When I first became interested in Politics, I instantly recognised that I was conservative. Conservatism was the only ideology that appeared to have a positive effect on people, and indeed the only ideology that was practicable enough to be put into effect across the country.
So, as soon as I turned sixteen, I decided that it was time for me to join the Conservative Party. This made me feel a part of something that helped ordinary people, and I was happy to be out campaigning for this thing I believed in.
Since the 2019 General Election, however, something has changed. Rather than growing up and improving, the Party has become complacent.
This isn’t all down to the prime minister, in my opinion. Let’s not forget that he gained a mass of support on the issue of Brexit, and handed the Party its biggest Parliamentary majority since the Thatcher Era.
For me, a party isn’t just about policy areas, so whilst policy hasn’t changed enormously for around ten years, something else has. For me- it’s the MPs. I have usually struggled to fault Conservative MPs; on the whole, their ideologies tended to be the same if not somewhat similar, but that’s no longer the case.
In 2019 the party failed. Whilst it may have got one of its biggest majorities ever, on many counts it failed to elect true conservatives.
In numerous constituencies, there are “Conservative” MPs who don’t understand how to act in their positions – what to say, how to act and present themselves – and as such we’re left wondering whether they can be trusted to represent us.
The anti-conservative beliefs of some is one thing. The poor conduct of more is another.
When you have an MP like Dehenna Davison using her Parliamentary twitter account to ask a reality TV star to follow one of her constituency staff, hours after an important government announcement regarding Covid-19, I find myself lost for words.
— Dehenna Davison MP #StayAlertSaveLives (@DehennaDavison) May 10, 2020
Yet when a conservative calls this out, they are left to take abuse from fellow party members.
Further to this when we have MPs like Rob Roberts, who share inappropriate posts and then try and backtrack by saying they’re trying to show the dangers of the social media, you have to question whether he is deserving of his title.
These are but two examples in a sea of similar such cases.
Previously, Mr. Roberts and Ms. Davison would have had the whip removed – if not then they would certainly be made to apologise, and to retract their comments. Unfortunately, this is not the same party. The party no longer cares about its image.
These matters may seem minor to some, but they make me – and many others – lose faith in (and respect for) the cause of the Conservative Party, especially when they occur in such high frequencies as they now do.
Not only are a majority of the MPs’ conducts abysmal, but the party has also made it clear its no longer cares for social conservative values.
It hasn’t only brushed the principles of conservatism under the carpet but has abandoned them completely. If the Party truly wants to be “conservative” then it must respect the opinion of every type of conservative, and acknowledge every type of member’s opinion when making policy decisions.
Subsequently, I have made the decision to leave the Conservative Party, and after a period of consideration have decided to join the Social Democrat Party – where I hope people with my views can one day act as the main voice for true conservatives.
The Conservative Party is broken. It has abandoned social conservatives, and regrettably, whilst I am not the first social conservative to leave the party, I can guarantee I won’t be the last.
Photo by NCVO London on Flickr.