A Sober take on Love, Life and London
By Janna Fox
I was raised to hate the Conservative Party. I have always voted Labour and felt that what the Tories represent is bad things for normal people like me. The Conservatives, to me, represent the rich, the aristocracy and the upper classes; they give to the rich while taking a dump on the poor.
When I was at Primary School and John Major, Michael Heseltine and someone else were up for PM I remember vaguely being asked which of the three I supported by my very Conservative Head Mistress, Mrs Desmond, and I replied that I didn’t like any of them recalling my Dad shouting at the previous night’s edition of Channel Four News.
My Dad is a lefty with working class roots. He’s always hated the Conservatives and utterly resented living in a Tory constituency where my sister and I were raised. He would swear at the blue signs lining the road coming into the village at election time with contempt for ‘those Tory bastards’. My mother is the same but less vocal about it, she was a Nurse and from a long line of Nurses so it’s definitely all about the NHS in our house.
I remember being in Mr Carrs’ history class in Year 7 and seeking some external political clarification I asked him to explain the three largest political parties.
‘In a nutshell’ he said ‘the Tories make the rich richer and the poor poorer, the Lib Dems want everyone to be equal and Labour is somewhere in the middle’.
I decided to stick with ‘somewhere in the middle’.
That summed up my political education. Labour good. Tory BAD. Lib Dems are great but they’ll never win sooo…
The older I got and the more I started to pay attention (which honestly isn’t that much so I’ll apologise now) the more I was inclined to agree with my parents.
The NHS rules.
What happened to the miners was awful.
Definitely don’t like Thatcher.
Of course we should help people less fortunate than ourselves, take in refugees, that sort of thing.
Then one day I was chatting with a very Labour lefty friend of mine regarding some research I was doing for a play about post-natal depression. She was telling me about her experience working with some mothers in Glasgow and something came out of my mouth somewhere along the lines of ‘some people should be sterilised’ and the room turned cold, silence descended, she looked at me like I was some sort of Tory.
Its times like these that make me wonder…
Am I a Closet Conservative?
I am still pro NHS and I always will be and because of that I think that cosmetic surgery like breast enlargements or reductions, tummy tucks and nose jobs should not be funded by the tax payer. There are a lot of ‘what ifs’ attached to this argument the leading one being that the patients psychological state of mind would be drastically improved by cosmetic surgery however I do actually stand on the right of this one and believe that anything fixed on the exterior will only temporarily aid an interior problem and that ultimately if you want cosmetic surgery you should pay for it yourself.
Seeing that the poster boy for this argument is that awful Jeremy *unt has me a little concerned.
Inheritance tax is wrong too. We’ve already paid tax on our money the first time round I see absolutely no reason at all why the state should be able to claim any more of our income when we die. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.
Dad, look away now, it gets worse.
Child benefit. I don’t agree with it. There, I said it. I am pretty sure this is not going to be a popular view but it’s what I think. I was horrified when I learnt that the government actually pays people to have a baby! Who knew?
A family with two children can claim nearly £1,800 a year in Child Benefit. In the 2015-16 tax year, you can claim: £20.70 per week for your first child. £13.70 a week for any further children.
Twenty pounds a week eh? Well, that’d buy me a trip to Morrisons. I notice I’m not receiving any free money for not bringing children into this world, for not being a drain on the planets fossil fuels, land-fill or limited and fast running out resources. I mean it’s not like the population is in danger and we actually need any more people is it? Quite the opposite in fact. The last time I checked which was NOW world population figures for 2016 were just under 7.5 billion, the UK population covering 65 million of that.
I do believe that if you are going to bring a child into this world then you should be able to pay and care for it yourself and no one else is or should ever have to be responsible for it or you. If you can’t pay for it then don’t have it; no one is forced to have a baby these days, modern medicine provides us all with several choices. Yes I was pleased when Theresa Mays government restricted tax credit for families with more than two children because I think there are better things to spend the money on unfortunately this same government although good at making cuts hasn’t proved itself in my eyes at being particularly responsible when re-distributing the wealth.
Total Tory right? And it gets worse.
IVF. I have a problem with IVF morally and I am aware it is easy to say this if you don’t want children particularly of your own like myself however hear me out there are reasons. I also do not think it should be allowed on the NHS.
One cycle of IVF can cost up to £5000.
That £5000 could be fixing little Jimmys back with spinal diffada whose operation he had to raise the money for himself or paying for the SEVENTY THOUSAND children living in care in the UK. And this is really why I don’t agree with it.
There are over 70,000 children living in care in the U.K.
And yet we allow our crippling Health Service to fund an unnatural and invasive treatment costing five grand a pop to satisfy an emotional and selfish desire or want. From my point of view it is more unnatural that people who are ‘desperate’ for a baby don’t want to take care of someone else’s child in genuine need of love and affection. But that’s my view and I am not so callous as to suggest IVF should be banned, although I don’t understand or agree with it I do understand that some people believe they have no other option than their own child I just think they should pay for the treatment themselves.
Yes it’s all well and good me having a moan about people not taking good enough care of their children or being in a fit position to have them but does that make me a Conservative at heart? I would have to answer not. Because fundamentally I have more of a problem with the children of the poor or disadvantaged not being looked after properly than I do with folk wanting to grow their own eggs.
I HATE Theresa May.
I am also very Pro Choice, anti-nuclear weapons and against Israels Palestinian occupation/apartheid which is generally an unpopular view amongst the boys and girls in blue.
I am a pretty balanced person and do try to see both sides to most arguments. For example, I can see that putting spikes in the ground in Central London to prevent rough sleepers sleeping is wrong.
I can also see that taking blankets off the homeless for whatever reason is very wrong. However on the opposite side I can understand why some people have no sympathy for the homeless; you’re homeless and I’m not because you sit on the street all day and I go to work. No, things are not always that simple and yes I empathise with you if you have nowhere to live and are addicted to heroin but I do also believe we all have a choice in this life as to whether we deal with our problems and addictions or allow them to get the better of us.
However that being said if you take into account the amount of homeless people that are products of our care system and how many of them grew up in care and went straight into homelessness then maybe you could also start to understand why I’m against IVF or people having several children they can’t afford to feed. As I write this seventy thousand children are living in care. We don’t need more children we need a society with a conscience, prepared to take care of the children that are already here. If more children were adopted so many adults wouldn’t end up homeless, addicted and unloved and if people that spend literally thousands of pounds for unsuccessful IVF treatments adopted and spent their thousands of pounds on these discarded children instead those same children would have better opportunities and a greater chance at a life worth living.
Yes I can understand why people may want their own child however I do think that compassion is lacking when it comes to people opting for IVF over adoption; did you know that when a child reaches two they are much less likely to be adopted because people want to adopt a baby and a toddler is more likely to be emotionally damaged from potentially previously abusive experiences and less likely to look like theirs.
That breaks my heart.
Let’s just leave all the broken children in one box shall we and then they can go and sleep on those lovely spikes outside parliament when they turn 16 and get kicked out AGAIN.
At the same time I can also see why some struggling families should be given help to prevent their children ending up in care by potentially being allowed more funding from ‘the state’.
But where does this leave me? Yes I am largely liberal and would never vote Conservative however I do have some fairly controversial views that I have been nervous about airing. Why? Because I know not everyone will agree with me and these days there is this culture of finger pointing, name calling, protesters ready to start a petition when anybody dares go against the popular grain. So I don’t air my views about adoption and IVF or child benefit, I keep my Conservative views in the closet even though I feel very strongly about them because I don’t want to offend or lose friends as that is the outcome I anticipate.
This is a lot more common than you would think.
Nobody thought that Donald Trump would be voted in President after making so many nonsense and derogatory remarks about immigrants, Muslims and women but he did. It didn’t bother people that badly because they must have already been thinking it and instead of being able to discuss these views calmly and rationally they probably said something small once and were labelled a bigot or a racist so they just decided to shut up about it and protest in private with a cross in a box. Nobody thought that the U.K would vote to leave the European Union based on such a racist and often untrue anti-immigration campaign but we still did. Michael Gove famously stated that the country was sick of experts and it turned out that he was right.
Is it possible that so many people were collectively so frustrated by not saying the things they wanted to say that the only way they felt they could say it was with a vote that would go against all the odds? Here and in America?
We are not invited to say that we feel uncomfortable or intimidated by groups of people speaking in a different language even though it is natural to feel intimidated when you don’t understand what someone is saying in close proximity to you.
We are not welcomed to pass judgement on people having children that they know they cannot afford even though it doesn’t make sense and ultimately costs us all as tax payers.
We are judged for admitting that the cultural landscape of our country is different now and we are unsympathetic to our older generation who find it more difficult to navigate and accept.
We would rather ignore this uncomfortable side of human nature and force people with different views to ours to keep them hidden as if they are doing something wrong. This in turn seems to have a negative effect; suppressing thoughts or emotions that would be better off let out instead of held inside to fester and ultimately enlarge becoming all the more dangerous.
Unfortunately what I see today is much worse than I could have ever imagined. A Conservative party that is going hard right to massage the egos of the Brexiteers and fill the pockets of multi millionaires aligned with a media so poisonous that it has brainwashed the public, even the moderates, to become so engulfed with hate towards one person, one political figure that threatens the elite until the population would rather argue than take action and are yet again at risk of voting against their own interests in another protest vote.
I will never give the Conservative party my vote even though some of my opinions listed here may lean more to their point of view than other political parties.
Closet Conservative or not by releasing this blog I have allowed myself to think these unpopular thoughts and to air my controversial opinions.
No you might not agree with them but it’s healthier for me to air them now than to keep them bottled up and risk voting Tory on June 8th.
Basically I still agree with Mr Carr and I’ll stick to the middle. Ta.