Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pragmatic Compassionate Conservative

This is how I would describe myself politically these days.

First and foremost, I am a Conservative. I am a member of the British Conservative Party. I believe in the British way of life and the British system of government. I love our monarchy, our parliament and while I am not a member of the established church, I wish it no ill.

I believe that marriage should be central to our society and that policies shouls support healthy family life.

I believe in free-market economics and that the success of the rich is not necessarilly detrimental to the poor. However, together with that belief in a free-market is the need for a open labour market. I therefore fully support immigration and believe that no matter what criticisms are made of the European Union, a flexible labour force has been a key benefit.

I believe that Britain needs the power to protect its borders and that we need a strong and effective military. I believe that we have to be engaged in foreign fields to deal with the threat of terrorism. I therefore support the military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I see myself as a Compassionate Conservative. I believe that poverty is a real problem, and not just absolute poverty, but relative porverty, can have an harmful effect on society.

I therefore believe that conservatives should embrace elements of social democracy (perhaps on the Scandinavian model) in order to mitigate some of the harsher effects of free-market capitalism. While I recognise that welfare can cause problems and can be inefficent, I believe that high spending on welfare is a necessary evil.

While I believe that our healthcare system could be more efficent and has problems, I believe it is right and good that the UK has universal free healthcare.

I believe that homelessness is a blight on our society. The only solution to homelessness is the provision by the state of decent housing to every individual and family. I believe the government need to invest far more in the provision of social housing.

I am a pragmatist. I believe that we must be careful to avoid ideology effecting policy decisions in an unhelpful way. Thus, we might ideologically support lower taxes, but if we are faced with demands from the public for efficent public services we may have to refrain from promising tax cuts.

Our foreign policy must be pragmatic too. We need a foreign policy that puts our national interest first. We may not like the human rights record of China, but if it were in our national interest to make alliance with China, we should do so. Alternatively, if it were in our national interest to oppose China, we should be happy to make alliance with Russia or some other power to do so.

If we commit ourselves to a Paleocon position that holds that we should not intervene beyond our borders we will fail to effectively meet the threat of terrorism. On the other hand, if we are overly committed to a Paleocon position that seeks to spread democracy across the world, we may end up overstretching our armed services.


Rose~ said...

Intersting. Thank you for spelling out your position. I suppose my main difference with you would be on welfare.

Celestial Fundie said...

I am sure we are both in favour of an effective and efficent system of social security which does not disincentivize people from working.