Why do people vote Conservative?
Since the General election in June, one question still plagues me. Why do people vote Conservative?
I’m sure there are many reasons why but it does stump me and I’m not inclined to settle that they are either morons or the privileged few that want to protect their financial investments.
I can almost understand why the ‘haves’ vote Tory, they have everything they want but they want to keep having it and even gain more of it and the people that help them to do this, often at the expense of others is the Conservative party.
When you consider that The Conservatives introduced council tax, reduced the powers of trade unions, which in turn helped to bring a decline in wages, reduce services whilst decreasing corporation taxes, so the rich pay less.
They subsidise absurd amounts of money into multi-billion making businesses such as the oil trade, whilst they cut subsidisation for renewable energy that would not only be cheaper to run than fossil fuel energy providers but also cheaper for the consumers, with the added bonus of making our air cleaner to breathe.
The bedroom tax that affects many of the poorest and most vulnerable in society, whilst there is a housing shortage to boot! If that is not scandalous cruelty, I don’t know what is.
Outrageous hikes to tuition fees and scrapping nurse’s bursaries, openly taxing the aspiration of our youth.
These are just some of the ways in which the Conservative government hammer the lives of the average person.
Bearing the above in mind, why do the ‘have nots’ vote Conservative?
I recently read a twitter post by an ex Tory advertising employee who described how the working class are duped into voting for the Conservatives and the answer he gave was simply their aspiration to one day be wealthy.
It is such an ingenuous answer, one that I hadn’t ever contemplated, I merely thought it was politics of fear working its cruel magic.
Aspiration, of course, that’s why when you speak to working class conservative voters and say but what about tax evading corporations costing us £36 billion a year or extravagant banker bonuses or unfair executive pay and tax havens? They shrug it off like its meaningless because what they are thinking is one day I might be rich and I’d use a tax haven so that I can keep more of my money safe from tax.
This might seem selfish but for the average working person, taxes cripple them. I remember in my very early twenties, fresh out of University with my own privately rented flat and an annual £12k salary, things were okay, I could cope and then the rug was pulled from under me. My tax-free allowance came to an end and suddenly I couldn’t pay all my bills.
I visited the tax office and asked why my tax had increased and yet as the lady gave me the explanation I remember feeling foolish as my eyes welled up with tears of disappointment.
This is what many working people face, working almost all the time they have, facing a crippling tax from their monthly wages so that they cannot make ends meet or afford things they want. So of course, they relish the fantasy of not having to pay their taxes even if they were comfortable enough to pay them without compromising their standard of living.
This same aspiration plagued my childhood, we were a two-parent working family of four living in a one bedroom flat, yet I always remember hearing one day we’ll win the lottery and we can buy that big house on the corner with the tree house, even the times a lottery ticket hadn’t been bought but somehow, some day we were going to be millionaires.
This aspiration is what drives many of us and it isn’t a bad thing but it can’t go unchecked if it is potentially destroying your chances of living a more comfortable life in the present, whilst a political party runs rife with policies that do not benefit you and others like you.
Prior to the election, I was speaking to my Father on the phone, now I obviously was voting Labour and I said as much to my Dad, he said something along the lines of political parties are all the same, you may as well vote for the looniest crazy party you can.
Now I am one of those most annoying creatures that approach political arguments from a view of reasonableness, so I didn’t take offence but I merely said well I think that could be detrimental. I used my young brother as an example of Conservative policies gone wrong and how Labour had the potential of improving his life, this included zero-hour contracts, minimum wage, free adult education and perhaps other items and for perhaps the first time in my life that I can remember my Dad was silent as I spoke, he didn’t interrupt, he was listening to me and when I finished he was quiet, I could almost hear the cogs turning. I’d made him think. That’s exactly what we need to do with working class Conservative voters.
We can’t name call or insult the people that disagree with us much as you might want to because we are so passionate about our cause. Instead, we need to show that passion and pass it on by making them think. Making them realise that they have the power to change their present and this can’t be achieved by making them feel stupid. We have to show them that they have the democratic right to change support for a party so if their fantasy ever comes to fruition and they become rich shareholders or ruthless business owners they can change their views and switch parties to suit their needs if they so choose.
I’ve always approached Conservative supporters/voters with reason and the ability to be open minded and if through the discussion I learn something I didn’t know I’ll thank them for informing me of something I wasn’t aware of. Name calling invites a degradation to the discussion and dismisses debate before it has had a chance to produce any fruits.
I’ve seen nastiness and absolute lunacy emanating from both the left and right supporters and it is barmy. I can’t say I’m a fan of Conservative supporters/voters but I can hold my hand on my heart and say I have learned new information that I felt has merit from my discussions. I hold my hands up and say that some just cannot be helped and there is no talking to them but I also feel the same way about some of us lefties and ashamedly have entertained the thought in my head, I can understand how the nickname ‘loony left’ came about. People are sometimes driven to extremism, whatever their views may be and it can sometimes cloud their judgement, we should all be aiming for balance and an open mind to try to understand each-other and events around us.
Aspiration won’t be the only reason that working class vote Conservative, politics of fear has a strong foothold on many and the thought that the conservatives will be strong on immigration or terrorism is a common misconception too.
Telling these people that an end to free movement would be a reluctant step by the Conservatives because it would mean that a cheap work force that many Conservatives and their corporation mates enjoy exploiting would come to an end. That and their foreign policy of almost ensuring there is a war at least somewhere in the world so that we can supply weapons to them is far too profitable for us to change the policy and improve the safety from terrorist threats.
One of the many ways we can win the next election is by talking to people, finding those conservative voters and finding out why they vote Conservative and trying to use facts to change their minds. Shutting them down with insults will never bring anyone over to our way of thinking.