Sign Up

Please sign up to be able to read, comment and contribute to our website.

Log In

Labour might be stagnating, but the Tories aren’t

 Contrary to popular belief in the leftie circles in the UK, the Conservatives have done some serious modernizing of their party, and I can do nothing but congratulate them.

There is this narrative in the British left that says the Tories are all old people who will eventually die, and as someone who’s basked in those waters long and hard I have to admit that I used to buy that story too.
However, that’s not the case. Sometimes in the past 30 years the Tories became the party who speaks about jobs, while Labour are stuck in their old socialist welfare narrative that was old in the 80s and it’s even older now.
This is deeply amusing since it actually places today’s Tories closer to Marx’s teaching than Labour is.
Marx wrote at length about the lumpenproletariatt- the class that lives on welfare and whose only contribution to society is their children. He also explained in great detail how the lumpenproletariatt’s purpose is to actually keep the working class in check by making them fear losing their jobs and sinking to that level.

However in the past 30 years, around the time Thatcher started getting the UK straight, something funny happened. The working class had this interesting  experience where some of them realised that work does pay, that buying your own house is kinda nice and that working and paying less taxes is better than paying more taxes in lower paid jobs.
The others lost their jobs and chose to remain on welfare. And this is where something interesting happened.
Labour learned that taking the working class for granted was a very bad idea.  Turns out Marx was right and the best way to make the working class happy is to make sure they have jobs and opportunities.

But see, when the system works to your advantage, you don’t want to smash it anymore. Turns out that the working class preferred living well to the years of discontent, and Labour were left behind to wallow in their own misery and outdated ideology.

So Labour realised that it’s bad for them to have the working class do well. So they changed their focus towards the lumpenproletariatt, who were unlikely to do better and move out of the suffocating socialist embrace. Meanwhile, the Tories learned the lesson, and evolved with the times. Today’s Tories talk about equality and jobs and have learned that it’s a good idea to target the aspirational classes. The times of the rich bourgeoisie and fat cats are kinda gone-  and a new generation of well educated professionals prefer the ideology that rewards them for their success.

Meanwhile, all Labour has to offer is screams about welfare which may do well with the losers, but only with them.  Instead of learning from the events unfolding around them that socialism is dead and buried and it has destroyed every country where it was implemented, they hand on to a charter that’s 100 year old and prefer to pretend nothing happened ever since.

We’d like to pretend that the Conservatives are the ones who are prisoners to dogma, yet Theresa May came out with a speech that is more left and more Marxist than anything Jeremy Corbyn ever said.
This is also the reason why even after 6 years in power and the implementation of austerity, the Tories are still taking votes from Labour. Because the working class would rather have jobs, and in the days of the internet it has learned that high taxes and lavish welfare only serve to punish people for their success.

The Conservatives have managed to sell Austerity to the public and to make it work.  The results are seen, 900k people off the dole and back into work is a great achievement. Hearing David Cameron talk about the implementation of the Living Wage  rang the bell on the old Tories and opened the era of the Tories as a genuinely modern center right party. 

Contrary to what Labour says, Austerity, when coupled with solid economic reforms, works like a charm. Austerity worked for Ireland, it worked for the UK and even Romania, the poorest EU country has managed to pay off its bailout in 7 years and to have one of the highest rates of growth in the EU.

We’ve seen in David Cameron a Prime Minister willing to admit when he was wrong and to change what wasn’t working. That is in and by itself pure pragmatism, and I hope history does make this honourable politician justice.  After all, he made electoral promises and delivered on them- and one should be unbelievably deranged to think that’s a bad thing.

The Tories have managed to portray themselves as the party of the successful working class versus Labour who’s been pushed into being the party of the losers.

Even the excesses of IDS and George Osborne were not tempered by Labour- that has been deeply irrelevant for 6 years, but by the Tory backbenchers who have managed to surprise us with a nice crop of interesting political figures.  Do pay attention to Jacob Rees-Mogg.

 I never thought I would ever have to write this. While I don’t entirely agree with the Tories on many things, it is the duty of the pragmatist to acknowledge a job well done.  Begrudgingly so, I tip my top hat to the Conservatives. For now.

Please log in to comment

Back to All Posts

If you enjoy our work, please share it on your medium of choice.
While we are a free site and make no money from traffic, more visitors mean a larger the number of people who get to see an alternative view.
Thank you

If you enjoy our work, please leave us a comment. Registration is free, and we will not censor you. WE want to create a community of intelligent people who care about the fate of the world, where we can discuss without fear of social media censorship.