs have gone on an all-out assault against the Prime Minister, and to a large extent, they are right. A YouGov poll published in March this year showed that the public overwhelmingly thought that the Leader had a cold personality and was out of touch with the concerns of ordinary working people. Decisions such as not attending the live TV debate poured petrol on to the fire. However, they are missing the bigger picture.
As mentioned before the voters haven’t had a clear understanding of what the Conservatives stand for anymore. David Cameron was praised for bringing the party to the centre, but this short term gain has proven not to last for long, the younger electorate mainly prefers to vote for ideology over pragmatism. With Labour moving further away from the centre while adopting hardline leftist figures such as Jeremy Corbyn give the voters a clear vision to vote for.
I am no fan of Jeremy Corbyn, but the campaign conducted by his leadership had a purpose. The country needed to change. The society we live in according to Corbyn was “grotesquely unequal”, and it requires radical reform. This message was unarguably more attractive than the dull campaign of “strong and stable Governance’. Is there any wonder how Corbyn managed to get the highest increase in the share of the vote since 1945?
The Tories have become a party built on populism and pragmatism rather than a party striving to protect rights, lower taxes and allowing a free market to flourish. We are a party that continues to pour billions on public healthcare, a party that forces companies to have worker representation on boards and a party that vows to increase the minimum wage. It is a party more Blairite than Thatcherite. The reason for this is clear. Us on the right have failed to spread the message of Conservatism and have resorted to becoming a centre-left party. This failure has made hard left policies such as disposing of Trident, higher taxes and introducing the idea of a maximum wage palatable to the electorate.
There is no better example than the minimum wage argument. After Corbyn announced plans in March to increase the minimum wage to £10 an hour, the response couldn’t have been less Conservative if they wanted it to be. Instead of saying that this would ruin small businesses, increase the prices of fuel, food and rent. Instead of arguing that every employment contract is a consensual agreement between two parties and that no one is forced into signing one. The “Conservatives” vowed to increase the minimum wage to £8.75 an hour by 2020. We on the right are too afraid of the political implications of introducing anything other than an increase. Allowing the left any room or credibility never mind actively implementing their policies is a dangerous game and one which we are wholeheartedly losing.
If you choose victory over principle, you end up with neither. The chickens are coming home to roost, but this election should be a kick that we all needed. We should take some lessons from the left but instead of having the mentality of “if we can’t beat them we’ll join them” is to argue as they do in the language of morality. It is your own responsibility to make a good life for yourself, not the Government; you should never expect anything or have a right to anything, you have to work hard and earn it. The Government’s role is not to provide it is to get out of your way. This simple change in rhetoric will not only appeal to the voter base, but God willing put an end to socialism but this time for good.