Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Confusion about Conservativism

Tomorrow Theresa May will likely be elected the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. This is despite her best efforts to lose the position in a snap election she called for no reason. Try to find an opinion piece that says May did a good job running the campaign. If you find one, I'll lay down a substantial bet it's on a satire site.

One of her biggest flops was proposing a new charge for people who are receiving home care who own their homes. The idea ran that rich people ought to pay something for government assistance to make it more affordable for everyone else. Owning your home is basically being rich for the most part - you are sitting on this valuable asset while begging for help.

Dubbed the "dementia tax" by her opponents, this didn't go over well.

I can understand why Conservatives would be confused by this. Means testing programs and charging except in the case of dire need is a right-wing idea. Charging people for the programs they use in general rather than funding them from taxes is a right-wing idea. Why would it not be popular in this case?

It's not popular in this case because it is their own constituents who would largely be affected and paying for it. Older people - and, consequently, people who are most likely to own houses and to receive home care - are overwhelmingly Tory voters and Tory voters are very heavily older people.

Ring-wing ideology may once have been about conserving. Upholding traditions and institutions. Being responsible to the community. That kind of stuff.

Contemporary ring-wing ideology has two mottos. First, get yours. Second, fuck everyone else.

A problem with these two mottos as a political idea is that legislation isn't targeted toward people based on their party affiliation. You can't directly implement a policy of handing stuff over to people who voted for you and screwing over people who didn't. Parties sometimes seem to try their best, but it has to be done through obfuscation and proxies.

Another other problem with these mottos as a political idea is that you are not the people you elect. So when they implement "get yours" and "fuck everyone else" it is them who gets theirs and you who are part of the everyone else.

I'm unsurprisingly on board with a policy of taking old people's homes from them since, as anyone who knows me knows,
I hate old people
. But that's me in my most burn-it-all-down anti-conservative mode. I doubt the UK Tories want to go to that part of me for advice, since that voice thinks the people of the UK should be breaking out the guillotines.

That serious people with serious positions can be so openly destructive and hateful as a way to success makes me angry. I think it probably makes me jealous.

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