Well, my journey to be sitting here writing this article has been an uncommon one, to say the least, even when I found myself wanting to put this into writing I found myself thinking ‘this has been one hell of a ride’. Whenever I write anything I always think it’s a good idea to have a goal, and in truth this is more of an outreach than anything else, to demonstrate there is no one path we all walk. Some people grow up knowing exactly where they are politically, some like me find their path long and arduous. I hope that this article will also serve as an introduction to those of you whom I am yet to meet.
My birth in politics started with the 2015 general election which saw The Conservative Party gain twenty-four seats – something I followed with much interest, to a fifteen-year-old the workings of politics seem so strange and otherworldly. I had so many questions, to which my dad got the brunt. To provide some context I come from a core conservative family, with three generations of conservative voters. That information will be terribly relevant later. At the age of fifteen, I had forced my Dad to get me copies of each manifesto so that I could understand more of what each party stood for, and to my surprise, there were elements within each manifesto that I understood. In fact, it was more than that there were whole sections of these manifestos that related directly to me.
These manifestos are something I still have stored away to this day, as I read them and watched speeches by the likes of David Cameron, Ed Milliband and my own member of parliament at the time, Nic Dakin. It became clear that there were aspects of each manifesto that I liked, the horrible moment I realised my political views were very central. – This is a word that a lot of people find politically taboo, but in a day and age where more and more young people find themselves politically lost it is on the rise. I’m here to tell you that being Politically Central is fine! And a lot more common than you might think.
Political centrism is a conundrum really like any other political ideology it is a tangle of ideas strung together, the real party piece of centrism is that it means totally different things to different people. When I found myself at the age of fifteen looking to join a political party. And I will throw this out there now, this is one of the many mistakes that I have made in my twenty-one years of life. I joined the Labour party at the time Ed Milliband was leader, although I saw him as ‘funny’ I didn’t totally hate what his manifesto said and what he was doing at the time. In retrospect, the ‘ed Stone was a terrible choice’. And this was how I remained for about a year, in that time I started working full time in an apprenticeship – studying business administration and management – whilst training in human resources.
But my real truth is that the trials and tribulations of the labour party began with the election of Jeremy Corbyn, whom many amongst labour youth idealised. I did not, I detested where he took the party. He is the singular worst labour leader in modern history. All he seemed to stand for was the betterment of one grouping of people and leaving the rest behind, and as a centrist and a moderate, the allegations of antisemitism against him and his leadership team were appalling. That was the beginning of the end for my membership of the Labour Party. The further left Mr Corbyn took the party the more and more that I felt it no longer represented me or the views I held dear. The further left the party went the further left the young labour movement went and never have I felt more lost than I did on that fated day at the start of 2017 when I formally cancelled my labour party membership.
The Labour party over the last five years has served nothing but to alienate people and champion platitudes and nothingness. I left the Labour party at the beginning of 2017 and became politically independent, I didn’t feel that anyone represented me. As the son of a former police officer, the idea of joining a conservative party led by Mrs May was not one I entertained for long. The 2017 election proved to be a conflict for me, to support a party based on national issues or a person I believed would represent the views of Scunthorpe, I supported the latter.
If you have made it this far through my article you will be wondering “Why is this article just about how this guy joined the labour party and then left?” Well, this is where it becomes more relevant, 2019 Boris Johnson was elected as leader of the conservative party, whilst he was a ‘character’, I was very aware that he was a strong political operative. Whilst I didn’t join the party from the get-go, it was clear that this was the man that was going to deliver a strong policy, was going to sort Brexit and was going to lead us to a better future.
As a young person engaged in politics in a rural area, the idea of talking openly about politics felt foreign to me, so the reality of being able to explore my political views with those who weren’t just going to bite my head off for being a former labour party member or speak down to me as a young person totally shocks me. Strangely enough, it was COVID19 that brought about my new political life. Being stuck inside forced me online, engaging with people my own age who were as politically engaged as me, the more we discussed and debated the more I found myself identifying with conservative policy, or at the very least conservative ideals. A stronger union, a greener economy and a fairer society.
Those who aided me in my political discovery know who they are, but a big part of this political discovery was members of the Young Conservative Network who aided this move for me. They provided a space for me to discuss my views and for them to explain their views. It was amazing to me how many we passionately agreed on. The more we talked and the more that the Labour party circle in their self-destructive cycle of weak leadership, ineffective policy and downright offensive treatment of their opponents, they are truly no longer representative of the British public, the loss of the red wall is no surprise when you look at how long labour has taken these areas for granted.
The Conservative party has truly become my home, they have provided this moderate with a political family, with hope and above all with a real chance at a better future. With levelling up now at the heart of the conservative party we can truly hope for the parity of opportunity to match the parity of talent from all over our nation. This is what we should be working for and it is truly what this conservative Government will deliver.
While listening to Mr Johnson speak in his keynote speech at the conservative party conference, when you listen to him speak he does truly have control of the room, he has a positive outlook and he has a focus on levelling up Britain and truly building back better! When you compare the keynote speech of the conservative party conference to their counterpart in Brighton it’s like night and day! The labour party has shredded its morals and its values and truths at its core and now flounder under a leader whom as Boris so diligently said looks like ‘a seriously rattled bus conductor pushed this way and that by a corbynista mob of sellotape-spectacled sans-culottes’ and this really is the new truth of labour, we have seen infighting from them in the past but never to the scale that even the leader has no idea what direction he’s walking in. Truly a ‘human weathervane.’ Flitting around on policy does not make you central, it makes you lost and incoherent. On the other side of the divide, here we are, stood united behind strong leadership with a clear vision of what we are going to do and how we are going to do it.
In a final comment, it is true that labour is no longer the party it claims to be, it is dissolving and ripping itself apart, the vital truth is that the home of any sensible moderate is now the Conservative party. The home of sensible governance and the truth is they are the party for parity, parity for all peoples and parity for all constituent parts of the United Kingdom. So I say to you, let’s build back bitter, batter, butter, beaver, burger and even better!