Conservatism and Capitalism

This post is coming rather late as I have been so busy writing two subject posts that have taken up quite a lot more time than I expected it to take. So I have decided to put two posts up which should make the bulk of my studies of the parties and their beliefs being that the Conservatives and Labour have had the lion’s share of power over the last 60 years. These posts are a general guide to the parties, the beliefs that they support and my own opinion of them examining my likes and dislikes about them. I’ll paste the others up here one at a time. Let’s start with the Conservatives.

Conservative Party

The Conservatives (or Tories) are a centre-right political party that supports the belief of conservatism and British unionism. Conservatism is a philosophy that promotes traditional and social institutions in the context of a culture or civilization. It differs around the world where their nature favours certain characteristics about their society, each upholding their own traditions. It’s association with right-wing politics has been used to describe a wide range of different views. In the case of the British Tories these include supporting a hierarchical society with a divine ruling monarch. The party itself was founded in 1834 when it was a faction of another party called the Whig Party. The name Tory was already in existence then as a political grouping that had been around since 1678 but were not formally a party. Eventually they broke away from the Whigs and formed their own identity going from a splinter group into a government party around William Pitt the Younger between 1783 and 1830. The first Conservative prime minister was Robert Peel in 1834. The philosophy of conservatism was founded by a number of people in the 17th century. The founding fathers of conservatism were pragmatists who helped keep the monarchist government in power in the years after the English Civil War and when that failed they created the three estate sovereignty system of power that we know today of Crowns, Lords and Commons. So power is not solely invested in the crown itself. What that means is that the Queen is the head of state but Parliament is the engine house of the government of the people and the creator of the laws of the country with a democratically elected leader and political party to work for the people. One of the founding fathers of Conservatism was Edmund Burke who had a mixture of liberalism and conservatism. An Irish man who supported the ideas of a Scottish philosopher called Adam Smith who believed in private property being liberal but economics should be subordinate to the conservative social ethic, capitalism should be subordinate to social tradition but the royals should remain the nation’s natural leaders. It’s the basis for free enterprise and economic liberalisation. Which is what the modern Conservative parties support to this day. However like all parties they have had their differences within their members. Some Tories believed in Peel’s idea of free trade and commerce whilst some sided with the Earl of Derby who favoured protectionism. The majority of them sided with Derby and a third of them split away to join the Whigs to form the Liberal Party. However despite this split the Tories decided to support free trade after all in 1852. In 1886 the Conservatives formed an alliance, but not a coalition, with the newly formed Liberal Unionist Party. This was a faction that broke away from the Liberal Party led by Joseph Chamberlain and Lord Hartington. Later in 1912 they merged together to form the full name of the party for which it is known: The Conservative and Unionist Party. Now the Tory party that anyone alive will remember will be familiar with their policies that we know them for today. So let’s get on with the modern party. Here’s what the modern Conservative Party has done for Britain since 1945:

  • Brought rationing to an end in 1953 and saw a new young queen crowned. Winston Churchill was Prime Minister again and the post war consensus began. Industries were churning out enough productivity to bring the post war austerity to an end. Harold MacMillan was quoted as saying ‘Britain has never had it so good’. They oversee a period of economic prosperity and continued the welfare state set up by Labour.
  • We were taken into the European Economic Community, forerunner of the European Union at a time of world unity, commerce and peace between European nations in the Cold War. However as the EEC grew it became an over bloated bureaucratic body that started to dictate our laws on trade, commerce, legal powers and use of tools. Something the current Tories are trying to fix.
  • The Thatcher government came into cure Britain at a time when it was ‘The Sick Man of Europe’ with wildcat strikes from unionists amidst the Winter of Discontent in 1978-79. She smashed the socialist state and focused on the philosophy of the party at the very of conservatism. This government created the modern Britain that we still flourish under today. Economic liberalism, unregulated banking, unshackled business, slashing of taxes, selling off state owned industries to the private sector, making us a nation of budding capitalists, starving the unions, liberation of the stock market, freeing the financial sector, taxation on North Sea oil, fighting off Argentina over the Falklands Islands. She was the Iron Lady.
  • John Major’s government also showed great strength in fighting off an economic recession. Like Thatcher he was also a commoner, from South London and ran the country on 3 O-Levels. He was a very common touch kind of leader. However the party was also mired in sleaze and the Pound suffered on the European Exchange Mechanism.
  • The Tories found themselves as ‘economic cleaners’ for a Labour mess when David Cameron came to power. The Tories ruled in a coalition government with the Lib Dems in 2010 and brought in an emergency budget to clean up the mess brought on by the Great Recession of 2008-9 from Labour where they tried their own hands at being a capitalist party. But they found a Britain that they inherited with debt and some unhealthy choices for Britain to cut the deficit and reform welfare.

So what we have here is a party that believes in free trade, capitalism, low taxation, free enterprise, welfare with sponsorship from privatisation, sensible public spending policies, protection of the state and traditions, international alliances, discipline and hard work in education. Now from time to time the Tories have often been seen as a bad boy party who support and favour millionaires and toffs. Well that’s not strictly true, with two part leaders from the working classes they support the lower classes as long they are willing to support free enterprise. Some working class Tory voters, such as myself, see themselves as free citizens of a country where they are often in a state of oppression. With a free market and unregulated banking we can free ourselves from the shackles of socialism. We are free to make money as we please and we can go out and really make something of ourselves.

Many Tory supporters like Charlie Mullins and Sir Terry Leahy are grateful for the progress of Thatcherism which gave them the freedom to build their business empires. Of course they may have come from poor backgrounds but if you work at it in a free market you can achieve whatever want to be. Now compare that to socialism, which believes in looking after the poor through state ownership. Socialist economies don’t go anywhere because they have no understanding of competition or progress. They just build anything for people to do even if it has no profitable function. You could have a crappy job in a factory was making crappy goods and if didn’t sell well then the government would burrow itself to debt to prop the company until the receivers came in and the workers are out destitute. With capitalism you run your own business, you make your own money and you make your name as a celebrity entrepreneur with a high standard of living. That is good value as a life and job that you can afford all the luxuries in life you want. That is why I love capitalism, it’s freedom to be rich. I’d rather have the freedom to make money and change the world than live out my life as an oppressed destitute citizen enslaved to the socialists relying on hand outs. I am currently on hand-outs right now and I hate it and I have tried hard to break away from it a number of times. I tried once when I tried to launch a writing career but sadly I couldn’t create anything sellable and so I failed. I invested in my work out of savings from my jobseekers allowance that I saved for over a year. I have never taken out a loan, I don’t burrow money and I watch my savings and avoid spending on personal items whenever I can. Later I signed off for a year when I got fed up with everyone around me treating me like an oppressed cabbage with no hope of a future. Recently I decided I’d had enough of distance learning and decided to return to full time education and sign off eventually in the end.

Do you know why despite the free market we still have unemployed in this country? Because of a lack of entrepreneurial people and job snobs. Now I come from a working class family who are typical of socialist teachings. My mum used to work in IT and then retrained as a school cook and she doesn’t like her job, but won’t try to change it because she likes the wages. My stepfather runs his scaffolding business and it is currently floundering and suffering from a lack of jobs due to the recession. He doesn’t even put enough work in to making it worthwhile. My two brothers left school without any good grades and went into the building trade with my stepfather. My sister went into the beauty and therapy trade but quit after she became allergic to the chemicals and is now retraining as a child minder. They have no passion, motivation, ambition or talent and are not the kind who go into careers in a field that they like. To them a job and the way of work is nothing more than an outgoing labour exercise with which go out to earn your keep. It’s kind of work ethic that I hate and have never followed because it doesn’t agree with me and is below my standards. However they graft excellently in their jobs. These days the jobs that we do define who we are. Employers want people with passion, skill, motivation and drive. To get into work you have to maintain a certain standards that the job and the boss requires of you. You know what can make of your life if you try! People who disagree with this are just resentful of people who succeed. It’s because of this bitter resentment towards successful people that you never get anywhere. Another reason is the lack of business savvy people. The government expects people to go out and make your own way in the world by taking advantage of the free enterprise market they created for you. If you can’t work in your area you make something happen for yourself. But sadly there is such snobbery towards this that they want something to happen to them with public assistance. A lack entrepreneurial Brits are also opening the gates to foreign investment who love making an honest life for themselves. This is why the humble corner shops and newsagents in this country are staffed by Asians and Europeans, and why so many of our companies and businesses are in foreign hands, and why so many of urban landscapes have become occupied with enterprise parks and shopping centres which are killing off the small and medium sized businesses.

When New Labour came to power they realised that the only way these problems were going to be solved was by bringing in the immigrants and increasing trade relations with the EU to set up small and medium sized businesses to employ the locals to take jobs. Sadly however it didn’t work because the bosses didn’t like the local’s attitude to work despite their calls for them to come and so they had to hire their own natives. This then led to the immigrants being used as a scapegoat for taking their jobs, which is a lazy way to blame people for their problems. It’s not a case of immigrants taking jobs, it’s a catch-22 situation. Bosses want to hire, the workers don’t like the job, those that want to work don’t have the skills and so the bosses hire foreigners. I really would like to ask my fellow citizens is having the freedom of liberties to welfare and state dependency so important that you would rather the government was responsible for work and benefits rather than accept the free enterprise that could make you richer and stronger than you’d be in a state owned industry? If you can’t work you make something happen for yourself! Now I am aware that selfish individualism is associated with capitalism but the truth is if there isn’t really any selfish individualism at all. If you lift yourself up you use your wealth to lift others. If you refuse that help then that’s your affair.

However I will not be biased in my views towards the Conservatives. I am critical of some of the policies they make that the socialists despair with too. In capitalism the right wing says that the poor have only got themselves to blame because they have no valuables in life to look after. This selfish view on the working classes is shown by their reluctance to assist the jobseekers to get into work by letting businesses dismiss them if they are not up to it. The bosses set their own rules and can choose to hire and fire for the sake of the company’s survival. However it would be fair if the boss could sympathise with the workers and encourage them to do something to make sure they keep their jobs. In my early years as a jobseeker when we had a capitalist Labour government I think that maybe if I the bosses were willing to give me a work trial then I could have got into work. However it didn’t work out because I was lacking in experience and I couldn’t get any job at all. How am I supposed to get into any kind of employment, however menial or demanding it may be, when I need work to get experience? And there again I didn’t really like the jobs that were available, so I couldn’t get their attention effectively. There wasn’t even a financial incentive for the company from the government to take on young jobseekers. The National Health Service is also another issue that the Tories are often criticised for, with the socialists citing that they are outsourcing healthcare to the private sector in certain areas. This has made people angry because it is letting private firms profit off the back of the healthcare services the government finances. The socialists want the health care sector to be free from private industry because they see it as a way to drive down the wages of healthcare workers. Even though that is true in some respects it’s actually a way to ease the demands for more money on the NHS. Don’t you think we are taking too many liberties with welfare? More on that in socialism and Labour. Another bad thing about capitalism is the cost of food and fuel. Food and drink goes up because of demands for so many essentials and the cost of making it is down to the cost of fuel, the population of the country, the infrastructure for the farms, the cost of the equipment needed to make it and the fact that we don’t really grow our own food anymore. We just buy everything from ingredients brought into the country. Privatisation has made us a nation of shoppers of foreign made goods. Some energy companies have often been accused of making more fuel but selling at a reasonably high price. This is because of ridiculous government policies in taxation for fuel and ecology needs and environmental concerns for the extraction of the gas, oil and coal. There isn’t much competition from the big six because of a Labour set price freeze where the companies can’t change the amount they make and so the energy firms are forced to sell gas they can based on the price freeze without making a bigger production output. By the time this pledge is over I hope they will be able to cut bills and think about getting the cartel of the big six to split apart to avoid anyone making a monopoly out of fuel.

One other thing that I hate about the capitalist philosophy is the effect it has had on globalisation. We live in a world with an economy where the big corporate giants are interconnected with the world. In the West we have consumer markets with services and finance and in the Far East we have the manufacturing powerhouse making goods that we buy here in the west. By outsourcing all methods of production and manufacturing to the Far East and a country where we have money to burn and to spend to excess with which we have created a profligate culture built upon debt and burrowed money. It began with the collapse of the socialist trend in Western Europe in 1978 and the death of Chairman Mao in China. Both parts of the world were in debt, stagflation and disaster from economic experiments and militant unionism. In Britain the unions had caused a nationwide strike that made Thatcher so angry that when she was swept to power a year later she set out to destroy them by privatisation and liberal banking. Meanwhile in China the country’s new leader set out to rebuild China by allowing in foreign investors to get the People’s Republic richer and stronger. With Thatcher’s call for new thinking and new ways of doing business and the Chinese opening itself up to the world the western businesses started to invest in China’s resources and newly established millionaires. The result was an economic miracle that in twenty years would see China rise to become the world’s biggest superpower and Britain would become a nation of big spenders and financial swingers. This system is what has shifted the balance of power from west to east. China used to be a rural country living in isolation with an economy based on agriculture where the average wage was no more than $20 a year. Thanks to globalisation it has now lifted almost it’s entire nation out of poverty with an economy that is responsible for making 60% of the world’s consumer goods from clothes to mobile phones. Because the Chinese Yuan is significantly weaker than the US Dollar and their raw materials and labour costs are cheaper because of state ownership that means that the goods we buy here are so cheap that the Chinese workers are earning vastly more than they did in 1978 with a minimum wage of $3’460 a year. It wasn’t all to do with cheap labour, it was also about building new commercial trade relations. Meanwhile back in Britain we are now so fortunate to have cheap goods built abroad that there are now thousands of places where we can shop for them. The easy credit boom has given us such an excessive spending culture. In fact we as consumers are expected to buy all this stuff just so that we can prop up the economy, even if we do get into debt. However it has also had an effect on our old industries. All these shopping centres, enterprise parks and flash homes are built on the sites of old factories and heavy industries. My local town centre in Romford used to have a brewery as an industrial community centrepiece before it was turned into a shopping mall. The local history museum I work in used to be part of the entrance and social club for the workers. Did you know that as our economy is based so many services it relies on consumers to spend themselves from lending and burrowing where our low wages can’t afford to buy these luxuries? I’d rather save to survive and waste my money on a fashion trend! You can’t have an economy based on consumption from the masses it’s a lethal cocktail that creates debt, job losses, suicide and when the country goes into recession the people have got no money to shop with. You do much better to look after your industrial base to protect your country and survive when the system crashes. When you have something that you can make, it be used to sell and create wealth. Germany, France, and Italy look after their manufacturing base because they didn’t have the kind of disputes the unions had with management in Britain. Had they not been so bullish then maybe we could still be making our own products without having to buy everything from abroad. We do still make stuff but our industries are largely owned by rich foreigners and the stuff we do make is mostly expensive stuff that the rich can only afford. Ordinary people are wearing the latest fashions, probably in households with no workers, made my factory workers who live on wages with which they can’t afford the luxuries that we have.

There are some other conservative principles that I support dearly. Protecting the country’s culture, traditions and everything that Britain stands for. I love my country and love my history and I feel lost without the values of Conservatism. I didn’t learn much about British history in school when New Labour were in power. I had to rely on reading in the library and seeking out popular history books from Dorling Kindersley. The Tories biggest mistake in the world stage was taking Britain into Europe in 1973. However at the time it was considered to be a good fortune at the time when socialism and unionism was fashionable. But in the years since the Tories have often been the army of the nation against the bureaucratic monster that has become as it has gradually eroded British sovereignty vetoing laws on trade, commerce and legal proceedings as if it was the democratic body of the community. Thatcher took on Europe in her first term of office and secured an annual rebate in which the money we give to Europe is automatically handed back to the UK with every pound we pay them. The rebate currently stands at 41%, it was 80% when it first started in 1984. It has helped us to stay ahead and provide enough funds to keep Britain afloat. When the European Union was formally established in 1992 at the Maastricht Treaty several members of the Tories rebelled against the treaty and some others created an opt-out from the treaty’s social provisions. John Major tried to justify in signing the treaty and these Maastricht Rebels got Labour, Lib Dems and other nationalists on side. The electorate didn’t get a vote on the matter but thanks to the majority the Tories restored confidence in the public. When they were in opposition as I remember them growing up they vocally critical of New Labour’s foreign policy and appeasement of the European Union. They were also disgusted by their endless pandering to multiculturalism, social engineering, carrying on their liberal banking ideas with little responsibility to spending and giving in to the Lisbon Treaty of 2009. I remember having my own contempt for New Labour’s attitude to British society back then and I likened it to ‘watching a drunk farmer joyriding at the wheel of a tractor who couldn’t be bothered to put the animals in the right pens’. When they came back to power they fought tooth and nail to give Britain a referendum on leaving the EU. Sadly due to a hung parliament and a coalition with the Lib Dems they have had to put that on that back burner until they win again. If we are lucky we should in 2017. I’m ready to go the poll and vote Out, Out, Out!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s