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EPTV EXPLAINS: Why do the Conservative Party always seem to favour the rich over the poor? A Brief History.

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In order to understand why certain politicians make the decisions they do, it’s essential to understand the history of the party they represent and the ideology that underpins it.

The Conservative and Unionist Party – to give them their full name – was founded in 1834 as a successor to the Tory Party, during a time in which ordinary people were literally fighting, and winning, to get the vote.

Before this time, only the very rich were allowed a say in who ran the country, and the two main political parties – the Tory Party and the Whigs – only needed to represent the interests of this wealthy elite in order to win votes.

Historically, the Whigs represented the interests of aristocratic families, whilst the Tories represented the interests of the Capitalist class, such as factory owners and landlords.

However, during the early 1800s, ordinary Brits began rising up – they had had enough of the rich literally lording it over them, and fought to force change.

Starting with the Great Reform Act of 1832, Parliament gradually began to allow more and more ordinary people the vote – culminating in the 1928 Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act which finally extended the vote to women

As the franchise slowly began to widen, both the Tory Party and the Whigs were simultaneously forced to expand and popularise their policies in order to appeal to the interests of these newly enfranchised voters – with the Tories rebranding as the Conservative Party, and the Whigs morphing into the Liberal Party, and later the Liberal Democrats.

However, in 1900, after the franchise had been extended to all men, a newcomer party emerged – a party formed out of the growing Trade Union movement in order to represent the interests of ordinary working people: the Labour Party.

From the 1920s until the modern day, Labour and the Conservatives have essentially become the two “main” parties in the UK – with Labour historically representing the interests of the working class and the lower middle class, and the Conservatives representing the interests of the upper middle-class upwards.

This upper-class focus can almost always be used to explain the policies of the Conservative Party – and Boris Johnson’s choice to largely ignore the least well off who will be hit hardest by the energy price spike, whilst simultaneously protecting the interests of wealthy Energy Company shareholders who will make profit from it, is no different.

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