Dr Phillip Lee is MP for Bracknell and a member of the Energy & Climate Change Select Committee. Follow Phillip on Twitter.
There is only one section of our society capable of generating the growth needed to save our economy: the 'Wealth Generators'. My definition of a Wealth Generator is a person who not only creates enough wealth to support themselves, but also others, too. By 2010, after 13 years of Socialism, hedonism and almost criminal fiscal irresponsibility, this small band of people on whom we had all come to rely upon has been left disillusioned and demotivated. Not only do we continue to tax them too highly, our banks are also still very reluctant to support them. Furthermore, in tandem with over-burdensome employment law, previous governments have made their lives a misery with health and safety regulation. In effect, the givers can no longer give enough because the takers are taking too much.
True Conservatives know that Socialists seek to create growth artificially. They don’t understand Wealth Generators. Openly or surreptitiously, the Socialists’ instinct is to control and that is fundamentally at odds with the free-thinking mindset of the entrepreneur. Socialists seek to magic jobs from nowhere, pour money into public projects and then, when all else inevitably fails, resort to the printing press. This is their version of growth. They argue that it is better to give someone a 'non job' and let them pay tax, than it is to provide no job and pay them benefit. This sounds neat, but it has been proven time and time again to be folly. Value cannot be simulated. Politicians of the Right also understand that successful economies need well-educated, driven individuals who are risk-takers. They know that for a country to prosper, it needs a hard core of dynamic people who believe that they have found the right place to fulfill their dreams. Sadly, I fear that does not sound like Britain today. Our young people do not receive an education comparable in quality to our international competitors. Yes, it is true that students do get to feel good about themselves for a few hours on results day, but then they can’t find a job because they’re not good enough. In effect, the Left has created the educational equivalent of a ‘non job’. I believe that this “everyone is excellent” ideology represents the most damaging attack on the futures of our young people since the Second World War. This appalling betrayal has created generations drunk on “A stars” and “media studies” and totally unprepared for the realities of an ever-changing, globalized economy, particularly one that is teetering on the edge of collapse.
More worryingly, this 'unreal' approach to life has sold Britain itself terribly short. The last Labour government left our country more divided than ever before, and that division is far more complex and dangerous than the old cliché of North versus South. It is now private sector workers versus public sector workers; the old versus the young; the rich against the poor; the indigenous versus the immigrant; the debtors against the creditors. Somehow, amidst this malaise of contempt and mistrust within our society we expect our Wealth Generators to save the day. We assume that they will stick around to subsidise the 'non jobs' with their mind boggling pensions; that they will hire staff with dubious qualifications and a poor work ethic; that they will put to one side the fact that we bail out some businesses but not others.