Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The tories haven't changed one bit, and here's why.

When I was around 17, my Government and Politics class went to a student politics conference where various high profile politicians were speakers. Nick Clegg was there, and frankly brought the house down, George Galloway was there, doing what he does, Jack Straw was meant to be there, but was replaced at the last minute by the most boring junior minister on earth and William Hague was there talking for the Conservatives.

After each speech there was a question and answer session - I hadn't really been interested in asking too many questions until William Hague began his speech, outlining Tory plans for government including tax breaks for married couples (he was really preaching to the right audience with this one, LOL) and cutting immigration. He also made a big deal about David Cameron's leadership and how the Conservatives were ever more a viable option for young people when they went to the polling station. The question that I asked him was this -

'During the 90s, successive Conservative Governments gave my mother enough money to feed her children, but not enough to feed herself. I'll never waste my vote on you, but why should we believe you've changed?'

It was met with a big round of applause from the largely tory-sceptic audience, and William Hague, in his defence, gave an honest answer, apologising, and saying that he accepted that the Tories had gotten it wrong on single parent families.

Then this happened.

I'm just dumbstruck that there are Conservative MP's who STILL think that vilifying young people who fall pregnant is the way to deal with it. Any young person, who, as they suggest, believes that having a baby and living in council accommodation is the way to go, will have a pretty harsh surprise. Despite what the Daily Mail might say, living on benefits isn't easy, as I experienced as a child, as many experience now, with Child Poverty once again on the rise.

A young Mum here, her child would of
course benefit from it's mother being
There is a great difference between helping and supporting young people in this position and encouraging them to do it. There's a great possibility also, that their plans to move them in with parents would fall short. Far be it for me to generalise, but often it's a breakdown in relationships at home that can lead to young women searching for affection elsewhere. Forcing women to move back into that environment with their newborn is very unlikely to be a good idea. God forbid we should actually encourage people to stand on their own two feet and take responsibility.

Just when you think that the Conservatives might be turning a corner and realising that the dogma of the 90's doesn't work, they come back with a gem like this.

It might sound good in soundbites or on the pages of the Daily Express, but if the Conservatives actually want to win the votes of a wider range of people, they might start by refraining from vilifying them, rejecting them as a part of wider society and forcing them below the breadline once again.

This stuff makes me sick.

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