There is an inbuilt ambition in all of us, whether we admit it or not. The public dislike the welfare system because it is seen to offer an alternative to work which is adequate. In order to satisfy low income working families, a huge part of the voting electorate by the way, there must be a correlation between efforts to succeed and rewards for doing so. The welfare system must provide a safety net but not affluence. I believe the role of Politics is to provide pathways where effort can be rewarded. If that makes me Tory then so be it, I believe I stand with the majority of the country where I say that welfare system is a support mechanism but shouldn't be a lifestyle.
We live in a society where social mobility is far more inflexible than it was 10 years ago. I used to quit my jobs when the going got tough, if they treat me badly I just left because I knew I'd find another job. I am far more mature than I was, maybe it's the mortgage! Young people these days leave University and enter the labour market into a huge pool of equal talent with very little to differentiate each person. I would have been completely and totally lost in today's labour market as a young man. I would have succumbed to a terrible job and felt underutilised, frustrated and probably depressed. Unless you stand out from the crowd with a brash exterior and heaps of self-belief you could drown in the competition. It's tough to remain confident following setbacks and in an age where to even receive a rejection letter is rare, it's easy for confidence to erode over time when even such a simple life aspiration like finding work and having independent income seems beyond a person.
Think about the realities for young people these days. They must work longer to receive a state pension which will only be payable for young people today at the age of around 70 - 75. Careers lasting longer for most means less vacancies and slower career progression. It means more frustration as workers await opportunities and more competition when that opportunity does arise. This leads to lateral job movement so you are fighting for positions that have applicants who have already done the exact job somewhere else. Is it little wonder there is more new businesses launching with people taking massive risks? Pursuing a normal career is not as attractive as it was even just 5 years ago. It is fine for people at the top.
The choice for young people these days is spending 30 years slowly going up the career ladder with no guarantees or taking a shot at running their own business with even a small hope of hitting it big and having everything they ever dreamed of. I believe owning my own business in some form is my only chance of making a large income over £50,000 a year. I will not be able do this in the public sector.
I reject any assertion by the Conservative government that the entrepreneurial spirit we see in the country today, with the number of new businesses starting around the country increasing month on month is an achievement they can take credit for. I believe the unequal country they have created and the great difficulty in progressing within conventional employment routes means that desperation and not aspiration fuels the increase in self-employment. That is testimony to those seeking to do well by the limited means available to them as the jobs market has let them down. Labour needs to catch up. People are trying to build their own future and we need to support them.
There are people like me all over the place who are trying hard but struggling to break through, who do all the recommended actions but watch others succeeding instead of them. It is frustrating to watch people using sharp networking and personal favours rather than effort and attainment to progress in their lives. This can easily result in a protest vote because they feel they have plenty of protest about. But I am not giving up and neither should you. For those that do quit, they are sealing their own future and that is their choice.
The Political party that accepts people want to be successful, run businesses, earn money and feel fulfilled and offers a package that shows they understand this will win support. I do not want any handouts or help, I just want to know that there is social justice in terms of fairness of opportunity and that there will be a reflection of our efforts and that if I am good enough, nothing will prevent me getting fair equity from life. A party that inspires the electorate wins. For many people, once they have crossed the ballot box, they hope not for an easy ride, but a level playing field where being good actually matters.
The rest is down to us, but there must be a path to walk down in order to succeed. It is that path that politics must provide.