Meet the second year standing for the Conservatives
And yes, he supports tuition fees
A second year Law student is standing for the Conservatives in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.
The words “young conservative” are enough to depress most people, but 19-year-old election candidate Taylor Muir sees no cause for pessimism, and he’s been in the party since he was 16.
Revision – canvassing – revision – exam -stand for election – revision – exam: this is the trajectory of Taylor’s month.
He told The Tab: “I feel like a veteran, I’ve been in the party four years! People have got an idea in their heads of Tory boys from Spitting Image, but I’d say around 70% of young conservative members are ‘normal’- which is probably the same as the wider population.”
He’s standing for the Conservatives in Rutherglen and Hamilton West – an area he has stayed in his whole life.
And what do his friends think of this precocious prospective parliamentarian?
“People who are my actual friends tend not be involved in the party. If you like somebody, I don’t think you change your friendship because of their politics. I know it will inform some people’s judgments of me, but that’s not something I can change.”
Conservatism rarely gives political birth to people, but Taylor has simply skipped the revolutionary anarchist-socialist stages and arrived where you will when you’re 40. He’s just jettisoned your doe-eyed naïvete, yeah?
Recognising this, he continues with the maximum of understatement.
“The ‘student body’, as it were, is quite to the left. At a debate I was met with stony silence when I spoke in favour of tuition fees and a whole variety of policies the audience didn’t like. But such is life; I’m not in politics for the social niceties.”
And on things like the NUS and SU’s he says: “They are quite unionized, and that dynamic is a monopoly of power in itself and the people at the top become very self-interested. They tend to be far left and often don’t have a clue
“The thing I’d stress to students is radical left policies just don’t work; they’ve failed working people time and again throughout history.”
A recent study found 43% of Strathclyde leavers are set to vote SNP, with only 11% plumping for the Conservatives. Taylor sees this as a result of cynicism with the financial crash and mainstream parties, and views the SNP rise as dangerous.
“The SNP itself isn’t extreme but they’ve had an influx of far-left Trotskyists and people like the Scottish Resistance who are dragging the leadership to the left and agitating for another referendum. Nothing can be solved for these people unless we’re independent.”
It’s more likely to be the corridors of John Anderson than the corridors of power for Taylor though, with odds of a Conservative victory in Rutherglen and Hamilton West at 100/1.
Still, he concludes candidly: “Politics tends to attracts oddballs; anyone who voluntarily spends their time making an almost indistinguishable difference in democracy is probably a bit mental -by definition- and I include myself in that.”