The Conservatives were the first political party that Jack Mountford ever supported. However, the recent actions and policies of the party have driven him away.
The 2010 general election had just occurred. After days of frenzied speculation and hushed negotiations, the UK was presented with the first coalition since the Second World War. The message was easy to buy into: sorting out the economy, whilst also focusing on issues such as the environment. Five years later, I am shocked by the ends to which the Conservatives have gone to deliver their promised “recovery”.
My concerns revolve primarily around the NHS. It is an integral national institution and a source of international pride. It also employs a number of my family members. And yet, according to them and various other sources, the NHS is in serious danger due to consistent under-investment and austere budgets, including cuts to public health funding which leading medical organisations have warned will undermine NHS services. The government’s lack of honesty concerning the scale of the issues facing the NHS is troubling. Dilemmas such as unnecessary outsourcing are not widely reported upon, but are frequent gripes for NHS workers trying to provide good care with increasingly dwindling resources. The root of the issue is that in order to achieve a balanced budget, the government has diminished investment in the NHS to the extent that it now struggles to provide consistent, safe care. This puts lives in danger. Vague promises of increased funding are scarcely enough to reassure the public and I – the NHS is in deep trouble.
There are deeper issues: for a Conservative leader who put environmental policy centre stage, David Cameron’s alleged wish in 2013 to “get rid of all the green c**p” does not bode well – so much for the “greenest government ever”. Recent cuts to renewable energy subsidies also fail to inspire confidence. Regardless of the so-called debate, climate change is a massive and critical issue which needs to be addressed immediately. With the COP21 conference having just occurred, David Cameron’s stance is hardly constructive.
The government’s response to the refugee crisis was also appalling. The prime minister’s initial refusal to accept more refugees was abhorrent in the face of the horrors faced daily by men, women and children in the Middle East and parts of Africa. Even worse was Theresa May’s speech suggesting that some asylum seekers were more deserving than others, which refugee charities described as “chilling”. Ultimately, this “compassionate conservative” government seems to be the opposite.
Combined, these issues have left me thoroughly alienated from the Conservative Party. Recent events and policies have shown it to be thoroughly uncompassionate and apathetic towards the wide-ranging issues facing British society today. I have no choice but to renounce my prior support for the party and to remain non-aligned for the time being. I can no longer, in good conscience at least, support the Conservative Party – the party I once called home.
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