Well there’s a counter-intuitive one! Because in England at least the word “conservative” is usually associated with slightly more elderly gentlemen in blazers, intoning over tankards at bars, who have generally seemed, er, how to put this?-reluctant-to adopt new trends in society such as feminism, multiculturalism, gay sensibilities and so on. All the things which they and their newspapers have variously derided as “trendy,” “politically correct,” or “woke”, according to the fashions of the hour.
As ever, appearances can be deceptive. Because it was the Conservative Party that gave the UK it first ever female Prime Minister. This was considered to be terribly radical at the time, but she turned out to be a formidable operator, and Labour had nothing to put against her, either male or female, for years. The second female Prime Minister was a Conservative. And their next election will produce either another woman, or a member of an ethnic minority as our next Prime Minister. And the current cabinet and party contain quite a sprinkling of minorities from different backgrounds, all of whom arrived in their places through merit and hard work.
Against this, the record of the so called “progressive” parties has been thin indeed. They talk the talk. But when it comes to walking the walk-well just look. Every Leader of the Labour Party has been a white man from Keir Hardie to Keir Starmer. The Lib Dems experimented with a female leader back in 2019, but the results were not exactly happy, and they have since reverted to type. So why the Conservatives’ advantage?
One possible explanation is that the Conservatives are unashamedly the most Capitalist party. They assert the primacy of free markets, because nothing so quickly sorts out the fools from the wise, and allows talent to flourish-and rise. As Adam Smith so wisely noted, all religious and national identity markers will eventually become secondary to free markets, as they stand in the way of the most efficient flows of capital and labour. What starts as a local brand soon becomes world wide, if it is successful. Consider Microsoft, McDonalds and Rolex if you want.
The trick of the Conservative brand, or its unique selling point ,if you like, is to convince supporters that everything will stay the same. For nothing frightens people so much as being told they have to change. Yet presiding over truly radical shifts in population, economics and language. A successful proposition indeed.
#conservatives #labour #lib dems #multiethnic #multicultural #adam smith #free markets