A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be a very Liberal Democrat, and among other liberal ideals, was very much in favour of higher taxes to support more government programs, in other words, redistribution of wealth.
She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Conservative, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harboured an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.
One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the need for more government programmes. The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by asking how she was doing in school.
Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she was a grade A student, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn’t even have time for a boyfriend, and didn’t really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.
Her father listened and then asked, ‘How is your friend Louisa doing?’ She replied, ‘Louisa is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies, and she barely has a grade C average. She is so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She’s always invited to all the parties and lots of times she doesn’t even show up for classes because she’s too hung over.’
Her father asked his daughter, ‘Why don’t you go to the Dean’s office and ask him to deduct one grade off your over-all score and give it to your friend who only has a C average? That way you will both have a grade B average and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of your results.’
The daughter, visibly shocked by her father’s suggestion, angrily fired back, ‘That’s a crazy idea, how would that be fair! I’ve worked really hard for my grades! I’ve invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Louisa has done next to nothing towards her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!’
The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, ‘Welcome to the Conservative’s philosophy.’
If anyone has a better explanation of the difference between a Conservative ideal and a Labour ideal, I’m open to suggestions. The Conservatives are about equality of opportunity, not equality of outcomes!