The Homeless Liberals

I’m a liberal – free markets make for free people, the cycle reinforces itself with free people demanding further freedoms.

There is no political home for me in the UK – the Liberal Democrats are liberal in the loosest possible sense, but are not democratic and cannot hope to represent me. Labour are led by a man who wanted the IRA to win, who glorifies terrorism, and who takes money from Iran. UKIP are dead and have in the last five years gone from a party of fun if occasionally embarrassingĀ semi-libertarians to the racist demagogues they became in order to win a few extra votes.

The Tories – ah the Tories – I’m a member of the Tory party. I will vote Tory in the coming election. But I am not a fan of Theresa May – her authoritarian instincts, her anti-market manifesto, and the continued ignoring of the importance of the deficit makes a mockery of the history of the party pro-market and pro-freedom.

It is not the place of government to inspire the country, to have a mission for the country. But a party should have an inspiring vision that drives it’s plan in government. There’s nothing wrong with having an ideology. With knowing where you want the government to go. With knowing that your plans are right and deserve to be implemented.

Under the strong and stable leadership of Theresa May, there will be no ideological crusades.

Be still my beating heart.

Because Conservatism is not and never has been the philosophy described by caricaturists. We do not believe in untrammelled free markets. We reject the cult of selfish individualism. We abhor social division, injustice, unfairness and inequality. We see rigid dogma and ideology not just as needless but dangerous.

Speak for yourself – free markets are conservative. Because they allow everything else to be paid for. Selfish individualism is the only thing that keeps the world pushing forward to the brighter future that generations of visionary capitalists have given us. Inequality isn’t an evil in itself – only if intergenerational inequality has become engrained to the point an oligarchy stifles growth and creative destruction. So long as there is equality of opportunity, inequality is not an issue. And dogma and ideology are not dangerous – but the way change can be forced through against inertia and resistance within the civil service. Michael Gove’s changes to the education system were ideological, dogmatic, and good.

There’s plenty that is fine within the Tory manifesto, scrapping the triple lock and the tax lock are smart. Changes to pensioner benefits are good. The social care policy is complicated but good. Scrapping Leveson 2 is good. These are the few bright spots in an otherwise statist manifesto.

Theresa May is likely to walk away with a triple digit majority – this is a chance to recast the UK, reforge it in the fire of Brexit as fit for the 21st Century. It is disappointing to see our authoritarian PM still insisting the internet needs regulating, not committing to get rid of the deficit as soon as possible, not committing to having tax as a percentage of GDP lower – even if individual taxes rise. There is no vision for the future of the NHS, tinkering around the edges of social care, and nothing new on autonomous cars and the data revolution that is increasingly moulding our world.

I’ll be voting conservative, but with David Cameron I had the idea of an ambitious vision for the UK – even if I disagreed with him over Brexit, I was happy to support him. Theresa May is a tedious authoritarian who will get good support in the shires and in the north of England, but refuses to be honest about the challenges facing the UK and thrust the UK unashamedly forward with the radical changes the country needs.

Go back to your constituencies and prepare for boredom!

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