We’re the New Conservatives, by Alpesh Patel

The Conservative Party is not the party of your parents. Look again, closely. It may well be undergoing the shift that Labour went through that kept Labour in power for 13 years. If you’re confused, don’t be: you’re just a New Conservative.

 

Old Conservative (Perception, at least) New Conservative Strategy of New Conservatives
Lower taxes on the richest Increases taxes on the richest through targeting anti-avoidance by individuals and multinationals The richest are few in number, probably don’t vote in the UK (companies like Starbucks definitely don’t) and it’s the right thing to do
Raise taxes on the lowest income, because they don’t vote for you Raise the tax allowance on the lowest income Have them aspire, and work and their spending will have GDP benefits which reduces need for public spending
Cut the public sector to avoid crowding out of the private sector as a matter of ideology Austerity to cut debt to stop wasteful public spending on debt interest Avoid waste
Restrict immigration because they take our jobs Quality immigrants very welcome who add to GDP Grow the economy so more tax take
Encourage home ownership and share ownership Same Property ownership makes people less reliant on the State
Help big business Help small business, watch and fine errant big business Jobs are created by small businesses. Big businesses can derail economic growth and job creation and mean more people become reliant on the State
Tradition family roles We need more women in business, politics, public life Women are a huge potential source of economic growth, tax revenues and less reliance on the State and public spending
Society ‘does not exist’ Volunteerism Less reliance on the State and public spending
Strong state, in defence and in crime – ideology driven Hard data shows a stick is not always as effective as a carrot – influenced by Centre for Social Justice Public spending is often wasted if we do not use data to change how we do things, from public diplomacy and international aid, to prisons and crime policy, and get better results than in the old way of doing things.
Environment comes second to growth. Our voters are in green belts. Environment matters because we are patriotic about this green and pleasant land Everyone is more green now. Our voters are still in green belts. Our economy can grow regardless. It’s the right thing to do.
NHS is full of waste The NHS needs more spending as a cherished institution An aging population votes Conservative and needs healthcare provision.

 

So how is it different? How are they different to Labour?

  1. New Conservatives, like old Conservatives, fundamentally want a smaller role for the State. They remain in favour of trusting individuals with personal choices, and more people aspiring to create jobs and wealth, so there is less reliance on the State. It is unfair for Conservatives that those who work and pay tax should have it taken from them by the State.
  2. Labour believes more in reliance on the State. It may be couched in the language of fairness, too; for them, it is unfair that those who can work and pay tax do not for those who need it, and it is the role of the State to be the conduit.

What about the old ideologies?

What happened to worker rights, power of unions, lower tax, more public spending, the family unit, defence spending? None of these are cleavages in this election. The new issues are:

  1. Is Britain sending the signal it is open for business?
  2. Will lower tax bring in more or less money?
  3. How much borrowing is bad? Should we fix the deficit whilst the going is good or use it to make the going better quicker?

 


Alpesh Patel is CEO of a UK Asset Management Company investing in Global businesses. He is a Board Member of the UK India Business Council and a former Financial Times columnist and Bloomberg TV presenter on global investing – as well as the author of 18 books on investing.

It came at a price…The Right to Vote

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It came at a price…The Right to Vote!
(Published in Asian Voice & Gujarat Samachar, dated: 23 April 2015)

We live in eruptive times. These are the times of no patience that warrant instant results. Close on the heels of the General Election 2015, we see a heightened (even manic) political activism. Whilst a number of you may find the election fervour exciting and are totally switched on about the minute by minute developments in the world of politics and campaigning; for a number of others, it is just a blur.

Last week I read Lord Popat’s article titled “This election is about you” and he highlighted the struggle of immigrants from East Africa in the 1970s. I felt a strange weight upon me, reading the words: “Imagine living for fifty years and never having the right to say who should be in Government.” I also happened to witness the “I am an Immigrant” campaign go up at tube stations. I have been attending hustings and have read through the many manifestos spelt out by various communities. While it is heartening to see so much activism and awareness on ‘our rights’ and ‘our demands’, it saddens me to then hear from members of public: “I don’t believe in politics” or “There is no point in voting because everyone is just the same”.

IMG_9834As a resident, tax payer and a responsible member of the British Indian society, I feel it is my personal and moral responsibility to vote. Not because I am always in the minority, seeking representation. Or because I am an immigrant and I wish to prove my contribution. As a woman, a mother and a community worker, I take it upon myself as a special duty to ensure there is adequate discussion on the importance of the Right of Vote.

I would like to reach out to fellow ladies reading this article, all of you need to realise that today the vote that we so callously dismiss has cost many of our predecessors their lives. Some of you will recall that it was not until the Equal Franchise Act was passed in 1928 that women won the same voting rights as men. It was, until that time, a privilege left to very few members of the male fraternity to be able to vote and to voice opinion.

While we may want magic solutions to economic crisis, increasing population, environmental degradation and employment figures, as a mother I would like to remind you that it takes 9 months for us to nurture and give birth to a life and many years followed on from there to shape them into responsible adults. What we sow today, we will reap tomorrow. However, if we choose NOT to sow, we shall not be in a position to reap at all!

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Let’s keep it simple and sow today. The Right of Vote gives us not just the power but places upon us the responsibility to be good citizens. Let us not be part of the statistic that says we DID NOT shoulder our responsibility in the democratic process. Today men and women both share the responsibility to uphold this democratic process and ensure the vote isn’t wasted.

I read this graffiti somewhere and it has stuck with me: “It’s a man’s world….unless women vote”.

lakshmi kaulLakshmi Kaul
Community Activist & Chair of Public Relations – Hindu Forum of Britain
Twitter: @KaulLakshmi

Why I vote Conservative: People Speak

I vote Conservative because….

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“Based on their past record of sustained economic growth, they are the only party that seems to have a blue-print for the future.”

-Ricardo Premchand

“Tshanoo razdanhey are the party who support pluralism and provides a peaceful society where everyone is treated equally – a need of the hour, looking at religious extremities in other countries. Besides this, all the other economic policies and progress.”

– Shanoo Razdan

vivek kaul“Despite getting pay a freeze over years, I feel that the Tories have done their utmost to reduce the National debt and handled the effects of credit crunch admirably.”
– Dr. Vivek Kaul

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vishal saprooThey are the present and the future.”
– Vishal Saproo

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The economy is moving in the right direction. And Conservatives encourage small businesses.”

– Girish Bellur

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“Theyvinod tikoo have the right policies with regards to the British economy and are good for British businesses. The Conservatives have a fair immigration plan, have a strong leadership and for me personally, they have got their handle on issues specific to the British Indian community.”
Vinod Tikoo

Manu Khajuria_Family“I support the Conservatives because their efforts in initiating an economic turnaround have shown results and I would like to see that take roots and even do better. Their ethos of results through hard work appeals to me. Additionally I like their approach and attitude towards India and I hope to see good things come out of it in the future.” – Manu Khajuria Singh

With Thanks To Mr Obama, by Alpesh Patel

What would inspiration sound like if we loosened our ties, rolled up our sleeves and showed some real energy and passion? Well, I guess Americans do that best, so with some ideas from Mr Obama – this is what it would sound like.

In one week, you can choose policies that create new jobs, and grow this economy from the bottom-up so that everyone has a chance to succeed; from the CEO to the secretary and the caretaker; from the factory owner to the men and women who work on its floor.

In one week, you can put an end to the politics that would divide a nation just to win an election; that tries to pit region against region, city against town, Scot against English; that asks us to fear at a time when we need hope.

In one week, at this defining moment in British history, you can give this country the continuity we need.

Five years ago, we were in the middle of the worst economic crisis since WWII. Hundreds of thousands of workers had lost their jobs this year. Businesses and families couldn’t get credit. Home values were falling. Pensions were disappearing. Wages were lower than they’d been in a decade, at a time when the cost of groceries, fuel and University had never been higher.

At a moment like that, the last thing we could have afforded was four or five more years of the tired, old theory that says when we are in a hole we should keep digging, when there is no more money, we should go to the IMF and beg for more, in the hope that more debt means economic growth by some miracle.

The job is not yet finished. You don’t turn out the lights just as soon as it’s begun to dawn. It’s not change you need when the alternative is more debts payments to overseas lenders. It’s not change you need when the alternative is borrow, borrow, borrow to spend, spend, spend.

It’s not change when the alternative does not give tax breaks to the poorest. It’s not change when you had the chance a decade ago and you didn’t clamp down on the banks, and all those with their hands in the cookie-jar. That’s not change.

Not this time. Not this year. Not when so much is at stake. Some are worried about losing an election, but your leaders should be worried about Britons who are losing their homes, and their jobs, and their life savings.

The question in this election is not “Are you better off than you were five years ago?” We know the answer to that – yes. The real question is, “Will this country be even better off five years from now?”

Remember, we still have the most talented, most productive workers of any country on Earth. We’re still home to innovation and technology, colleges and universities that are the envy of the world. Some of the biggest ideas in history have come from our small businesses and our research facilities. So there’s no reason we should throw all of that away.

What we have lost in the great recession cannot be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits alone. Each of us has a role to play. Each of us has a responsibility to work hard and look after ourselves and our families, and each of us has a responsibility to our fellow citizens. That’s what’s been lost – our sense of common purpose, of higher purpose. And that’s what we need to restore right now.

To all those campaigning in this final week, I ask only this of you – on the days where you feel so tired you can’t think of uttering another word to the people, think of those who need you. When those who oppose you have you down, reach deep and fight back harder.

Don’t believe for a second this election is over. Don’t think for a minute that opposition to continuity concedes. We have to work like our future depends on it in this last week, because it does.

In one week, we can choose an economy that rewards work and creates new jobs and fuels prosperity from the bottom-up.

In one week, we can choose to invest in health care for our families, and education for our kids, and renewable energy for our future.

In one week, we can choose hope over fear, unity over division, the promise of continued growth over reversal.

In one week, we can come together as one nation, and one people, and once more choose our better history.

(With thanks to Mr Obama)


Alpesh Patel is CEO of a UK Asset Management Company investing in Global businesses. He is a Board Member of the UK India Business Council and a former Financial Times columnist and Bloomberg TV presenter on global investing – as well as the author of 18 books on investing.

Priti Patel: “It’s important to challenge empty manifesto promises”

“A FAMOUS advertising man once said, ‘if an ad campaign is built around a weak idea – no matter how good the execution, it’s going to fail’.

Ed Miliband should take note. Whether it’s a pink bus to appeal to female voters, or a manifesto to convince BME communities they care – Labour are making a lot of noise. But their record paints a very different picture to the one they are advertising…”

Read the full article here.

The UK’s Small Business Revolution

“There is an entrepreneurial, small business revolution taking place in Britain, and I want to start today with a very big ‘thank you’. A ‘thank you’ to all of you. A ‘thank you’ to the small businesses, to the entrepreneurs, to the techies, to the roof tilers, to the retailers, to the plumbers, to the builders — I want to thank you, because you know what you’ve done in these last five years? You know what you’ve done in terms of jobs? You’ve created 2.2 million private sector jobs. That’s more than the rest of the EU put together.” – David Cameron

For the full speech, check out the video below.