No More 'Us Against Them' Factionalism
Member Views is a series of opinion pieces written by Blue Beyond members.
Tory twitter has been abuzz with the latest drama for us all to sink our teeth into. To no one’s surprise, it is more factionalism. Something I had personally hoped to leave behind in 2020 or confine it to the Labour Party. Sadly, it is rearing its ugly head again, pitting one part of the Conservative Party against the others.
We need to put to rest the notion that there is one ‘true conservatism’. There is not. If you think there is, then you have misunderstood what conservatism and the Conservative Party is. We all recognise that we all have different ‘conservatism’. My own is One Nation Conservatism, in the spirit of Disraeli and the words of Baldwin. An outlook on conservatism that is paternalistic in nature. Where the relationship of the state with its citizens represents that of a typical family unit. In the sense that the state should be a parental like guide to its citizens, giving them space to make their way in life while being there to turn to in times hardship.
However, my One Nationism does not discount your Neo-Liberalism, your social conservatism, or whatever form of conservatism you subscribe to. Yes, we may have differing views and objectives, but we share the belief that the Conservative Party best represents our core beliefs and values. In my case, it’s the defence of our Union and the commitment to bottom-up and top-down approaches to social mobility. Above all, we recognise that the Conservative Party is home to rigorous debate, testing our ideologies and beliefs, for the benefit of the party. At the end of the day, the country is best served by a party that doesn’t have one ideology, rather one that reconciles different approaches to governance. One that can make compromises in the best interest of its citizens. And fundamentally, one that can encourage free debate and the tolerance of different points of views.
I appreciate it’s difficult to ideological loyalties aside, especially in the face of critique from other conservatives, but for the sake of the party, we must moderate ourselves, our behaviour. No more ‘us against them’ conflicts, no more telling members to leave for xyz party. We must end the belittling of other members conservatism, because the moment we stop trying to understand where we are all coming from is the moment we turn into the Labour party and tear ourselves apart. The Conservative Party hasn’t survived two centuries by descending into petty squabbles, by recklessly asserting one conservative ideology over another. We survived by listening to each other and the public. We survived by governing as one party, under one nation. Let’s not forget that.