Young, white and Tory

by Assiah Hamed

“I will never apologise for having white privilege,” boldly proclaims Boris Palic. “It doesn’t mean I promote racism, classism, and misogyny just because I’m a Conservative, but I definitely want to challenge the status quo.”

In today’s political and social climate, those words seem hard to digest. Especially for those who value political correctness. However, for 20-year-old Boris Palic studying Architecture at De Montfort University, it is a risk he undoubtedly is willing to take.

“I feel that people do not want to think the alternative anymore and debate ideas around, which is so ridiculous,” says Boris. “People would much rather pick up their news from celebrities and leftist Twitter before looking at the flip side of things first.”

Boris believes that there is a great amount of sensationalism that is publicly spewed. He states that in turn, this perpetuates a one-sided discussion.

This may explain why he defends his statements on how the use of the ‘race card’ and expanding the ‘working class struggle’ tale can allegedly be misconstrued and used to its disadvantage.

Boris Palic (Picture: Assiah Hamed)

“Listen, I am not saying that racism and what the working class endures should be disregarded, because who am I to speak on it? However, I also think that my work ethic and personal beliefs shouldn’t be pushed aside because I am some Caucasian guy who happens to be a Tory. Nothing was handed to me with a golden spoon – not even a little,” he says.

In 2015, the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that regardless of academic performance, white working class and poor children in Britain “are being left behind because they are substantially less likely to go to university”. The Institute of Policy Research also found that due to substantial ethnic inequalities for professional degrees such as medicine or dentistry, it can form serious social and economic ramifications.

Nonetheless, Boris believes such power systems are fictitious and it stirs false perceptions that allow less productivity.

He says, “My parents always instilled in me that hard work matters the most and it is not about who you are at the end of the day. I worked hard to get into university because of my good grades and I will continue to work harder as an aspiring architect.”

Growing up in a middle-class household in London, Boris highly regards his parents as his biggest influences who moulded him into the man he is today, whilst even shaping his political views.

“I had a strong father figure and mother figure that taught me to be outspoken even at times when I was scared to be. They have always been relentless in what they believe, which is what this generation lacks,” he says.

“That’s why especially coming to uni made me a little shy from speaking out at first because being ‘liberal’ I felt was the norm. Especially to a lot of young people I feel, to the point that I was skeptical to join the Conservative society at DMU. For so long, I can 100% say that I was terrified of coming out as a Conservative voter because of the backlash.”  Boris then shifts the conversation by detailing more about his political ethos. Particularly why Conservativism is so appealing to him as millennial.

One of his greatest concerns is the emergence of young, politically engaged British figures such as author and journalist, Owen Jones. Boris staunchly argues that he spreads a far-left agenda about socialism and normalizes such rhetoric.

He says, “That’s why it pisses me off when the left generalizes how the British far-right, Tommy Robinson or even Trump, are all under one branch. For me, being Conservative really means believing in free trade and individualism, and there is nothing wrong with that.”

“I see people Owen Jones being this beacon of hope and the voice of reason despite so many faulty things he says in the media. I think being left nowadays means you’re immediately right. Its ideologies have been engrained in all sectors, especially education.”

Arguably, such ‘leftist propaganda’ could be said to be gradually growing across all areas and increasingly accepted by many.

According to a study by the Legatum Institute’s Matthew Elliott and James Kanagasooriam, their records illustrate that there has been a change in public opinion since the 2017 general election. Such was the case as there has been a growing number of people supporting the Labour Party’s nationalisation policies. With descending support of the Conservative Party’s free enterprise.

But it does not show that Conservativism today is widely disregarded yet has impacted Britons everywhere.

In Tory Britain, trade union membership has plummeted severely.

This could be a result of the rise of the gig economy, that lessens access to sick pay and job protection. Along with cuts to the public sector workforce which has sparked staggering unemployment rates, according to the Guardian.

Additionally, since 2010, more than 170,000 council houses across the United Kingdom have been lost. In comparison, the number of private renters has doubled by 5.4 million in the last 20 years.

Mr Palic’s points out an intriguing aspect as to what makes Labour surprisingly appealing and why the Tories have been painted as the ‘bad guys’. This has elevated him into taking the fight against Labour as an avid Tory supporter.

“I think one thing that gets young people excited is to see fresh, new ideas and that’s where Labour comes in. Because of their idealism and the whole ‘making liberal progressiveness cool’ agenda, it is making them increasingly popular and current,” Boris says.

“Steering from tradition does not mean it’s realistic and efficient, which is the absolute truth. What our government demonstrates through their policies is that they’re more pragmatic, unlike Labour. But we do have to push for more current approaches that show that the Conservatives are modern. We need to encourage more young people to join the Conservative camp. We have to support capitalism at the end of the day, and this can only be done by empowering our middle-class.”

In spite of his several disapproving opinions regarding the political climate in Britain, Boris emphasizes that building a bridge between opposing views by initiating a dialogue. He believes this may be the best answer in creating necessary change.

“Ultimately, we have to come together as a country instead of using scapegoating to run away from the possibility of making a difference,” he says.

“There are so many concerns that we as the people have rightfully been rattled about. So as much as I believe in being realistic, I also know that diplomacy is the most crucial route to true progress. We cannot let hate win and we have to one day learn to understand each other.”

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