If you thought the nation elected a Conservative government in May 2015, you would be wrong. A Conservative government would have simplified and reduced taxes, as Nigel Lawson did in every budget. Instead George Osborne has copied Gordon Brown, packing his budget with trivial interferences with no overall goal or vision, and making more tax changes per budget than Gordon Brown did.
David Cameron's EU policy copies Harold Wilson's. The Labour PM negotiated a few token 'concessions,' hailed it as a 'major change' in the relationship, and campaigned for a referendum yes vote. He, too, spoke of an economic relationship, lulling the nation into remaining in an increasingly political union.
Because Conservatives support the spontaneity of society, a Conservative government should preserve that spontaneity, allowing people to decide how to live and to interact, producing a different outcome to one dreamed up in the mind of a central planner. This government, however, wants to make society conform to a preconceived idea of how it thinks people should live. The sugar tax is the latest in a long line of similar interferences. We now have 'plain packaging' for cigarettes, and recommended levels for alcohol and dairy products low enough to be a laughing stock. Yet this is what the government's paid officials try to foist on us as an acceptable lifestyle.
We have a 'living wage' that secures more equality among low-paid workers at a cost of perhaps 60,000 jobs and higher prices in industries such as catering and entertainment. It is not Conservative to compel employers to pay their employees more than the economic worth of their labour. It is a Labour outlook to regard business and industry as there to provide jobs and wages. A Conservative attitude sees their role as one of providing goods and services for consumers, with jobs and wages coming as a welcome consequence of that role.
If this government does have any goals at all, they seem to be political rather than economic or social. It aims at a day-to-day management that directs society in ways that win today's headlines without heeding long-term consequences. They seek to justify their mandate each day, rather than over the lifetime of a Parliament. This, too, was originally a Labour policy and is what Peter Mandelson turned New Labour into. It is not Conservative.
Conservatives are supposed to protect people's ability to live according to their values and aspirations, not to expose them to every pressure group wanting to ride its hobby horse roughshod over how they might choose to live.
This government wants to micromanage our lives, telling us how much energy to use, how much garbage to discard, and not even trusting us to dispose of plastic bags responsibly. It is not Conservative by any definition.