Guest contributor Serena Lit responds to an earlier analysis of the recent KCLCA election of Charles Amos as incumbent society president.
The King’s College London Conservative Association’s (KCLCA) election of former UKIP poster boy Charles Amos as their President has understandably caused quite a stir.
However, the backlash has not been on account of his former political affiliation. The Conservative party is a broad church, and it is no secret that some members with strong views on leaving the European Union have previously joined UKIP in order to lobby for this goal. There is nothing wrong with this. Backlash over this particular appointment has instead been the result of Amos’ personal beliefs, including but not limited to those expressed in his recent statements.
In an article for The Mallard, Amos stated, “I fully accept that allowing for freedom will result in more death; this is the price that must be paid for liberty and justice,” and that “Minimising coronavirus’ death toll cannot be the ultimate and overriding aim of public policy.” Amos has also made several comments regarding feminism and issues of gender, stating in a Facebook post that “The ban on gender stereotyping in advertising is an absolute disgrace!”. He has also recently stated that “feminism needs bashing”, referring specifically to Third Wave feminism.
Amos has since gone on record to state that these views are his own, not those of the KCLCA, and I believe such a statement should end the issue. Members cannot be expected to agree with or even know every single belief their President holds. In this case, Amos’ views largely became known after his election, and whether members now decide to remove him on account of them is an internal society matter. I am not writing this piece to criticise the KCLCA. Though it may be called an Association, the KCLCA is a student society and therefore not a formal part of the Conservative party. While we may shake our heads at their choice of leader, I would challenge any and all suggestion by contributors to Roar News and other outlets that these opinions are either endorsed by or widely held within the Conservative party.
I take particular issue with Manon Powrie’s suggestion that Amos’ views on COVID-19 are a “shining example of modern conservatism”. She argues it is our Conservative government’s fault that the NHS lack PPE and ventilators to cope with the crisis; I argue equipment would have been built and supplied much earlier had China benefited from a free press, and had the earliest reports of the virus not been stifled by its Communist government. She argues Amos’ views reveal Conservative apathy to the realities of working people shouldering the crisis; I argue Conservatives recognise that those from lower-income backgrounds will be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and are trying to offset these structural imbalances via new policy. Powrie states Amos’ pledge to host more black-tie events celebrates exploitation under capitalist society; I think that sounds like a much better time than drinking with champagne socialists.
Most Conservatives believe the NHS should be free at the point of use, receive greater funding and not be treated as a for-profit entity. Most Conservatives believe women should have total economic and social equality to men. Most Conservatives spend less time on black-tie dinners and more on volunteer activism; that is how we won the last general election, after all. It is important that a clear distinction is made between a student society with Conservative in the name, and the views of the wider Conservative party.
If you take issue with anything Charles Amos has said, reserve your criticism for the KCLCA, not my party.