I joined BUCF following a fantastic campaign season for a local councillor whilst on my industrial placement the last year. Despite joining the Conservative party almost 5 years ago this was my first taste of activism, I was surprised how much I enjoyed it and wanted to continue when I returned to university. Since joining BUCF I have learnt a great deal about political principles, developed and refined my political views, and made great friendships along the way. This year, we will be working in local marginal seats where we can genuinely help shape the outcome of the general election.
My political views stem from the dissatisfaction I felt as a teenager with the then Labour government. Something which angered me was the perverse state of millions of people being better off on state handouts rather than working. Working to provide for your family was something instilled in me since the earliest age, along with the notion of saving for your future and avoiding debt. These principles have been rejected by the modern Labour party, the so-called party of the workers. I also became increasingly suspicious of the Liberal Democrats, who seemed to promise the Earth, such that I stopped taking their policies seriously, much like the new protest parties of UKIP and the Greens. There was also an undercurrent in the leftist parties of embarrassment to be patriotic, which was unacceptable to me.
Despite being brought up to despise the ‘evil Tories’, I realised that I knew little about why I should hate them. Upon resolving myself to do the unthinkable and open my eyes and ears to the Conservatives, I found myself largely in agreement with their philosophy – self-reliance, the importance of employment and the dignity it brings, and less government interference. These were not extremist policies, they were pragmatic and fair, recognising the need to help the poorest in society by equipping them to help themselves.
However, the coalition government has reached a point of stagnation. The Lib Dems have held back much needed reform, deficit reduction and a say on our European Union membership (to which I am firmly opposed). The political right is brimming with new ideas (exemplified by the Institute for Economic Affairs and the Centre for Social Justice) which can only be realised with majority Conservative government. The return to balanced budgets, smaller government, stronger communities, greater personal social and financial freedom and a patriotic drive to elevate our global standing are principles embedded within me, which are only shared by the Conservatives.
Getting involved with BUCF means you can assist with fighting the general election whilst also meeting like-minded people in a fun social environment, and we have a number of formal and informal events at which you can do this. I can think of no better way to end a day’s campaigning than in a pub with friends – for me it’s such an important part of activism and it’s why we all keep coming back. If you want to help the Conservatives in the tightest election for a generation and be part of a network of friends with that same aim, why not come and join BUCF?
David Berverly – BUCF Campaigning Officer