Why I’m not a Tory

The pay of directors of top companies rose by 50% last year, compared with averages rises in private sector pay of just 2.6%. Commenting on the injustice of this, Tim Montgomery says:

Earlier today a report from Income Data Services noted that pay for the directors of Britain’s top businesses rose by 49% over the last year once salary, benefits and bonuses were counted. These increases were much greater than any increase in profitability or share price (+4.5%). They were also eighteen times greater than the pay increase for the average private sector worker.

Conservatives are understandably reluctant to intefere with the internal decisions of private companies but there are many options between doing and saying nothing and unacceptable statutory regulation of boardroom pay. The Conservative Party isn’t a true friend to capitalism if we defend everything that markets produce […] The banking sector, for example, where the profits belong to the owners, directors and staff but the losses are picked up by the taxpayer. In the boardroom there’s a problem when remuneration committees are not transparent and where there’s a merry-go-round of directors sitting on each others’ boards and approving you-scratch-my-back bonus packages. I’d also add the housing market. The heavy regulation of planning means that those fortunate enough to own a house or ten are getting wealthier and wealthier and those without a foot on the property ladder are falling further and further behind.

The capitalism Conservatives support must be one where competition and transparency are always on the side of consumers and shareholders and small businesses. I’ve described this as a conservatism for the ‘little guy’. […] We need more taxation of unearned wealth so that we can cut taxes on the entrepreneur, the small business and the low-paid. The choice is between a crony capitalism that protects existing businesses and existing wealth and a creative capitalism where new ideas and new firms can flourish.

I believe hell will freeze over before the Tories support any such agenda. The truth is that the Conservative Party is the party of bankers and fat cats, of crony capitalism, of rent-seeking, and will never ever put the interests of someone on average earnings (let alone the poor) above those of the rich.

Co-incidentally, the Pirate Party is currently having an open policy consultation where anyone can propose and debate policies, which will then be voted on by the whole party membership. (I note parenthetically that the Tories would never do this: if you want Cameron to consider a policy, you’d better bung him 50 grand. And the idea that the Tories would ever go for internal party democracy in policymaking is a non-starter.)

Tim Montgomery, a lot of the policies proposed in this consultation are ones you say you support. So I challenge you, if you really want a capitalism that works for the 99% not just the 1%, leave the Tories and join us in the Pirate Party.

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One Response to Why I’m not a Tory

  1. Pingback: Why I’m not a Labour supporter | Amused Cynicism

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