Whiney left-wing students and my political awakening at YBF

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“Yah, I’m like a marxist” says the posh boy while he sips his Starbucks and whips out his
iPhone. “I’m in broad left and defend education” says about 99% of the people I come
across at university. Not that I could tell already from their dreadlocks, colourful clothing
and aggressive looking boots. Okay that’s generalising, but I think I’m perfectly entitled to
this when considering the context of student politics.

I don’t talk about my political views often, unless you know me well. The main reason is
that being a conservative (both small c and big c) at university is very uncommon. It seems to be something shameful where I’m automatically wrong and don’t get the chance to prove myself right. I can barely even engage in free debate (I will come back to this point
later). The usual response to “I’m a conservative” is something on the lines of either:

a) “But you’re really nice. How’s that possible? That makes me sick”
or b) “Thanks for making me pay £9000 a year you bastard!”

And that is the end of the discussion because as it is pointed out to me: being right-wing
means I hate the poor, I hate equality, I love bankers and I’m evil. Well, nothing could be
more wrong and if you’re reading this hear me out… I’m the one who’s sickened by this
behaviour and I am going to put my views across, define who I am and maybe convince a
few people that conservatism is the way forwards!

I recently attended a conference run by the ‘Young Briton’s Foundation’, a non-partisan,
not-for-profit educational, research and training organisation that promotes conservatism in schools, colleges and universities. It identifies, trains, mentors and places philosophically sound activists in politics, academia and the media. I was warned before attending that it was a quite a bit more right-wing than I am, but nonetheless I thought it was worth hearing the arguments and views and seeing where I stand.

Well I can say with certainty that I have been truly inspired. The pinnacle was probably
listening to the former chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson give an incredible speech about how
we are the future and how he is appreciative of our work and our future endeavours. So, to
address the left-wing mass at this university and beyond, I will place forward my views and
see if any of my ‘evil ideas’ resonate with anyone.

Where do I stand? I’m a conservative, Eurosceptic, free-market libertarian who believes in
freedom and social liberty, first and foremost. Someone said to me that the belief in
freedom and right-wing values are incompatible. I don’t understand why they said this.
Freedom is about being able to get on with life and being able to do what you want
because you’re a free citizen. It is about aspiration and the ability to dream big and follow
those dreams. It is about being able to receive all the benefits from this hard work as well.

So, what hinders this freedom? Having a big nanny state that takes away all these benefits
because they believe they can do better. One that unfairly takes enormous amounts of tax
away from us when it is our hard earned money. One that thinks rich people and
businesses are ‘evil’ and should be punished; simply forcing them to leave and causing no
growth or investment when instead it can be used to benefit everyone, including the
poorest.

This can be done particularly through taking the lowest paid out of tax and
redistributing the wealth. The idea of a living wage makes me cringe. It is an easy idea to
follow but it does not work in practice. Yes, the minimum wage should continue rising but
companies can not afford a living wage; there would be huge unemployment and rising
inflation. Instead, minimum wage workers should be allowed to keep all of the money they
work for, not being taxed unfairly. This is a conservative idea. We should not be burdened
by an enormously bureaucratic government either, another conservative idea.

What about a few more specific areas? The NHS for example (which apparently I hate and
want to destroy). The NHS is an amazing national institution and should always be free at
the point of use and no one but an idiot would disagree with that. However I do believe
where possible, small parts should be given to private contractors but only where it can
increase efficiency while reducing costs. I’m fed up of the constant rhetoric of the NHS
being terrible, in crisis and slowly being destroyed.

The EU is one of my big hatreds and I am strongly for Britain leaving. Not because of
immigration at all. But on the basis of sovereignty and economics. I believe we should
follow suit of Switzerland and Norway and continue free trade, without the enormous
disastrous union which has no accountability and makes no sense whatsoever. Also giving
us more chance to trade with the rest of the world and stop sending ‘foreign aid’ and start
investing. The developing world is beginning to prosper and by giving aid we are
undermining their power to do well. This is happening in India for example and many
South American countries. The EU restricts us; it chokes us and swallows up enormous
amounts of money and only benefits one or two countries per every issue. It is also in no
way democratic. We vote for some person from a region, to go to Europe and vote in a
committee who votes in another committee who votes some president we’ve never heard
of. Ridiculous.

Finally, tuition fees — the big one. I have to say, I used to be strongly against them until I
listened to and heard arguments from my conservative friends that rung true to me. Okay
so they’re a lot, I understand. But I will outline several reasons why they’re not as bad as
we make out:

1) The money loaned is never seen and it does not become repaid until people are in
strong employment. It is repaid monthly depending on salaries; if you are earning little,
you repay little, if you are earning a lot, you repay a lot. I worked out if you’re earning
£25,000 a year, the amount you pay back each month is equivalent to an iPhone 6 on
contract, which lets face it, is not the end of the world.

2) Since they were introduced and increased, it really sorts out the people who want to go
to university to learn and achieve and those who want to go ‘for the banter’ or for the
party lifestyle. In fact, places for courses such as mechanical engineering have had an
enormous surge. To be honest, if someone hears the price and can’t be bothered to do
some research about it, they clearly do not value their education and shouldn’t even be
applying.

3) It in no way undermines those who are the poorest and the most disadvantaged.
Government grants and scholarships are available for those who deserve it, and rightly
so.

4) Labour’s idea is to have free tuition etc but then to place a graduate tax on people after
their time at university. It is the exactly the same thing, the money will get paid one way
or another. They need to stop pretending tuition fees are evil in order to get votes and
then mask their policy as something new and fairer.

I could go on and on but I’ve realised how much I’ve actually written here. At least I’m
engaging in free-speech thanks to the wonderful and open internet we have. If you’re
going to take away one point, then take away this:

Next time you see or hear a mass of left-wing ideas, stop and think. Are they right,
just because they’re popular at university? Think for yourself and do not be led like
a sheep. Engage in debate.

Andrew Beattie

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2 thoughts on “Whiney left-wing students and my political awakening at YBF

  1. Interesting read. I don’t agree with the majority of your points – however I only want to make two points.

    Firstly, Marx and Engels never stated how much money each person would have, just that we would all should be working as one. So, who cares if a Marxist has an iPhone or drinks in Starbucks? We live in a capitalist society so one is bound to have things that contradict Marxist views.

    My second point would be, why insult or generalise lefties in your first paragraph? What was the need? Who care what they look like? The reason lefties will tell you your views are wrong is because they disagree with them, not because they are hostile. Going by that logic we can say that you are just as hostile as them by disagreeing with their views?

    Personally, I feel this is a very narrow-minded, rather ignorant post. And as a Lefty posh boy who sometimes drinks Starbucks and has an iPhone, it makes me ever more passionate to fight for the left, and against people like yourself.

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