How I went from a Left leaning, socialist towards the political Right as a result of the social cost created by the Left’s policies and the hypocrisy evident in the current Left.
My family are from the North so, naturally, we voted Labour. On mass. Tories may not have been followed directly with the word ‘scum’ in our house, but the inference was always in the word. Thatcher = evil.
I had all the ‘right’ viewpoints. Crime was a result of poverty. Any restrictions or intolerance to single mothers was bigotry. Anyone expecting people to stay in loveless marriages were cruel; how can someone live without love? Money should be taken from ‘the rich’ and given to ‘the poor’. I could go on and on.
Then I joined the police force. There were numerous wake-up calls before the ‘biggy’. For example, I arrested a girl for shoplifting who berated me in interview for daring to suggest any wrongdoing. She was on her own with a baby, she said. The council gave her hardly any money, she said. She was only just getting by…..on and on she went. Then at one stage I pointed out that all these arguments would be convincing if she hadn’t just stolen a leather mini skirt instead of, say, baby food for example.
I’d carried out search warrants on brand new, four bedroom homes which had been destroyed. Dog excrement moldy on carpets that had been newly laid, shopping trollies strewn over gardens blighting these new estates where neighbours who’d bought their properties kept immaculate lawns. It seemed that whatever was given was abused by some.
I went to household after household for domestic disputes were both partners, not just the men, verbally abused each other (not that there weren’t genuine domestic violence situations, some horrific, but in my experience the antagonism was equal and the actual physical violence rare). Both partners would inevitably have been drinking. When you asked how many children the couple had it was essential to ask about children that where not in that house hold; children’s futures who were currently under council care would of course be impacted by ongoing dangers within the home. A list would come out, four, five, six children, the majority of whom already been placed elsewhere. This would be a ‘new’ relationship, with ‘new’ children.
I would go to home after home were early teenage males were practically ferile. Their presence was wanted or not dependent on the new adult men that came in and out of their life. When there was no adult male their growing physicality enabled to dominate frightened, weak, lone single mothers.
As for social services, although I have met good social workers, a female dominated industry focused on caring would result in an emphasis on ‘understanding’ these parents. I’ve sat in a review process of neglectful and violent, drug taking parents were key worker after key worker started with the positives (“your children have been in school each day this term’ – three days in, the kids were late, but….) and then couching the self-evident negatives so thickly it was hard to see there was a severe problem. When I gave my information without such embellishments, but with accuracy, and the father became, inevitably, aggressive the meeting was drawn to a close. Three or four of the workers approached me to say thank you for being so honest, they had wanted to do the same. Well, why didn’t they?
This is a stark reminder to me as to why the current terrorists weren’t challenged. There is a dogma within our social institutions that leaves little room for personal responsibility and were these same institutions ‘mother’ certain profiled groups. Notice mother, not parent, with a balanced attitude. They’re ‘mothered’, as you would a young child.
By saying this I’m not denigrating motherhood, but the stereotype of the matriarch, the battle-axe, has been on the whole removed from the public sphere. You see, these women ruled the home, and although feminism wants to ‘rule’ it wants to rule in the public sphere. To recognise the importance of the battle-axe figure would recognise that women haven’t been oppressed, and it would also need to recognise the equal importance of the home environment in a full time capacity.
This matriarchal figure has been replaced with a persona of psychtzophrenic womanhood; able to physically fight as well as men, but offering endless compassion in its excuses for any wrongdoing by groups other than white males, particularly those who are from the middle classes.
The battle-axe would have known the importance of ‘old fashioned’ morality too. And as this old fashioned morality has subsided from every sphere it is the poorest that have been most hit. The middle and upper classes know what is best for children, they practise it. However many in the middle class have encouraged the opposite of this behaviour within society for their own vanity. They do so because the new morality has advertised itself as ‘compassionate’, ‘tolerant’ as well as resulting in the best outcome for all. When practised on mass though it is anything but these things, although at present the real detriment that is being experienced is by the poor. Yes, those more wealthy have avoided these downsides for now, their comparative wealth having cushioned them from the greatest excesses.
Nevertheless, I have seen also seen just how these negative rammifactions have started to impact on the middle classes. Gradually the requirement not to judge women who are pregnant outside of marriage, to celebrating single mothers, to ensuring they everyone is a ‘single mother’, irrelevant of how they reached that position, has eroded codes of conduct. This has meant that it has become more and more acceptable for young men to ignore their responsibilities – as, despite feminist assertions, young men were previously held responsible. After all, the term shotgun wedding was used for a reason.
Inevitably, as middle class men too, have shirked their responsibilities – or have had their responsibilities reduced or denied due to female empowerment – there have been ‘poorer’ middle class households.
As divorce has become more prevalent the willingness to marry, particularly from young men, has eroded. In the 80s Mrs Thatcher spoke of her shock finding out that the majority of her daughters class mates came from divorced parents. Well now it will be their aunts, uncles and grandparents too. There will be very few intact marriages for young people to observe throughout the generations in a majority of cases now, so their ability to learn how to keep a marriage together, or just a relationship, will be weakened. This will result in more poverty.
Labour’s response has been to remove more and more social taboos and provide more and more money. They name poverty as the problem. Yet even the most poor are not as poor as our grandparents generation. The poverty is from social norms and their disintegration.
As this fractures society more and more the cost of repairing the damage, to fill the void families filled, will just become greater and greater. As the government becomes bigger and bigger to deal with it so too does its control over our lives. Our ability to critique the situation becomes reduced, policed as hate language.
Before I mentioned the ‘biggy’, the incident that really started me down the track to moving Right rather than Left. Whilst I was still in the police I was stood in a row of council houses where I was attending and incident of mild public order. A group of residents were up in arms over the behaviour of their neighbours. One of them pointed to me and said, in anger, “Look at them in there, they’ve got a flat screen tv [this was some years ago when they’d just come out and were hugely expensive], they have all the labels on their clothes, everything. That’s not the worse thing though. The worse thing is my wife and I work all the hours, but they’re at home all day influencing our kids”.
So many times I recount this story to those on the ‘Left’ who blame the ‘Right wing media’ for those in council areas who are working class yet don’t support them. Firstly, people don’t believe things about ‘benefit scroungers’ because of whats written in the news. They believe it because they know them. In fact, if you live on a nice road, surrounded by nice middle class people you’re more likely to be taken in by The Guardian than someone on a council estate is by the Daily Mail.
Secondly, his primary concern wasn’t to begrudge them their ‘stuff’. They were justly annoyed that they could work and they didn’t (this was, after all, in the South). What annoyed them most was the influence on their kids. I sympathised with that. Like I said, I’m from the North. So many of my cousins have fallen to drugs, unemployment, crime, or in the women’s case four or five children from different, absent fathers. All of those involved in drugs were introduced to them by adult, unemployed men who made an active career out of unemployment. The teenage boys who were involved in their youths by drugs became young men unable to maintain relationships, the women convinced by society that it would still be ‘liberating’ to have sex with them.
As we increase state interference the biggest burden falls to those on the bottom. It always does. That means the social ramifications, as I’ve just explained. It also means who is given the relentless ‘second chance’s. After all, when a judge or a group of magistrates from wealthy background feel pity for the story in front of them and behave leniently again it is the neighbours that must receive these people into their midst. The judges, the magistrates live somewhere else entirely.
They say good neighbours need strong walls. Well, if you only have weak walls and tiny if none-existent gardens good neighbours need clear and enforceable rules.
Yet, one of the worst things about the new, ‘caring’, leftist society we have isn’t those ignorant of the consequences of their ‘compassion’; it’s the hypocrisy of those who call for more government, which means more taxation, whilst avoiding paying those taxes themselves, out of the much that they have.
Nothing, nothing says that like the story that broke this week about the ‘caring’ socialists caught up in the dubious tax avoidance scheme. Many of these, like the majority of the super rich, celebrities espouse Left wing views that are extreme and berate those that don’t agree with them (Geldof, Linekar etc).
More and more when I look on the current Left I see the hypocrisy within heir position. That doesn’t mean that I think hypocrisy is a feature of the Left. I do believe, however, that as Left wing views have become the main stream, the establishment view, what has inevitably happened is that any dissent has been vilified and people therefore profess the position because it is socially expedient to do so.
I believe in traditional, sexual morality for the reasons I outlined above. However I am happy to point out that whereas the sexual ethics of the Victorian period started out as a necessary challenge to the promiscuity and subsequent poverty of the Georgian, these same sexual ethics became used as a means of social capitol. Their private behaviour, inevitably, didn’t reflect their publicised, vocal concerns. That doesn’t mean the heart of the sexual ethics was wrong, but that when preached from such a point – not of thoughtful analysis, but of vanity – its application became callous.
It’s the same now with Left wing ‘compassion’. It doesn’t help the poor, but utilises the poor as a means to and end; for social glorification.
I now describe myself as a social conservative; I believe the family and, its off-shoot, a strong society is the best means to help the poor. I do believe in a small welfare state, that is an official capacity to help the deserving poor. I would help the undeserving too, but this help must come through charitable means, so the recipients know that it is not their ‘due’, but out of compassion that they are helped. That, in return, their ‘due’ is to those that helped them and that they must repay it by becoming active, responsible members of society again.
I believe in low taxation, so that families have the means to enable themselves to a better way of life and to encourage strong families as a result. I believe, too, in the removal of barriers to women joining the workforce, but not in governmental assistance to ‘advance’ women. I believe in the importance of a family member, regardless of sex, who is able to run a house hold and care for members within the family. Low taxation would help families to ensure someone was able to oversee the home and its members. If its important enough for the government to pay for it, its important enough for us to acclaim it when the work doesn’t receive monetary reward.
The Conservative party doesn’t reflect my opinions, of course. It sees itself as a solution to life ills. I see us as the solution. However, even though the Conservative Party is not a reflection of my political beliefs I’m hoping they win this election. I’m also hoping that overtime those of us who are socially conservative stop being ‘shy’; unless we start to communicate our viewpoints, challenge the idea of the Left as being the ‘compassionate’ side, we will not change our society.