Younger voters want change, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Pushing on and looking to the future is how we get men on the moon, and carry smartphones that can change our photos so we look like cats. And what’s wrong with shaking things up and pissing off stick-in-the-muds anyway? It’s one of the pleasures of Brexit.
But in Britain, Corbynism has latched on to and taken advantage of that longing for change, like a scruffy leech. It’s performed a con trick on those who want something to get excited about, and if the Conservative Party is to capture any young voters at all, it needs to counter the deceit being sold by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour.
The reality is that to adopt the socialism offered by Corbyn would be a change. That much is true. But it would be a substitution of political mechanism from one which embraces flexibility, to one which demands control. It’s a radical alteration in course, but it would take us straight down a dead end street.
Corbynism has been painted as rebellious and anti-establishment, but underneath the endorsement from Stormzy and the party leader’s appearance at Glastonbury (not that Glastonbury is pushing any boundaries) it’s nothing of the sort. If the current Labour leadership’s schemes were ushered in, they’d lead to constraint and conformity. And the new establishment would be authoritarian to a degree that its youthful supporters had not felt before.
There wouldn’t be much of a celebratory mood in the air then, as it slowly became clear that all that rebelliousness was nothing more than a carefully-managed means to an end.
Conservatives should be highlighting all this, and at the same time pushing the message that a free market model provides the best possible mechanism by which for changes to occur organically. Crucially, that model is how we safeguard the capacity to change, but it isn’t a change in itself.
If the Conservative Party were to realign around its libertarian element, then it might achieve resonance among younger voters, particularly those who come after the Millennial Red Army. Generation Z are shaping up to be open to a conservative message, and will surely react against the postmodern nonsense bought into by Millennials. Conservatives must be ready to meet them.
And the message should be simple: that the right-wing will safeguard classical liberal values and ditch victimhood-fetishizing identity politics. And it ought also to be made clear that socialism represents the polar opposite of all this: it’s a half-fossilized ideology that would usher in micro-management, politically correct hectoring, and state imposition.
Conservatives needn’t pay regard to the social justice diktats which have taken over left-liberal discourse and muffled people’s rational capabilities. Simply by speaking directly and honestly, the politically correct narrative can be disrupted. And if that ruffles some left-wing feathers then all the better, let’s refuse to apologise and then offend them some more. The ‘facts don’t care about your feelings’ trope may be a little cliched in the arena of online culture wars, but it’s as true as it ever was, and it hasn’t been unleashed on the mainstream recently, so let the Tories be the ones to utilize it. I say recently, because in fact, the essence of that message is nothing new.
“The facts of life are conservative.”
So said Margaret Thatcher, and the Tories should cleave to her truism. There’s no need to take on board anything offered up by the postmodern left, because they’re no longer in touch with reality. Our only duty is to the facts of life.
Capitalists have history and statistics on their side. Graphs and charts like these need to be pushed out and brought to people’s attention.
A serious party would throw out badly defined hate crime regulations, reject the CPS’s garbage about policing what people say online, and get a grip on the police force so they stop tweeting photos of their trans-friendly, rainbow coloured cars.
There’s a gap in the market right now as common sense, libertarian ideals go under-represented, and there’s a Conservative Party that needs revitalising.
To win favour, and connect once more with voters, the Tories must get back to the facts of life.
Please also read Sam Hooper’s response to this article.