I am sat here, doing an extra shift at one of the Church winter Night Shelters as one of the other managers is ill. I usually run the Wednesday night night shelter. One of the volunteers in my team asked me tonight `why are you a Conservative?` This is a question that i get asked time and time again. It is usually prefixed with ` you do so much good for the town` or `you really care about people`.
Firstly, if this doesnt make sense then please forgive me, i am of course writing this on no hours sleep and also keeping an eye out for our guests!
This is an often asked question on the doorstep. People seem to think that being `caring` and being a Conservative is some kind of oxymoron – there are others who think all Conservatives are just morons full stop, although i did get told on the doorstep of an independent voter this week ` You are the first Tory that I have ever liked`.
I think the first issue is that this is a misconception and that you can be a `caring Conservative` and that there are many examples both nationally and locally (Sir Teddy Taylor being one) of people who would fall in this category. However below are the reasons why i am a Conservative.
The most obvious reason being because that is broadly where my opinion sits. If i look at my views as a whole then Conservatives are the closest match and this is borne out time and time again with the websites which match your views to the parties. Having said that I would describe myself as a Conservative with a small `c`. Shock horror, there are some policies that i fully agree with that Labour have proposed and i fully support the Lib Dem’s ideas around mental health and the idea of a `yellow card` when it comes to sanctions for benefits. There are also parts of Conservative policy that i disagree with although my main criticisms for my party are not to do with the ideals but with the way they have been executed.
I strongly believe in small government and not becoming a nanny state. I fully support the Conservative ideals of aspiration and believe rather than just chucking money at the issue of poverty that we should be working alongside people to train them up and give them life skills and opportunities to get out of poverty. I believe we should come out of the EU. I fully support small businesses and think that all the red tape and layers of bureaucacy that they are drowning in should be removed. I fully believe in our monarchy and also our Union. I believe in our armed forces and think that we should do all we can to support them not only when on active service but also afterwards. I believe benefits needed reforming and again i may not agree with the implementation methods I believe it was necessary. All of these are Conservative ideals, i also believe that our economy is safer under Conservative hands too and is why i am broadly a Conservative.
This of course doesnt stop me criticising my party when i believe it is deserved and you can ask James Duddridge about the amount of times I have taken him to task about things I believe the Conservatives have got wrong. I am also happy to work with other parties and have good friends in the Labour party. I see their value and think that they have some worthwhile ideas that should be implemented.