The Importance of Politics: A Message from Conservative Future
‘There is such a thing as society, it’s just not the same thing as the state’, so said David Cameron in 2005. This statement, that the state and society, which although they are intrinsically linked, are two separate entities, is one which must be followed in order for a productive and free society to flourish. Trying to shape society from central government is dangerous, and fails to recognise the differences which arise from different regions, the individual circumstances of which cannot be fully respected and taken into account by central government. Therefore, it is the duty of politics and of the state to provide the conditions which are necessary for individual communities to take responsibility for themselves.
The conditions which are needed for this type of society to flourish are a strong economy, a firm sense of law and order, an efficient education system and an emphasis on equality, conditions which the Conservative Party can and will provide. The importance of a strong and functioning economy, which everyone contributes to, is extremely important to society, to allow people to take responsibility for themselves and to make conditions fairer for all. One of the most important steps that we must take to work towards a stronger economy is to cut waste and reduce the deficit. Living in a fiscally responsible way, and within your means, is essential to any society. Imagine that the state was a household, running on huge personal debts. That household would have to make financial sacrifices, and the state is no different. We must make cuts which save money without damaging frontline services, which can be done by cutting the huge amount of financial waste produced by organisations such as quangos, and wasteful bureaucracy.
Secondly we must take active steps towards cutting crime and making sure that people feel safe within their own communities. Theresa May, the home secretary, recently announced plans to shake up the police force in order to allow them to get back to their original purpose, which is to prevent and tackle crime, a task which has been difficult for them under previous governments. The focus of Theresa’s plans has been to bring the service closer to the people who use it, for example by encouraging beat meetings, where the public can hold their local police force to account, neighbourhood watch schemes and voluntary groups. A sense of justice and morality is absolutely vital to society, and the Conservatives are the party to provide this.
Providing a good education is invaluable in bringing about social mobility and allowing people from disadvantaged backgrounds to realise that they can improve their own circumstances. However, in a system where the curriculum is so strongly controlled by central government, and so motivated by targets, this is not possible. More power must be given to teachers and local education authorities so that teaching can be tailored to individuals, and this is part of what conservative ideology is all about. It’s about realising that society is made up of individuals. That’s why we need more choice in education, which we will do by supporting parents, teachers, charities and local communities in setting up their own schools, creating new ‘Technical Academies’ which will allow pupils to focus on a vocational education, should they wish to do so, and allowing schools to be more flexible in the qualifications that they offer.
Lastly, we must focus on the need to bring about equality in our society. We can do this through various measures, such as promoting equal pay, providing internships for underrepresented minorities in Whitehall, and pushing for gay rights, and for UK civil partnerships to be recognised internationally. For our society to move forward and for the UK to remain a key player on the world stage we must push for equality. The modern, progressive Conservative Party is the one to offer this, and a society which is fair for all.
Article by Holly Smith, President of Conservative Future Sheffield.
Edited by Vicky Shreeve.
State Funding Is Vital For A Big Society To Thrive (Joseph Rowntree Foundation)
Big Society In, Big State Out, Say Tories (guardian.co.uk)