Acton Institute Powerblog

A British perspective on the UK’s 2019 general election

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Voters in the UK gave Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party its largest majority in more than 30 years. With one seat yet to report, the Tories added a smashing 47 seats. A victory of this magnitude presents Prime Minister Johnson with sweeping opportunities, but hidden pitfalls also lurk in plain sight.

“Lesson one of this election is that you ignore the votes of such a large number of your core voters at your peril,” writes Rev. Richard Turnbull, the director of the Centre for Enterprise, Markets, and Ethics (CEME) in Oxford. And that is where Conservative Party functionaries, who think they are playing smart politics, invite their own defeat, Turnbull writes in a new essay for the Acton Institute’s Religion & Liberty Transatlantic website:

In the same way that the Labour Party made the enormous error of telling the country that their own supporters were ignorant in casting their Brexit vote, the Conservatives must not insult these voters’ intelligence by assuming they neither understand nor want economic freedom. They most certainly do. Simply to spend more, to increase the role of the state, to use state aid to industry, to regulate rather than set free, will invite disaster at the next election. These very voters understood perfectly that hard work should be rewarded, that fiscal responsibility is an essential prerequisite to run a nation’s finances as they have to oversee a family’s purse, that high taxation acts as a disincentive, and that free stuff exists only in the realms of fantasy. Please, set these people free. Encourage them. Give them opportunity. But please, do not simply try to buy them off.

Read his full essay here.

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Rev. Ben Johnson

Rev. Ben Johnson is Executive Editor of the Acton Institute's flagship journal Religion & Liberty and edits its transatlantic website.