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Don’t let the Conservative Party become the ‘nasty party’ again

Sue Pascoe 3 3

Sue Pascoe

Designation

Sue Pascoe stood for election for Yorkshire and the Humber in the 2019 European Election, chairs the Conservative Women’s Organisation for North and East Yorkshire, and she is also on the Executive for the Conservative Disability Group.

I love my country and the community I live in, Yorkshire. I wish to see both prosper and for people to live full, productive and happy lives in an inclusive society where everyone is valued no matter who they are, who they love, their background or social status and where gender equality is cherished.

For me, personal liberty, equality of opportunity and enterprise with tolerance, compassion and fair play are core values and I think are the bedrock of Conservatism.

I wish to see people in more control of their personal lives and for them to keep more of their hard-earned money to spend as they choose rather than being taken by the State to spend inefficiently. I also believe in good public services funded by fair taxation levied across our society from individuals, small businesses to multinational corporations. Sound money, and productive growth of an integrated broad-based economy is essential.

I also wish to see the leader of the Conservative Party, whoever that may be, with a government of all the best talents of my Party, laser like focused on the issues everyday folk across our society see as their priorities.

Polls are consistent in showing cost of living and the economy, health (both physical and mental), security, housing, environment, education, social care, crime, levelling up and immigration top the priority list. Ultimately, it’s about improving the quality of life for all peoples and seeing that the vulnerable in our society are not left behind.

Focussing on the people’s priorities

Solving these problems are not always straight forward, easy or quick and involve difficult tradeoffs.

A focus on the people’s priorities rather than internal Conservative party problems or divisive distraction politics is what is required. The Party must show tangible delivery and improvement if my Party is to regain people’s trust and confidence and return a further Conservative government at the next election.

It is an easy tactic to try and distract attention from not delivering to shift focus onto minorities who are different than the average person and to stand in the way of societal change like King Canute who tried to stop the sea coming in.

People are not easily distracted when they can’t put food on the table, heat their homes or fill their cars up to travel. Society will also just sweep aside those who can’t keep up with the pace of change or put restrictions on individual freedoms and their friends and neighbours.

It has been disappointing to see the bitter personal attacks on individual candidates rather than a focus on policy exploration and see the candidates not have laser focus on people’s issues allowing themselves to get distracted into attacks on minorities, especially transgender people and asylum seekers.

Our leaders should be aware that equalities legislation and equality of opportunity for all are underpinned by not only being the right approach for our society, but our international treaty obligations made with the UN, the Council of Europe and in our trade agreements with the EU and other countries. We have only just ratified a few weeks ago the Istanbul Convention which says:

Conservative Party Istanbul Convention

We also are a global trading nation with one of the biggest financial centres in the world and businesses large and small see that embracing diversity and inclusion is good for their people, their businesses and shareholders. Empirical studies and firsthand experience of business show improved sales, profits plus wellbeing of their employees.

It’s not surprising therefore that the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority issued DP2/21 – “Diversity and inclusion in the financial sector – working together to drive change” or that the UN issued “Tackling Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, & Intersex People – Standards of Conduct for Business” which organisations around the world and in the UK are committed to.

The ‘nasty party’

As Conservative members we have a duty to choose a leader who will focus on the people’s priorities, will bring the full talents of our Party to bear on those priorities, who can grow ‘Global Britain’, ‘build back better’ and ‘level up’ our society for all people and who will not use divisive distraction politics to mask failings in delivery.

Finally, our Party is always successful when it embraces societal change in a Conservative way and doesn’t try to get rolled over by it. David Cameron showed us the way, as did Boris Johnson when he was Mayor of London. Theresa May did us a great service when she steered us away from our reputation of being ‘the nasty party’.

I plead with our leaders across our Party not to get that reputation again or we might be out of power for a long time.

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