Adrian Warnock on why he’s voting Conservative
It should already be obvious to my US readers from this post that UK Christians are far from united in their political views.Â Not for us a reflex vote in favor of the most Conservative, right-wing party. There is a strong history in the UK of Christian support for the Labour movement, and Liberal Democrats.Â This is because of a desire for fairness, and a support of the rights of workers not to be exploited or treated almost like slaves.Â Much good was done through the early union movement.Â We believe as Christians that we should help the poor.Â Many would argue that historically that Labour offered the best policies to support the marginalized in our society.
Social justice is, however, the first major reason why I am voting Conservative this time round.Â Brown has repeatedly seemed to overlook the needs of the poorest in our society. There was the nonsense of abolishing the lowest rate of tax, leading to a tax rise for the poorest working people. That alone is enough to torpedo Brownâ€™s right to say he is building a fairer society. But Brown has also presided over a system that has increased the perverse incentives on people not to marry, not to work, and to remain on sick leave.
The Conservative policy on social justice in this election has benefited from input given to it by a friend of mine, Philippa Stroud, who is standing as a Conservative candidate in Sutton and Cheam. Philippa is also the Executive Director of the Centre for Social Justice (http://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk)Â and Director of the Conservativeâ€™s Social Justice policy group. New Conservative policies as a direct result focus on finding ways to lift people out of poverty and into productive lifestyles in society wherever possible. Just for one example, there is a renewed commitment to providing residential rehab for drug and alcohol addicts to help them beat their problems. This is such an important issue for our society as the last few years has seen a massive reduction in the availability of these facilities which can quite literally save a life, and can prevent the collapse of a whole family. We have to work towards building society and helping people take responsibility for the wellbeing of others. The Conservatives also seem to be committed to providing better opportunities for church and other community groups to get involved in service provision, and encouraging engagement in the community by individuals.
In addition, ending the post-code lottery and arbitrary national refusal to fund some important new medications is also a vital social justice in my opinion. The Conservatives promise to allow access to cancer medications for all patients when their doctor thinks they will be helped by them. They are also the only party to guarantee the NHS will be saved from the cuts to public expenditure that are inevitably coming whoever we vote in.
Read it all. This is the first of a series looking at different policy areas.