In the run-up to Roar News’ General Election debate on 28/11/19, Roar News have asked the three political societies involved to submit an article pitching to students why you should lend them their vote. This article was submitted by the KCL Conservative Association.
For decades, voting in a general election was a rather banal and unexciting prospect. One tended to have one’s own party preferences founded in family tradition, personal experience, and regional political preferences. Voting for a particular party was a well rehearsed quadrennial national tradition when Scotland and Wales went red, England was split mostly between a wave of red in the north and a sea of blue in the south with the floating voters of the day tending to decide the outcome for that year. This general election is different, it is existential and will determine the fate of the country for decades to come. It will decide whether or not we leave the European Union, whether or not we reunite as a nation, and fundamentally what sort of country we want to be in relation to the rest of the world. Nowhere in the world is that choice so stark and so clearly in the hands of the people and their democratic will. Voting is not a choice this time, it is a duty.
The central issue of this election is whether or not we leave the European Union. It is why we are having this election in the first place. On this issue, it is the clarity and optimism which drives Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party. No longer is the bone of contention whether or not we actually leave, but how best to do so in an orderly fashion which maximises Britain’s potential as an independent nation, free from European economic, political, and diplomatic constraints. A Brexit which is not inwards looking, focusing on narrow national concerns, but which is broad and open minded to the vast array of opportunities throughout the rest of the world. The Prime Minister is committed to this vision that is truly internationalist while at the same time committed to British interests. This is an exciting national venture which must not be squandered by the vacillating indecision of a divided, nebulous, and narrow minded Labour Party.
There is a very good reason why the Conservative Party is best placed to take Britain into the sunlit uplands of her post Brexit destiny. The Conservative Governments have presided over gradual economic rehabilitation through fiscal consolidation which will enable the next government to invest in education, healthcare, and the police force. When, in 2010, the coalition government came to power the Labour Party left a budget deficit of £103 billion, and at the end of March 2019 the Conservative party transformed the deficit into a surplus of £19 billion. This was not an easy task and one which many people in this country did not like. But an unwavering commitment to the overall health of the national economy has paid dividends today. At the same time public services were being cut, the government continued to invest in employment. At the time of the election in May 2010 the rate of unemployment was 7.8%. Under the Conservative Party it is now 3.8%. The Conservative Party is resolute in its defence of national prosperity and the happiness and welfare of the people of Britain.
The Labour Party cannot make the same claim. It takes only a cursory look at the Labour Party’s manifesto to discover that far from being a manifesto for hope, it is one of Revolution. A commitment to at least an £83 billion spending spree fuelled by tax hikes of 50% for earners over £125,000 and 45% for earners from £80,000 to £125,000 and a reversal of the inheritance tax cut is an unrepentant attack on wealth creation, prosperity, and ambition. It would seem that the Labour Party’s, admittedly admirable, commitment to ameliorating Britain’s social malaise is an ill thought out drive to spend spend spend, without a thought to where the money might come from, beyond higher taxation, and what adverse impacts the wider market economy would sustain as a consequence. This is socialism red in tooth and claw, an unyielding attack on the British economy, the British state, and wealth of her people.
It is the strength of the economy, a legacy of successive Conservative Chancellors of the Exchequer which, will enable Britain to expand further her horizons and ambitions. The Prime Minister committed as Foreign Secretary to establish as his ethos, a ‘Global Britain’, with the Commonwealth at its core. By re-establishing trading, cultural, security, and social ties with nations beyond Europe, Britain will have the opportunity to establish real and lasting ties with her natural friends, partners, and allies. Allies who share our commitment to independent sovereign democracy, free trade, and the rule of law. All of this can be accomplished without losing sight of our European friends, something that a Conservative Government will not do. Britain will always be a part of Europe.
The case put forward by the Conservative Party at this election is one of hope and optimism for the future of this country. One which is investing in its future, looking after its citizens, and pursuing its interests abroad. It is also one which respects democracy and will deliver on the promise of a referendum to leave the European Union. In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher choose as her preference for the motif Conservative Party ‘The Torch of Freedom’, I hope that at this election the electorate put their faith in this torch and the values it represents and Vote Conservative.
This post was written and submitted by Keval Nathwani from the KCL Conservative Association.