Much like in those nostalgic Scooby Doo cartoons, where the villain’s mask would be lifted to reveal the shocking (or perhaps not so much…) true identity of the criminal mastermind behind the dastardly plot in the episode, it’s becoming more and more commonplace to find your average Tory isn’t who you think they are.
Now, you would think, especially if you follow The Guardian or other left-leaning publications, that most Tories are wealthy businessmen, obsessed by GDP and profit, all at the expense of the good-old working man who is just trying to get by and feed his family. However, beyond this fallacious smokescreen lies a truth that is much more nuanced, and perhaps very surprising.
This smoke and mirrors approach is rooted in identity politics: an idea with which Labour are fully enthralled by at the moment. From Dawn Butler pontificating about babies being born without sex, to Emily Thornberry implicating the English flag as a racist symbol, a once great Party is now looking like a poor imitation of what it once was.
Mired in this self-indulgent swamp, the Labour Party is at risk of alienating working class voters, who would much rather the party return to their core values that have rewarded them with electoral success in the past. They do not care about farcical social justice rhetoric, and they have started to grow weary of hearing David Lammy constantly searching for new ways to expose racism where it does not exist. These people want back the Party that supposedly represents them: a Party with a realistic, properly costed agenda that puts more money in their pocket and looks after their wider interests on a day-to-day basis.
It just so happens that the Party that fits that bill right now is none other than the Conservative Party!
Not only this, but if identity politics and diversity is what Labour are so heavily invested in, the Conservatives can lay claim to having done exceedingly well by Labour’s own criteria in this department!
In fact, in General Election 2019, the Conservatives returned 41 black and ethnic minority (BAME) MPs, relative to Labour’s 22 (constituting 11% of each of the party’s respective total MPs). The Conservatives can also boast that the majority of their Westminster contingent were not privately educated; they are younger than their Labour counterparts, on average (CON average = 50; Labour average = 52), and have the highest number of MPs openly identifying with the LGBTQ+ community (24 Conservatives vs 16 Labour).
Most prominently, the Home Secretary and the Chancellor of the Exchequer are both from BAME backgrounds, as were the occupants of this position in the previous cabinet, with one being the daughter of first generation Ugandan immigrants!
This shows just how far the Conservative Party has really come from being a party exclusively for the rich elite, harbouring Oxbridge-educated dinosaurs with embarrassingly out-of-touch views. That’s not to say we’re completely out of the woods yet – detractors would be very quick to point out that the Cabinet is heavily Oxbridge-educated and features relatively few women or persons of colour. However, this Party is certainly heading in the right direction and has the diverse representation it needs to champion its One Nation Conservative ambitions.
It is vital that the Conservatives repay the great trust that our voters have put in us, especially those who, possibly reticently, voted for us in the North of England. If we do not reward them for having lent us their vote (and this is very much a loan!), then we can kiss those votes goodbye, come the next General Election. We must absolutely focus on providing the North with the infrastructure, job opportunities, and economic stimulus it needs to thrive. This is especially the case for the so-called “Blue Wall” constituencies in the North East, where voters feel marginalised by the London-centric Westminster cabal.
This is our chance to demonstrate that we are committed to leveling up the entire country. As the Prime Minister has often said, talent is equitably distributed in our great nation, but opportunity is not. It should not matter if you grew up in leafy Shropshire or on a council estate in Sunderland; whether you hail from Ruislip or Redcar – if you’re willing to put in the hard work, then this government is on your side!
The people are ready to do their part – they have shown this at the ballot box. Now it’s time for us to show them that we really mean business. The election is over; the work begins now.
George Brade, Coordinator for the North of England for Conservative Progress