Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Unmasking the myths- the three big Tory myths

You could be forgiven for thinking that the Conservative party were not taking part in this election. Just as the recent French election spawned Emmanuel Macron' s En Marche, our election has witnessed the birth of Theresa and her team who seem to have replaced the  Conservatives. But, of course, beneath the clever marketing spin it is the same Conservative party following the same type of policies and values of the last 40 years. (A very different animal to the one that preceded it for 30 years before that.).

There are many good and intelligent people who habitually vote Conservative, many of whom also share my Christian faith. Some of them, just like many habitual Labour voters, won’t have given much thought to this political allegiance. For some it's an almost tribal thing, something inherited  from your family perhaps; a bit like which football team you support. You're either a red or a blue (unless you're one of those odd ball  yellows, greens or purples!). However, for those who have given it any thought I would suggest that the reason why they are a habitual Conservative voter is probably that they have bought into one or more of three key big ideas:

• that only the Conservatives are economically competent to run the country and Labour are financially reckless (“Labour crashed the economy")
• the merits of free enterprise and self-reliance with the minimum of state interference (“the right to buy”);
• the need to stop the freeloaders and benefit cheats trying to get something for nothing and who are ripping us all off (“stopping the scroungers")

I will suggest that an examination of the evidence of the last nearly 40 years shows there is very little basis in fact for these ideas. They are basically  myths. Many of these myths are now so embedded in popular thinking that they are very difficult to dislodge. However, myths are still myths no matter how many people may believe them. And these myths need unmasking so that the truth is exposed.

I will expose each of these three myths in turn in my next blogs.

There are other big ideas/myths like the Conservatives being the true defenders of the realm, bringing law and order or sticking up for traditional “Christian” moral values. However, I believe these ideas generally hold rather less sway. (Their supposed reputation for controlling immigration is subsumed within the Brexit issues addressed in my previous article). 

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