How conservative values can help us secure a better future & Why modern British conservatism is the best response to Labour’s new socialism
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Summary Of Key Points
Capitalism Vs Socialism
Capitalism equates to competence plus hard work resulting in constructive change. It leads to a meaningful and purpose-driven life with societal progression.
Marxist Socialism equates to resentment plus idleness resulting in destructive change. It leads to a meaningless and empty life with societal degradation.
Capitalism is not a perfect economic system, but it is the best one the world has ever known. It is at the core of conservative philosophy and Conservative politics.
Whenever Marxist Socialism has been adopted as a system of economics and governance, anywhere in the world, it has always ended in failure.
Currently, Labour’s political hardware is torn between supporting, or abandoning, Marxist economics. Meanwhile, its political software is running an elitist, hybrid operating system. A bizarre mix of neo-Marxism and woke (or liberal) socialism i.e. the politics of resentment, division, victimhood, and opportunism.
Valuing Human Imperfection
Human beings need to be anchored in the world and connected in life. Conservatism understands this basic truth and advocates that every life has intrinsic worth. Conservatives are the true party of benevolence and compassion, whereas Labour merely pretends to be.
Socialism is a pathology of hatred, comfortable with dehumanising individuals. Socialists despise the people they claim to care about. Individuals, striving for a better life, pose a threat to their warped vision of a utopian society run by authoritarian ideologues and intellectuals.
Despite a damning finding by the EHRC, Labour remains a safe space for far-left political extremists. Sir Keir Starmer is taking a leisurely approach in detoxifying his racist party.
Success And Security
Schools should be modern temples of learning. Young people deserve a decent, well-rounded education. One that develops the mind, by learning how to think, and instils the courage to act constructively in the world. Converting ideas into actions.
Labour’s professed belief in the power of education is a sham. The party denigrates success and disparages people, particularly from working backgrounds, who dare to be ambitious.
Conservatives recognise that being intelligent, without being industrious, is not a healthy, meaningful way to live. We understand knowledge and skills are essential for social mobility.
The Left worldview is naïve. They believe globalisation is good and see no problem in removing borders. The Right believe every life has intrinsic value, but also realise every individual can be complex, and even callous. Thus, it is essential to be realistic and responsible on immigration.
Development Not Decline
Conservatism seeks to conserve that which works well and reform that which does not. Learning from the past, and improving the future, in a way that is thoughtful and measured.
Conservatism advocates taking responsibility for our own lives, supporting our families, and helping other individuals in society by empowering them.
Conservatives appreciate the importance of working. We need something to strive for to give our lives purpose and meaning. Labour is promoting an anti-competence, anti-work agenda.
Conservatives understand family is the foundation of society. Our best guarantee for security, connection, happiness, and contentment. Socialists view the family unit with contempt.
Following an influx of workshy individuals, Labour has been gripped by resentment and idleness. Labour MPs scam young people into believing life is easy and hard work is optional.
Conservatism offers a credible alternative to empower the next generation. Simple, honest truths built on values of responsibility, self-improvement, respect, hard work, and ambition.
A Brighter Future
We are lucky to live in such an incredible country. We should preserve and protect the best of British, and promote our imperfect history, to the next generation.
We need not engage with those who seek to do us harm or undermine our values. Instead, we should work to solve problems for ordinary people.
We can take pride in our successes and strive to perfect the nation we intend to bestow. A nation where equal rights and equal responsibilities go hand-in-hand.
The degeneration of political discourse is a product of incompetence and chaos on the Left. Conservatives have the competence and order to get on with the job.
Modern conservatism has a great deal to offer our country. We are the party of progress and benevolence. Self-improvement and hard work. The party of responsibility, success, inclusivity, and family. Building better lives for all – and taking our nation forwards.
The Price We Pay
When I resigned from Labour in 2020, I laid the blame squarely at the feet of the party. This was unfair. I was angry after years of far-left abuse. Processing feelings of betrayal. The ultimate sin.
As time has gone on, a clearer picture has emerged. It is true there has been a deterioration in British politics. The Labour Party, in particular, has degenerated greatly this last decade.
But as I have aged, and broadened my horizons, many of my core beliefs have also evolved. I am no longer the same 18-year-old who joined New Labour one sunny afternoon at Brunel University.
It is a blessing and a curse to have an open, curious mind. By not being closed to new information, or different people, I have learned new ideas and different ways to understand the world. However, it meant abandoning comfortable, familiar surroundings, and a host of political friends.
Perhaps this is the price we pay to grow.
A Year In Contemplation
I joined the Conservative Party in spring 2021 and now serve as Deputy Chair of Leicester Conservatives. I am thrilled to be on board. Proud to be in a party that reflects my values.
For me, this was the culmination of a steady, but serious, journey of political transition. A journey lasting more than a year. The duration of lockdown.
I spent much of my time speaking with friends, and studying the works of many great thinkers, to develop and distil my own conservative beliefs.
In this paper I shine a light on ideas I believe are essential. Ideas about people, politics, psychology, and philosophy.
I discuss conservative values and how these can help us secure a better future. I reference some of the problems now blighting the Labour Party.
I outline why modern British conservatism is the best response to Labour’s new socialism. Finally, I draw on my experiences, and talk about my vision for the future of our country.
I shall now set out my own, imperfect, case for conservatism.
Competence And Hard Work In Capitalism
Competence is the product of innate human curiosity and a yearning for self-improvement. Capitalism values competence, and thus, competent people tend to do well in capitalist societies.
Competence, in this context, can be the collective term for our:
Knowledge – information gleaned from learning and stored in the mind;
Thoughts – the ability to think and create new ideas and solutions;
Skills – using knowledge and thoughts to complete tasks and make progress;
Creative Potential – tangible results produced by acting constructively in the world.
Competence is developed slowly through life by studying, working, and competing with others – and our younger, former selves – to become better. As we increase competence, we can trade our time in exchange for reward and satisfaction i.e. working, running a business, volunteering etc.
Everyone can build sufficient competence to work a job or find a creative outlet. But not everyone has the best start in life. We rightly have education and welfare systems to help address this.
Overall, capitalism is competence plus hard work, resulting in constructive change in the world. It leads to a meaningful and purpose-driven life and, eventually, societal progression.
Capitalism is not a perfect economic system. But it is also the best one the world has ever known. It promotes freedom, progress, co-operation, and equality, and has transformed the course of human history, lifting billions out of poverty. Capitalism is at the core of conservative philosophy and Conservative politics – and rightly so.
Protecting Our Nation
It has been a painful year. Our lives have changed forever. We have seen, perhaps for the first time, the face of our own mortality. I know I have.
At a time of unprecedented challenge – a full-blown, global emergency – Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government took a hugely interventionalist approach.
Borrowing, and injecting, hundreds of billions of pounds into the British economy. Empowering the NHS. Saving lives, jobs, and businesses. Delivering a successful vaccine rollout.
It was a significant and responsible undertaking in frightening times. A government, stepping up, to fulfil its primary purpose. Protecting the British people and saving the economy.
The last decade has not been plain sailing. There have been many, not unreasonable, criticisms of Conservative policies. But the party has grown to embody an important truth. We can practise social compassion without socialism. We can have lightly regulated markets without Marxism.
Conservative fiscal policy has rolled with the times. Pressing on different levers of economic theory, blending monetarist and Keynesian approaches, as and when required. This demonstrates adaptability and expertise. Responsible management of Britain’s economy.
Rishi Sunak has proven himself an exceptional chancellor. He has done more for working people than Labour ever would. This is why Labour has struggled to land any credible opposition.
A spring 2021 survey of Labour voters found 55% preferred Tory Rishi Sunak. Compared to just 37% support for their own (now-defunct) shadow chancellor, Anneliese Dodds.
Resentment And Idleness In Socialism
Something For Nothing
Envy is a perilous human emotion and goes beyond desire, a healthy sensation we all feel. In the context of understanding socialism, we can think of ‘desire’ as noticing another person’s success, and wanting it for ourselves – by working hard to achieve it.
Whereas ‘envy’, in the same context, is noticing another person’s success, and wanting it for ourselves – by judging the other person unworthy and wishing to deprive them i.e. envious resentment.
Envious resentment dwells in the mind. When converted into action, it is akin to idleness and theft. Wanting something for nothing. Failing, or refusing, to earn value and success by building competence, working hard, and contributing to society.
Resentment is at the core of Marxism, and Marxism is the obsolete 19th century doctrine of socioeconomics, offered by socialism.
Overall, socialism is resentment plus idleness, resulting in destructive change in the world. It leads to a meaningless and empty life and, eventually, societal degradation.
Whenever Marxist Socialism has been adopted as a system of economics and governance, anywhere in the world, it has always ended in failure – often with dire consequences. My family knows this all too well. It was fanatical, authoritarian left-wing politics built on resentment, that led to all Asian people being forcibly expelled from Uganda, in the early 1970s.
Labour’s Hardware/Software Problem
In today’s Labour Party there is an ongoing tug of war. Between socialists – who want to replace capitalism with some form of Marxism – and social democrats, who understand capitalism is here to stay and want to work within it i.e. New Labour.
Meanwhile, as Labour’s political hardware decides whether to support, or abandon, Marxism, its political software is running an elitist, hybrid operating system. A bizarre mix of neo-Marxism and woke (or liberal) socialism i.e. the politics of resentment, division, victimhood, and opportunism.
Consequently, the Labour Party is more interested in vilifying successful, aspirational individuals, than doing anything to help ordinary working people – and their children – to get ahead.
Labour is ideologically adrift, clinging desperately to any old rubbish that floats by. Labour lacks credibility on the economy for several reasons. Not least because the party is still grappling with such an absurd, and outdated, political debate.
Britain invented capitalism. We began the Industrial Revolution! Capitalism has prevailed around the world. Socialists may as well be trying to convince the Inuit people to give up fishing.
Valuing The Imperfect Individual
I learned a major life lesson, between summer 2017 and summer 2018, when I was a Labour council candidate in Harborne, Birmingham. I endured the seething, vengeful hatred of socialists.
As I was acting in the world to bring about change – with a team of dedicated, moderate supporters – I was on the receiving-end of a relentless 9-month campaign of abuse, bullying, and anti-Hindu bigotry. A vicious, concerted effort to destroy me, by people in my own party. It was a pretext for attacking my competence and my work ethic.
After losing that election, and having suffered such an onslaught from fellow Labour activists, I fell into a depressive episode lasting two months. The only time this has ever happened to me.
My family, my friends, and the rekindling of my Hindu faith brought me back from that darkness. I felt a sense of awakening and, over the proceeding few years, I was motivated to work even harder. Motivated to learn the truth – and shine a light – on matters of consequence.
The experience changed my life and, ultimately, my politics. This is the story of my redemption.
The Party Of Benevolence
Now, years later, I understand the warped psychology of socialism, and the troubled minds of resentful socialists. My eyes have been opened and I see now what I did not see before.
That conservatives are the ones who truly value personhood. Conservatives are accepting of individual human beings as we really are. Flawed, but limitless. Fragile, but repairable.
People of all backgrounds with complex lives of intrinsic value. Individuals worthy of respect, forgiveness, and salvation. Conservatives are the true party of benevolence and compassion, empowering individuals to take responsibility, and thus, transform their lives for the better.
Anchored In Existence
We, Homo sapiens, are an imperfect species some two-hundred-thousand-years in the making. Warriors and healers. Builders and thinkers.
We have an evolutionary and existential need to be anchored in the world. To belong and be connected in our lives, with some semblance of origin and tribe, duty and love.
This can be achieved in tried and tested ways. Family, friends, and relationships. Productive work. Spiritual contentment. Sport, culture, and tradition. And love of country – our democratic nation state. The grand old story of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
A kingdom, united. Holding us all together through life’s ups and downs.
The False Search For Perfection
The Dark Side Of Socialism
Authoritarian socialists reject grand narratives like the British nation and its heritage. They refuse our true nature for anchoring in the world and connection in our lives.
Socialists have little patience for human dignity. Individuals are of limited value. Unworthy of deliverance, and expendable, for the good of the group. It is not unlike the approach taken by another well-meaning collective in search for perfection. The Borg from Star Trek.
As an ideology, socialism is comfortable with dehumanising individuals. When employed as a system of governance – in regimes that are communist in theory, but socialist in practice – it is a foregone conclusion malevolent tyrants, with troubled minds, rise to the top.
Inflicting pain, suffering, and humiliation on others for pleasure. This is the definition of sadism, and sadism is the dark side of the socialist moon. It may not be observable. But it is always there.
How else do we explain the genocidal mass murder of hundreds of millions of individuals in Soviet Russia, Mao’s China, and 1970s Cambodia? To name but three examples. An incalculable loss of human life, and human potential, caused by a global pandemic of evil ideas.
A Safe Space For Extremists
I am not claiming Labour would be a far-left socialist government. But one fact remains.
In 2020, for the first time in British history, a mainstream political party was deemed to be institutionally racist. A finding, in law, delivered by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.
Despite more than a year in the job for Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, his party remains far too hospitable to left-wing political extremists. A warm, welcoming home for some of our most disturbed fellow citizens. Severely misguided individuals with deeply problematic ideas.
Spewing racism. Venerating despots. Holding anti-human sentiment in the chaos of their minds. Projecting self-hatred onto the world and, especially, onto working people who love their families.
The harm caused by Labour to Britain’s Jewish community, as well as others in our nation, tarnished forever the reputation of an important British institution.
The party of Atlee and Wilson. Blair and Brown. The movement that established our National Health Service and so much more besides.
Labour must find its own redemption soon.
Aspiring To A Better Life
Schools As Modern Temples
As an inexperienced Leicester councillor, aged 29, I recall sitting in a closed-door Labour group meeting. We were discussing the future of a school that wanted to switch to academy status.
Every councillor spoke against allowing the grant-maintained school becoming an academy. Not because they were concerned about the quality of education students would get. They were not.
They simply did not want to see a Labour-run local authority lose control and management of the school in question. It was baffling to me. Now, nearly a decade on from that debate, I see how the party had begun drifting off in the wrong direction.
I am not an expert in the field, but I believe properly-run, independent academy schools can be remarkable places of education. Modern temples of learning, with greater autonomy and empowered, well-paid teachers working miracles on impressionable young minds. Producing superb academic results and many contented parents and guardians.
Labour Sneers At Success
The sad reality is Labour’s professed belief in the power of education is a sham. The party now distrusts individuals who become too educated. Too ambitious, too hard-working, too successful. Labour begins disparaging such people. Deploying the politics of resentment.
Sneering at individuals, particularly those of us from working class backgrounds, who aspire to something more. How dare we use our education to build a better life!
Nowadays, Labour prefers to see people wallow in self-pity and hopelessness. Used as cannon fodder by its politicians. Labour MPs who spend their days tweeting endlessly about Palestine, Yemen, Kashmir – and a myriad of other far-flung places. All the places in the world requiring Labour expertise, for some particular reason, and always at the expense of the British taxpayer.
Conservatives believe in the power of education. We understand knowledge and skills are essential for social mobility. We value free speech and free inquiry. Free from the fear of being ‘cancelled’ or harmed for a fleeting transgression or incomplete thought.
A Complete Education
The new socialist Left focuses on developing the mind. Absorbing facts. Achieving qualifications. Learning how to think. Or rather, what to think.
The modern conservative Right goes further. We believe education is a lifelong endeavour. But it should not just be about developing the mind and then, confined to the cushy, risk-free pursuit of only ever criticising other people’s actions.
A proper education requires much more than being an incomplete intellectual, sheltering in the safety of imagination.
Thoughts Into Actions
There are two prerequisites for developing a decent, robust education that builds individual competence. Cultivating the mind, by learning how to think. And then, fostering the courage to extract those thoughts, by acting in the world; constructively, not destructively.
In other words, seeking out information and collating knowledge, facts, and arguments. Able to use one’s mind to create new ideas and solutions. A mental endeavour.
Then, using one’s strength, actions, resources, technology, and/or the help of other people, to take those thoughts and ideas, and work them into existence. A physical endeavour.
Failing Is Learning
We might fail, repeatedly. We will make mistakes, assuredly. But so what? We are flawed and fragile individuals. Why should our attempts at creation be any different?
This is the essence of what it means to be well-educated, and, also, truly alive. Living in the here and now. The present moment. Not trapped in the regrets of yesterday. Not worried about the fears of tomorrow. But living for today.
Taking the risk to build and achieve something of value in our lives. A creative experience that feels scary and difficult. Pushed beyond our comfort zone and possibly made to look a fool!
But only in the eyes of foolish people, too afraid to try their hand at living.
A person that focuses entirely on developing their mind, without taking responsibility to build overall competence, by acting constructively in the world, may experience self-loathing in later life. Self-loathing that will manifest as resentment of others perceived to be doing well.
This is Labour’s current predicament. Mired in the resentment politics of socialism, and a host of other cataclysms, catering to the neurosis of extremist ideologues and embittered intellectuals.
Conservatives recognise that being intelligent, without being industrious – i.e. failing to convert invisible brainpower, into visible results – is not a healthy, meaningful way to live. We understand that working hard, and having something to strive for, brings us not only financial reward but also spiritual contentment, and a happier, healthier life.
Put another way, in language more relatable to Generation Z, in this era of Tiktok and Instagram: it is better to be a content creator, than to be a troll. The former is difficult but rewarding. The latter is easy but meaningless. This is the difference between modern conservatism and woke socialism.
Borders Bring Order To Chaos
Rule Of Law
The Right has long been comfortable with borders. The Left has always struggled with them. This is ludicrous in some sense. We all instinctively support borders between ourselves and other people. We instinctively support borders between our possessions and the possessions of others.
The rule of law is how we build and maintain borders amongst individuals. It brings predictable social order to an unpredictable state of anarchy and chaos.
Respect for the rule of law is essential in a well-functioning, modern democracy with millions of people. This basic principle is no longer the default position for the Left.
A Dangerous Agenda
Socialists and woke radicals have a dangerous, anarchic agenda. They work routinely in opposition to the rule of law, and this includes national borders.
They have a simplistic world view and a naïve understanding of human nature. All too often, it is the result of intellectual immaturity, and a false sense of security, inflated by social media.
When it comes to immigration, many on the Left believe globalisation is inherently good for people. Whereas national laws, which seek to curb free movement, are inherently bad.
They take the traditional (and reasonable) Labour mantra – that pooling knowledge and working together leads to a better state of affairs – and seek to apply it globally, to all and sundry.
They believe all people, including those born and raised in parts of the world with little or no shared history with Britain, and our values, can easily be assimilated into our society en masse.
This explains why Labour is hostile to borders that stem the flow of people. It shows why Labour is also weak on crime, and national defence, particularly when the far-left are in the ascendancy.
The True Nature Of Humankind
It is easy to talk deleting borders if one believes, opportunistically, large numbers of poorer economic migrants will adopt leftist ideals, and have a minimal impact on jobs and wages.
It is easy to talk decriminalisation, and dismantling nuclear weapons, if one believes, naïvely, the rest of humanity can be trusted, and everyone’s good intentions can be taken at face value.
In reality, and despite every life having intrinsic worth, every single individual is also capable of great cruelty and great evil, as I have come to learn from a career in criminal justice.
There is a shadow in every mind. An unconscious, undiscovered self. A back seat driver that can be cold, calculating, and callous. Here lurks a person’s capacity to carry out acts of barbarism. Brutal violence. Mass murder. Sexual assaults on children. This is the true, complex nature of humankind.
If we are to survive, and thrive, we must first understand who we are. Not as social groups and nation states; political parties and religions. But as a developed, and dangerous, biological species.
There is no guarantee individuals raised in parts of the world that do not share our values, or worse, oppose our values – i.e. democracy, law, equality, freedom, human rights and dignity, family, hard work, religious tolerance etc. – will happily, and honestly, integrate into our society.
Therefore, it is essential to take a realistic and responsible approach when setting a national immigration policy. One that protects not only our borders, but also our values, and our ambitions.
Conservatives recognise there is an ideological boundary on the political Right. It is the border between conservatism, and the politics of far-right populism, and fascism.
No such boundary exists on the political Left, due to its hostility to borders. Consequently, Labour was overrun by far-left political extremists.
Resentful individuals who drove away many moderate, competent people – whom they saw as a threat to their anti-competence, anti-work agenda – and whose departure has imperilled Labour’s electoral fortunes.
Until Labour cleans house, champions working people, and learns to love our country once again without dividing communities, it remains a lost cause.
Labour is now blighted by woke socialism, and a devious attempt to delete biological borders between sexes.
The trans population of Britain is roughly 0.3%. These are our fellow citizens. Busy living their lives, free and equal, like everyone else.
But from within this number – alongside an array of vocal apologists – there is a faction of far-left extremists, pushing an anti-women agenda.
They claim trans-women, who were born into male bodies and later transitioned into female bodies, should be considered and treated as women, as a biological reality.
Whereas women born and raised as females, with female physiology and an XX chromosome – individuals who never had to transition to anything – should be classed as ‘CIS women’. An artificial, social construct, and the beginning of a slippery slope to diminish womanhood.
It is illogical, absurd, and misogynistic. If it falls to me as a man, and as a conservative, to choose between being politically correct or being an ally of women, I side with women. Today and always.
Meritocracy Over Mediocrity
The political reputation of conservatives is portrayed as regressive. Backward-looking people, who fear change, and prefer the status quo. This is inaccurate.
A better description is conservatives want to conserve that which works well, and reform that which does not. So long as any reforms do not make things worse.
Progressing, ever forwards – in trial and error, and careful refinement – towards an enhanced human experience. This is the mindset of working people and business owners.
Individuals of all backgrounds, striving to create a better life for themselves, and their families.
Conservatism has a wise appreciation of the past. Conservatives recognise the worth of what we have inherited. Important ideals, and institutions, passed down through generations.
These added value in the lives of people who came before us. It is likely they will add value to our lives, as well. Therefore, we aim to be thoughtful and measured.
Not charging around in an easy rampage of mindless destruction. But considerate of why things are the way they are, and inspired to work diligently, on the harder task of building for the future.
Improving ourselves, and our nation, to enhance the legacies we shall want to pass on. It is not a glamorous endeavour. But we know it is the right thing to do.
Freedom And Responsibility
Conservatism wants to see a nation with greater individual freedom, fiscal responsibility, and limited interference by the state. A society in which we add value to our own lives, and work to bring value to the world around us, whilst also looking after our most vulnerable.
Getting a good education. Learning trades and life skills. Protecting our environment. Providing for our families, and contributing to our communities, by empowering individuals.
With a Conservative government increasing social mobility, and enabling the creation of more jobs, wealth, and opportunities for all with a strong, expanding economy.
Works Bring Solace
Conservatism understands work and creativity are spiritual endeavours, not just financial ones. Alongside love of family, and social connectedness, productive work is essential for a good and wholesome life. We know this to be true.
The fragility of life means we need something to strive for to give ourselves purpose and meaning. To feel a sense of achievement and pride. To reach for the stars! A future that is happy, healthy, grounded, and sane, especially as we age.
Anchored in existence. Connected in life. With a belief in something grander than us mere mortals.
Love Of Family
Family is the bedrock on which civilisation is built. The cornerstone of existence. Written into our DNA. Modern families exist with different structures, sizes, and sexualities, but one truth remains.
In a cold and brutal world, where suffering is the default of the human condition, family is our surest guarantee for security and connection. Happiness and contentment.
For love of family, we strive for something more. We work to build a better future, so that our families may lead happier, safer lives.
Marriages and partnerships allow two individuals to form a powerful union. A lifelong pledge for private gain and public good. Joining together to raise children, potentially, but benefitting the whole of society in any event.
The importance of family and the institution of marriage is self-evident. So much so, we take them for granted. We leave them undefended in the face of corrupt ideals.
Socialism views the family unit with contempt. It believes family is a means to an end, namely: a way of exploiting others and acquiring property for perpetual inheritance.
Leftist ideologues use false and foolish arguments to deny human nature. They attack and undermine family as the basis of society. Partly, they are resentful at seeing others living happy, wholesome lives. Partly, they wish to create a new utopian world of idleness. A fantasy land of make-belief where arrogant, authoritarian socialists reign supreme.
Yesterday’s socialists are today’s woke radicals. Miserable individuals who rejected the need for anchoring in the world, and connection in their lives, and now want to change society to reflect their mistake.
We should stand firm and defend the institutions that bring us meaning and value.
Labour Misleading Young People
We have an entire generation of young people in Britain with the potential to be supremely creative and successful.
Sadly, they are being led astray by a new breed of clout-chasing, workshy Labour politicians. Politicians not interested in lifting people up by inspiring ambition. But pulling people down by denigrating success.
They preach values of resentment and hopelessness to their base, particularly the young. Opposing capitalism. Belittling family life. Disparaging our flag. Our Queen. Our country. Demonising our heritage and our values.
It is a grotesque dereliction of duty. British kids deserve more from their politicians than clickbait. They deserve the truth.
Labour’s Short Term Swindle
What young people are being offered by Labour is a short-term swindle. Not a long-term solution. But Labour MPs cannot level with the next generation.
They cannot tell them life is hard or offer any meaningful advice. How could they? Going from university degree, to left-wing activist, to Labour MP is not that arduous a path. A career in Labour politics does not prepare a civic leader to speak candidly from experience.
That life is a marathon, not a sprint. That to get ahead, we must first take responsibility to improve ourselves. That success requires continual growth and incremental refinement. That hard work and courage is necessary to become a productive member of society.
An individual who not only deserves a decent income. But commands one.
British Kids Deserve The Best
I believe our next generation deserve the chance to have extraordinary futures. Inspired by simple, honest truths, based on timeless British – and Indian – values.
Values that are inalienable to humankind. Values of respect and responsibility. Self-improvement and hard work. Ambitious creativity and love of family.
Transforming powerful ideas of the mind, into tangible achievements in life, by acting constructively with physical endeavour. A modern philosophy for a modern world.
Competing In The World
I believe our best and brightest should be competing with youngsters from Switzerland to Singapore. From Mumbai to Shanghai.
I believe all young people deserve an equal shot to get ahead and try to be amongst our best and brightest. Decent life chances. Quality healthcare. Outstanding public education with a greater emphasis on maths and science.
And the confidence to build a creative outlet, or hold down a job, safe in the knowledge they are moving forward with purpose. Increasing their competence, value, and marketability. Building for themselves, with gritted tenacity and hard work, a future of happiness and contentment.
This is the life I built for myself. I want to help others do the same.
Proud To Be British
A Sense Of Gratitude
I have written previously about coming from a poor background. The son and grandson of Ugandan Asian refugees, who arrived in Britain with nothing, except for their Indian values. Timeless ideals, which reflected the values of British society back then, and still do today.
I was raised in a council home on free school meals. The first in my lineage born in the west. The first in my family to attend university. I made huge strides in my life, thanks to five key factors.
My family, faith, and cultural values. The welfare state, which my parents and I used as a safety net, and then, as a springboard. Many inspirational teachers in the state schools I attended, several of whom I still keep in-touch with.
My curious mind and work ethic. A desire to know the world and a drive to build a successful career. For instance, by working 12-hour night shifts in a casino to put myself through law school. A gamble that paid off.
But none of this would have been possible, were it not for the fact I was born in this incredible, generous country. The only place I have ever called home.
A nation where opportunities are plentiful and hard work and competence is rewarded. A society in which democratic norms and customs are sacrosanct, and dissent is tolerated, even from people who are consistently ungrateful.
And a land with a rich, beautiful history and proud cultural heritage. A heritage that deserves to be honoured and respected, warts and all. Held carefully, in our trust, and bequeathed to the future.
Respecting Britain’s Heritage
We have had two decades of turbulence. Geopolitical upheaval and economic instability. We are exhausted in this age of rolling news. Tethered to our smart phones. Sifting through complexity.
We mourn the loss of our fellow citizens. The loss of our freedoms. And an entire year of our lives. Sands of time, now blowing in the wind.
Life is moving fast for so many. There is an understandable sense of fear. Fear of not reaching our potential. Fear of being left behind. Fear of the unknown in a post-Brexit, post-pandemic world.
And fear of resentful, revolutionary ideas from elsewhere undermining our history – everything Britain has achieved – and jeopardising our future, by cancelling our values.
We should reject the new socialist agenda seeking to denigrate Britain’s past. The sacrifices made by so many who came before us, not least the ones in uniform.
Besmirching our nation’s history, and the traditions and institutions we have inherited, is not the way to achieve an integrated, multiracial society at peace with itself, and proud of its place in the world.
Contrary to the revisionist ramblings of left-wing radicals, we need not engage in mindless showboating and gutter politics. Instead, we can work to solve problems for ordinary voters. People who care more for positive change in their lives, than viral tweets from minor celebrities.
Looking To The Future
We can move forward together, without dividing communities. Multiple realities can exist simultaneously. We can appreciate, for instance, Britain’s working class is the backbone of this nation. Just as it was for Labour, before the party became a metropolitan, middle class guilt-trip.
The working people I grew up with in Leicester were good and decent folks who told it like it was. Displaying multiple England flags. Discussing immigration with a passing politician. Loyal to their community, and leading authentic lives, wanting the best for their children. More interested in the content of peoples characters, than in the colour of their skin.
We must recognise an entire generation of young people feel a profound sense of futility. Exorbitant education fees. Low salaries and insecure work. A high cost of living with rents, debts, and insurance premiums.
The future of our nation, to whom we shall bestow this land, priced out of the property market. Facing a hidden crisis of mental health as social media influencers, and socialists, rob their time with claims of fame, and easy fortune.
We can trust in the knowledge Britain’s cultural values – perfected slowly by generations of English, Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish families – and greatly enriched by millions of well-integrated minorities, are held in the hearts and souls of many Brits. People of all backgrounds.
A subtle, dignified patriotism. Not the insufferable American kind. Strong, enduring values. Our best bet in a dangerous and unpredictable world.
And we can accept we are a flawed, imperfect people. A nation where some individuals have suffered disadvantage, and discrimination, with hampered life chances. Where injustices linger, and should be addressed. Through strong equal rights, and, also, clear responsibilities.
Rights And Responsibilities
I did not endorse ‘Black Lives Matter’ last summer. It was hijacked by far-left extremists in America, with an anti-police agenda, and brought rampaging mobs to the streets of Britain.
That said, I believe Black lives should matter as equally as all other lives, and have not always done so. But I have not been showing-off on Twitter or getting on my knees.
Instead, I have been focusing my efforts in recent years – through my work in law, politics, and police regulation – to act constructively in the world, and bring about positive change.
For example, I have just finished a six year stint at the Independent Office for Police Conduct, where, amongst other things, I worked to address racism in policing. Far rarer now than it was, when Stephen Lawrence was tragically murdered, back in 1993.
Before that, at the Leicestershire Police Authority, I tackled the disproportionate stop and search of young Black men. Whilst also leading efforts to save more than 200 local policing jobs.
Before that, as a solicitor, I brought civil actions against police forces in discrimination cases. Whilst also defending individual police officers, wrongfully accused of racism and misconduct.
We do not have to choose between championing equal rights, or championing the justice system, which exists to mandate equal responsibilities. That is a false choice.
It is possible, and indeed, essential, to do both. As I have managed to do in my career.
Proud To Be Conservative
Rejecting False Claims
The Left claim to care about fairness. They want to change the world, externally. All too often they lack the ways and means to do it, as they have yet to master their own, internal world.
On the Right, we not only care about important issues, we are willing and able to do something about them. Without feeling the need to showboat or sow division in society.
This is the difference between being a left-leaning intellectual, lacking competence. And a right-leaning competent pragmatist, with an intellect in-tow.
Thanks to social media, we are now in constant electioneering mode. Thus, the Left is in constant anger mode. The hatred and hostility in our politics is mostly a one-way street. Left to Right.
Socialists behave disgracefully towards conservatives. Lashing out at the slightest infraction. Hurling abuse and false claims. Unable to control their emotions – but wanting to control our lives.
Their bitterness is often a projection of their own limitations. The Left cannot stand the fact one competent Tory can achieve what it takes multiple socialists to even attempt.
Taking Pride In Our Work
The Left think conservatives are uncaring and dispassionate. That we do not show enough emotion in our work. It is an incorrect, but understandable, perception.
We tend to be in better control of our emotions. We believe emotions are quite personal. And we do not see value in being distraught, when there is important work to do.
Most of the time conservatives are just busy getting on with the job. Working hard. Helping people. Solving problems. Fixing the mess caused by incompetent socialists.
Far too busy, in fact, to keep banging on about how compassionate and anti-racist we are. Which, as a pastime for Labour, is a weird thing to do. Surely, not being racist should be self-evident?
We show compassion by helping people to help themselves. We advocate personal growth and aspiration for all individuals, because it maintains good physical and mental health, and allows us to reach our full potential. But many do not see this, and the Left use it to their advantage.
Regrettably, actions do not always speak louder than words. If we want people to know we care about their lives, and the lives of their children, we should say so – loudly and with pride.
For we are the party of progress and benevolence. Competence and hard work. The party of responsibility, success, inclusivity, and family.
On Monday 8 January 2018 the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will cease to exist. In its place the new Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) will be established.
For my part I had planned to celebrate this momentous occasion by taking a much-needed week off work and heading to New York for a series of educational visits, lectures, receptions and social events, as a guest of my old law school (De Montfort University).
Sadly, Mother Nature had other plans! So after spending two days enjoying the sights and sounds of Heathrow Airport, here I am: back to reality and blogging about my employer on a Sunday. Life is good!
In all seriousness I am very proud to be employed by such an important and reputable organisation. Indeed, I pay tribute to the incredibly dedicated people I work with, who, like most public servants in our country, are overworked and underpaid for what they do. The smooth running of our society is reliant on hardworking and patriotic civil servants, who go above and beyond their call of duty every single day.
I have written this blog as a kind of personal tribute and potted history of the organisation that employed me. It is written solely in a private capacity. I do not speak for my employer and nobody should assume otherwise. I do, however, speak for myself, and my right to do so – as well as yours – is enshrined in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, as incorporated into the Human Rights Act 1998.
In this blog I shall talk about:
My current role and previous work around policing
The Police Complaints Board (PCB) and the Police Complaints Authority (PCA)
The murder of Stephen Lawrence and the Macpherson Report
Founding of the Independent Police Complaint Commission (IPCC)
The IPCC’s size and structure, its scope and operations, and its impact
IPCC investigations and criticism of its work
The new Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)
Within my organisation I currently have a dual role: leading investigations into potential or alleged police wrongdoing; and heading up our national PCS Union branch, which means I lead a team of trade union officials, working to protect the jobs and interests of hundreds of union members. I also lead national pay negotiations for all staff annually.
Interestingly my career keeps bringing me back to policing in some form or another, although I have never actually served as a police officer.
When I was younger I did four years voluntary service as an Independent Custody Visitor in Leicester, where – as a member of the public – I would visit police stations randomly to check on the welfare of detained persons.
As a solicitor I have both taken actions against the police, and also worked on behalf of the Police Federation, to defend police officers. As a city councillor in Leicester I served on the Board of the Leicestershire Police Authority, where my biggest achievement was leading efforts to help save more than 200 local policing jobs. And then in late 2014 I accepted a job offer with the IPCC.
I think it’s fair to say most people will have heard of the Independent Police Complaints Commission and most people would have some idea of the high level role it played in the police complaints system.
On reflection I suppose it was the organisation’s unique and important function that appealed to me and made me to want to work for it.
I consider myself to have a healthy skepticism of authority. That is to say, I believe everyone in a position of power – be it police, politicians, the press, or any other professional for that matter – should be answerable for the way they work and exercise power, especially when it comes to affecting peoples’ lives.
There must be robust and transparent scrutiny of what powerful people do, especially if and when something goes wrong. Indeed, it is part and parcel of living in a functioning modern democracy, right up there with upholding the rule of law and having a free press.
In terms of the IPCC’s background there were two main predecessor organisations.
In the mid-1970s, following a series of scandals involving the Metropolitan Police – and a perceived lack of independence in the police complaints system – the Police (Complaints) Act of 1976 was passed, and on 1 June 1977 the Police Complaints Board was established.
Until the creation of this body, complaints against police forces were handled directly by forces themselves, although the Home Secretary could refer serious complaints to alternate forces.
The Brixton riots in 1981, and the subsequent Scarman report – which investigated allegations of police racism – increased societal pressure to reform the Police Complaints Board.
The Police and Criminal Evidence Act of 1984 abolished the PCB and, in its place, the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) was established a year later, with increased powers to actively supervise internal investigations being run by police forces.
What these organisations lacked however – both the PCB and later the PCA – was the clout to robustly scrutinise police complaints, or even carry out independent investigations.
The Police Complaints Authority was replaced by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which was formally created in 2004. In-fact it was established on April Fools’ Day to be precise! (No comment.)
The chain of events, which ultimately saw the creation of the IPCC, was arguably put into motion some 11 years earlier on the evening of Thursday 22 April 1993.
On that fateful night Stephen Lawrence, an 18-year-old black man from Lewisham, was attacked – along with his friend Duwayne Brooks – in what was a racially motivated act of violence, as they waited at a bus stop.
Stephen was stabbed twice, in the right collar bone and the left shoulder, and he sadly died of his injuries from massive blood loss. Following a catalogue of perceived failings by the Metropolitan Police, and as well as vocal public anger and political uproar, the then Home Secretary Jack Straw ordered an inquiry led by Sir William Macpherson.
The Macpherson Report, published in 1999, branded the Metropolitan Police Service as “institutionally racist”. The report made 70 recommendations and this included the setting up of a new ‘Independent Police Complaints Commission’.
It is fair to say then, that the IPCC was conceived in an atmosphere of societal discord and political wrangling. But it is also the case that big changes often have a contentious backstory. Something serious usually goes wrong for people to agree that something needs to change.
The key differences between the IPCC and its predecessor bodies were its size and structure, the scope of what it did, the way it operated, and its impact on policing. I’ll now expand a little in each of these areas.
In my opinion the best way to explain the structure of the outgoing IPCC is to think about it in the same way you would a school. In most schools there are two professional groups of people working alongside each other: teachers and governors.
In a similar way the IPCC had an operational structure, with staff members who ran the organisation and did the frontline work, just like teachers. It also had Commissioners – about a dozen or so – who were the public-facing administrators of the IPCC: holding the leadership to account and setting the direction of travel, not too dissimilar to school governors.
The only glitch with that analogy is that, unlike school governors, IPCC Commissioners were actively involved in making key decisions in investigations and appeals. And, if we were to expand the analogy somewhat, this was akin to school governors going into classrooms to teach lessons from time-to-time.
These blurred working practices within the IPCC perhaps serve to explain why, at least in part, the organisation had to undergo a major revamp.
Overall, the organisation – or at least its constituent parts, which shall continue working in the new structure – has surprisingly few staff for the important role that it plays throughout England and Wales. There are only about a thousand employees located across seven sites, with a Head Office in London, and then six further offices in Birmingham, Cardiff, Croydon, Sale, Wakefield and Warrington.
The core business of the IPCC insofar as the public is concerned – as well as policing professionals, politicians and the press – has been to oversee the police complaints system in England and Wales, and to increase public confidence in policing.
Referrals to the IPCC took a number of forms and, whilst members of the public sometimes got in touch directly, usually it was police forces which routinely referred themselves for scrutiny.
These were either voluntary referrals or mandatory referrals, depending on the seriousness of the matter. For example, all deaths and serious injury cases involving the police in any way required a mandatory referral.
Building on the remit of its predecessor organisation, the IPCC could choose to either supervise or manage a force’s internal investigation (into its own officers/staff). Complainants also had the right to appeal to the IPCC in order to have the outcome of their complaint reconsidered.
Perhaps the broadest new power given to the IPCC, upon its founding some 14 years ago, was that of carrying out independent investigations – run entirely by the organisation itself – and using its own investigators.
For ease of reference, and in simple terms, it’s best to imagine the system as a four-layered pyramid. The bottom layer was local investigations. These were low-level complaints that were investigated by forces themselves.
The second layer was supervised investigations. These were carried out by police forces themselves as well, but in accordance with the terms of reference set down by the IPCC.
The third layer was managed investigations. These were carried out by police forces, but under the direction and control of the IPCC. And finally, at the top of the pyramid, there were independent investigations carried out by the IPCC.
The vast majority of independent investigations were serious and sensitive cases and usually fell into one of three different categories: 1) serious complaints; 2) serious conduct cases – so for police officers this meant potential breaches of the Standards of Professional Behaviour (contained in the Police Conduct Regulations); and 3) serious injury and / or death, either involving the police or following police contact.
When an independent investigation was declared, and once the parameters were clearly defined, the IPCC and its investigators had ownership and jurisdiction.
Arguably in some ways the IPCC was a bit like a law enforcement agency, with its own set of powers, fully trained investigators and support staff, equipment and resources, interview rooms, fleet vehicles etc.
But in reality it only ever functioned as a civilian oversight body: monitoring the police complaints system at arm’s length from government, and run entirely independently of all police forces and law enforcement agencies.
I have always felt that the organisation’s leadership and staff were pretty well-grounded, taking their roles and responsibilities very seriously. I also believe that the IPCC has operated as a pre-eminent public body, keeping an eye on the state, and providing a tangible check-and-balance on the way that police power was exercised when dealing with citizens.
Of course the IPCC was not perfect. No organisation ever is. But it did have a set of core values by which the organisation and its people were meant to abide. These were: justice and human rights; independence; valuing diversity; integrity; and openness – indeed, it is in the spirit of openness that I have written this article!
Despite its good intentions however, the IPCC sometimes came in for criticism when things went wrong, or if its own staff overstepped the mark.
The organisation clearly had its wings clipped in the famous 2014 case of the IPCC v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire (and others). In that judgement, the Court of Appeal held that contrary to how the IPCC had been operating, it could no longer express conclusive findings on whether or not a police officer’s conduct had been unlawful and / or unreasonable.
So instead, the IPCC – and Lead Investigators like me – had to confine ourselves to stating only whether an officer had a case to answer for misconduct, or if a CPS referral needed to be made, rather than appearing to pass any sort of judgement.
Here we have an example of where a body that had been tasked with keeping the police in-check, also itself had to be kept in-check, by an independent judiciary upholding the rule of law.
In my view this merely serves to illustrate that any person or public body exercising power and authority has the potential to overstep the mark and exceed its remit, sometimes even unintentionally, which further proves my earlier point.
Now as we acknowledge the passing of the institution known as the IPCC, let’s look briefly at the future of the organisation, and the changes that lie ahead.
Firstly, as we have seen from the inception of the PCB in 1977, to the PCA in 1985, and then later the IPCC in 2004: the trend is steadily upwards when it comes to increased public scrutiny of state power – as personified by the police.
The new Independent Office for Police Conduct will have greater powers and a bigger remit than the outgoing IPCC. This is not entirely surprising bearing in mind the expanding size of the state, catering to an ever-increasing and diverse population.
In 2017, another small organisation was incorporated into the organisation’s remit, in that the IPCC began regulating the Gangmasters Licensing Authority.
This was in addition to the IPCC’s existing role in investigating serious complaints against HM Revenue and Customs, the National Crime Agency, Police and Crime Commissioners, and Home Office special enforcement staff, not to mention the 43 police force areas of England and Wales, and other specialist police forces also.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) shall come into existence on Monday 8 January 2018. The IOPC will have a range of new powers, including the power to present cases at disciplinary hearings, and the power to proactively call-in matters that it wants to investigate, rather than just waiting for matters to be referred in.
One of the other big changes taking place in the new IOPC will be the removal of all Commissioners – the aforementioned public-facing governors – and the move towards a single operating structure and line of accountability.
Incorporated into the IOPC operating model will be new Regional Directors for every English region and a Director for Wales, and as well a new Director General instead of a Chief Executive.
So it’s clear there are many big changes in the pipeline.
Some 40 years after the first public body was established, to look into complaints against the police, we are set to see a bigger, emboldened, more powerful and proactive regulatory agency, scrutinising the work of the police, and other public bodies.
This is what Parliament voted for, in the public interest, and I think it is a good thing.
In-fact, I would go further and say that in addition to the general public, all policing professionals should want to see a new regulator like the IOPC. It is in the interests of decent hardworking people, of every background, to want to have high quality, transparent and constructive oversight of their profession.
As a solicitor by background myself, I always welcomed seeing the Solicitors Regulations Authority stepping in to root out solicitors who had unlawfully taken client monies, or completely failed to adhere to client instructions. I suspect most police officers and staff would take a similar view in respect of their own profession.
In closing, I wanted to take a moment to mention a particular police officer who really stood out to me over the last year, and no doubt to countless others.
His name was PC Keith Palmer and he was a 48-year-old police constable serving with the Metropolitan Police Service. He had a wife, named Michelle, and a 5-year-old daughter.
In April 2016 PC Palmer was assigned to the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Group. Less than a year later, on 22 March 2017, as PC Palmer stood guard protecting the parliamentary estate – the very heart of our democracy – a fascist Islamist with warped beliefs went on a rampage, killing four pedestrians whilst driving a vehicle at high speed along Westminster Bridge.
The terrorist crashed his car into the parliamentary perimeter fence, before abandoning it, and running into New Palace Yard, attempting to access Westminster Palace itself.
As most people understandably ran from the danger, PC Palmer stood up to it, taking the brunt of the violence. PC Palmer lost his life that day, but his heroic efforts slowed down the attacker, and almost certainly saved the lives of other people.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to PC Palmer, and countless other men and women like him – both civilian and military – without whom we would not be able to enjoy the rights and freedoms that we have.
I think it is incumbent on us all never to take those freedoms for granted, and never to lose sight of the fundamental pillars that make up British democracy, such as the rule of law – and holding power accountable in the public interest.
“It’s been a real pleasure to serve on the Leicestershire Police Authority these last 18 months, together with my Labour colleagues Cllr Lynn Senior, Cllr Barbara Potter and Cllr Max Hunt. We worked hard with fellow Police Authority members to deliver an effective and efficient police service. Labour members in particular helped lead the way earlier this year in saving hundreds of police jobs.
In this era of Police and Crime Commissioners I’m confident that my Labour colleagues on the police and crime panel will do an excellent job in holding the new Commissioner to account. I’d like to thank Paul Stock, Angela Perry and all officers at the outgoing Police Authority for their hard work and for helping us to do our jobs. And I’d like to wish Chief Constable Simon Cole, Deputy Chief Constable Simon Edens, Assistant Chief Constable Steph Morgan and all the excellent officers and staff at Leicestershire Constabulary all the very best for the future.”
Exactly a year ago today residents in Beaumont Leys voted to elect me as one of their local Labour Councillors to serve on Leicester City Council.
It was a tremendous honour and a huge privilege to have been entrusted to represent the views of local people, especially as I’ve lived in the area since I was 7 years old. Also as the son of immigrants, who came to this country from East Africa fleeing persecution, and as someone who was born and raised on a council estate in Leicester, it was particularly poignant to have been chosen to serve on the very Council that had once supported me and my family when times were tough.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love my party and my politics, but to be honest my love of politics merely stems from my love of people. That may sound like an awful cliché but it is the truth. In-fact I believe that if you’re not a people person and you don’t genuinely thrive on being able to solve problems and help make peoples’ lives that much easier, then you shouldn’t seek to hold public office.
Whereas if you have a passion for putting people first, for lifting hopes and aspirations, for fighting social injustice, and for leading by example and working hard, then politics isn’t just a career choice, it’s a moral imperative; an obligation to use your skills and expertise to serve the public and to try and make a difference in the world.
It’s been an incredible year and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I’m grateful to my good friend Vijay Riyait and all the wonderful people mentioned in this post who worked tirelessly on the election campaign.
In addition to working closely with my fellow Councillors in holding regular ward surgeries, attending residents association meetings and carrying out specific casework and solving problems on behalf of constituents, here’s a summary of my other activities and achievements during my first 12 months as a Leicester City Councillor:
Appointed as a Member of the Leicestershire Police Authority and attended numerous Authority and sub-committee meetings.
“After a great deal of consideration I have decided not to seek the Labour Party nomination for Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire.
This is for several reasons. Firstly I thoroughly enjoy my role as a local Councillor here in Beaumont Leys and I want to continue working hard for the people who elected me.
Also I have come to the realisation that I still have a number of personal reservations about this new system of elected Commissioners, and so I cannot in good conscience seek to do the job under such circumstances.
I take great interest in policing matters and I look forward to continuing my work on the Leicestershire Police Authority. I shall also continue to hold this Tory-led government to account as they make savage cuts to policing right across our country.
I would like to thank everyone who has given me such good counsel and support in recent weeks.”