It’s a simple word, yet it resonates with all.
It’s resonated throughout the millennium.
A great man in Cicero, a man through whom we see the best and worst of humanity and all of its beautiful flaws once said: “While there’s life, there’s hope”, and we have life in abundance. Everything we do every single day of our lives is defined by hope.
A student sits their exams hoping to succeed, a father raises a son hoping that they will have a better life than they have had. Politics is no different, all the parties barter with the currency of hope, while the voters buy a stake in them, hoping for a better future. In this election, the currency of hope played out like never before, and Labour held most of the chips. They were able to peddle dreams, ideals and a better world to an electorate seemingly starved of hope, in comparison to a lacklustre campaign by the Conservative party. While there is honour in being brutally honest in the electorate, if we all operated on an honest basis then none of us would live life. We would be starved of hope. Without a shadow of a doubt, Labour’s manifesto could never have happened, it was financially impossible, but Corbyn knew that. They all knew that. For Corbyn et al, it was a far bigger game. They knew they could win far more votes than anyone expected if they tapped into the elysium of hope than runs through the veins of every single person in this great nation.
Hope defines us, it defined Captain Cook when he set off for the new world, Shackleton when he set off to the North Pole and Harry in his quest to defeat Voldemort. Our success as a nation lies in our ability to hope and dream, to strive forwards and better ourselves. This is where socialism can be defeated. Socialism assumes a situation in which there is no hope, where the state has to give you what you want because your incapable of gaining it for yourself. However, as the great Baroness Thatcher proved, if you give a man or woman the ability to achieve what they want in life, the hope and drive to do whatever they want, whenever they want, without the constraints of a paternalistic socialist state deciding what it thinks you want. This argument was lost on the Conservatives in the election this year.
It’s oxymoronic that that at the age of 18, I find myself standing up as an old fashioned Conservative. I believe in the Union, I believe in our great nation and I believe in the ability of our people to stand up and take from life that they want, with the state there to provide the solid foundations that hope for a better future can be built on. Young people, far more than any other generation are fuelled by hope. Corbyn offered them a better world, one in which they felt like they would succeed, and one in which the balance between those who have retired now, who own their own home and have a solid pension, as opposed to people leaving university with anywhere between £27,000 and £50,000 worth of debt and seemingly no way out. We need to convince young people that voting Conservative isn’t about “austerity”, or supporting “the few”, it’s about believing in yourself, backing yourself to succeed and striving to make yourself better, enjoying the fruits of your labour and making far more choices in your life. Our party needs to reconnect with our core, and our ability to give people the tools to achieve what they want in life.
The left are standing up for what they believe in, and I’ll be dammed if I won’t do the same.