One of the interesting contributions from the audience at yesterday evening’s People’s PPE event ‘The Trumping of the Political Class” was a statement/question that included a comment about how the Tories no longer represent conservative politics and that Jeremy Corbyn was more conservative than the Conservatives. Unfortunately it did not get the discussion it deserved from the panel; I would have been especially interested to hear Peter Oborne’s take on it. The audience member asked what could Corbyn do to attract Conservative voters, which really wasn’t addressed by the panel either.
I have mentioned before that the people that the current Tory leadership have betrayed the most are Conservative voters. The single most dominant goal of the Tories since Thatcher began her reign in the 1970s has been the transfer of public wealth to privateers and they have pursued that idolatry with an ever increasing disregard for cost or consequence. The Tories may make all the right noises, paying lip-service to conservative political values, but their actions demonstrate their willingness to sacrifice everything in the pursuit of what has become their most precious idol.
Under Thatcher and, briefly, under Major, the Tories began Britain’s trip down the rabbit hole of ‘privatisation’ and the avarice that it unleashed rented the party apart with sleaze and corruption, earning the Conservatives the moniker of the ‘Nasty Party’. I suppose it is fair to say that what was actually the period of the great decline of the Conservative party was hidden by the gaudy excess of the profiteering they ushered in, despite that sleaze and corruption. The illusion of prosperity that selling off public assets on the cheap floated a party that had already parted ways with traditional conservative politics but those who embraced the corruption were stupid enough to believe that they could fool all of the public all of the time and relied on Conservative voters continuing to find the notion of voting Labour abhorent enough that it didn’t matter by how much the Tories abandoned conservative values/politics.
The Tories struggled on past Thatcher to Major but eventually the rot was such that those with conservative political viewpoints had no choice but to abandon the Conservatives and Tony Blair’s New Labour offered enough conservatism to salve Conservative voters. However, New Labour picked up where Thatcher left off and, possibly with the best of intentions, Labour under Blair introduced the marketisation of both the NHS and Education and the damage being exacted upon them for the past six years is a testament to the legacy of the Tories move away from conservatism pre 1997 that was reignited in 2010.
The current Tory leadership pay lip service to conservative values, they make all the noises that they know their voter base need to hear but, since their reinstatement to government in 2010, the Tories have mocked Britain with their talk of their ‘Long term economic plan’. The Tories had an ideological shift under Thatcher which they never abandoned, they have no interest in ‘family values’ or work ethics and their sole focus is to act in the interests of multinational corporations who permit them to dip their noses in a small part of their trough. All that the people of Britain have worked and sacrificed for is being given away.
In response to Jeremy Corbyn’s successful election as Labour Party leader, David Cameron famously tweeted:
Yet it is the Tories who have axed tens of thousands of our police and military personnel. It is the Tories who have Massively increased both household and national debt. It is the Tories who have massively increased job insecurity with the expansion of zero hours and contractless employment. It is the Tories who are ever decreasing worker protection, in a race to the bottom of earnings in Europe. It is the Tories who have depleted the NHS to the point of collapse. It is the Tories who have depleted the capabilities of our Fire Service. It is the Tories who have created the social care crisis. All that before Cameron’s ill-conceived and unplanned for EU Referendum. Their list of crimes against the people of Britain cover every area of public and private life and the root cause is the Tory idolatry of transferring public wealth to privateers. It s ironic then that Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership has been clear about its intention to reverse this state for Britain and return Britain’s assets and wealth to serving the people of Britain.
At the heart of British conservative political thought is that the people of Britain should work in the best of interests of Britain and Britain should work in the best interest of the British people. The Tories have sold Britain out, literally stripping us of the assets that generations built, and have created a Britain that serves multinational corporations. Labour under Corbyn wishes to take Britain back from the precipice that the Tories’ self-serving avarice has dragged us to and to right the mistakes of Labour under Blair, restoring Britain’s dignity. Needless to say, those of (and for) the multinationals have been tripping over themselves to discredit Labour’s message in favour of continuing to serve playing out the endgame that began with Thatcher and is stripping Britain’s cupboards bare.