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Today’s most fundamental injustice is the lottery of birth. Conservatives should reject the socialist anathema of outcome inequalities; and instead make and prove the argument that capitalism can be a catalyst for, rather than a barrier against, closing this diversion between potential and prospects.

Injustice found in institutions designed to achieve justice surely burns most. Much on the agenda recently have been worrying disparities, regarding, for example, the disproportionately high BAME prison population. If adjusted for arrests, however, it is clear that BAME individuals disproportionately grow up in the circumstances of socio-economic deprivation which, due to various factors from low self-esteem to substance abuse, tend to aggravate crime and punishment.

These complex problems have few solutions which are simultaneously straightforward and realistic, but if there is one theoretical panacea to them, it is meritocracy. That entails education. State-private school divisions reinforce opportunity inequalities as much as the ‘postcode lottery’ on house prices within the best state schools’ catchment area. Rather than obfuscating the issue with the archaic grammar school debate, the solution lies in liberalising initiatives such as the Free Schools programme. By ending the private sector’s former monopoly on innovative independence, it has already improved standards – and indeed thousands of lives. Charities, for example ‘Teach First’ – which sends excellent graduates to struggling schools – also have an instrumental role to play.

Opportunity inequalities start in our very earliest years, or even before birth. The Scottish-Scandinavian ‘baby box’ scheme being extended on a means-tested basis would ameliorate infant poverty, and, combined with better funding and flexibility for childcare, this could greatly relieve the great cost in time and money which disrupts or inhibits the careers of the poorest parents most. There is great potential to improve our education and childcare system – and the prospects of those who could benefit from it most.

Equalising opportunities in the workplace is also a key means of tackling injustice. A number of universities and employees have engaged with a recent government initiative to ‘name-blind’ applications, thus preventing prejudice from swaying decisions.

However, an applicant divulging of more information may be a better solution than concealing it. Disclosing any extenuating circumstances would allow employers to contextualise an applicant’s experience and achievements, discerning the potential within.

Employers, too, ought to be more open. Whilst the 2010 Equality Act and other UK law do theoretically allow rejected applicants to take action on perceived discrimination, in practice, the process is time-consuming and difficult for those without an academic education or time. Let us reform employment legislation to create a rejected applicant’s automatic right to relevant information where they perceive discrimination. Honest justifications for hiring one applicant over another are but small costs to employers, yet they could be a radical and positive alternative to so-called ‘positive discrimination’ which lowers standards and disguises the problem. This transparency could constructively inform the workforce and policy-makers alike.

From Noel Skelton onwards, the housing ladder has historically and rightly been seen as a key path to conservatism. Electorally and ethically, we can gain more through reviving his idea of a ‘property owning democracy’ than by yielding to ‘nimbyism’. Yet Britain’s frozen and broken housing market has abandoned an aptly named ‘generation rent’ on the ladder’s bottom rung, understandably attracted by flawed leftist pseudo-solutions. For the young and poor – two groups, who, such is the extent of intergenerational inequality, are increasingly diverging – Britain is now a property renting democracy. With the average home-buying age now being over 30, for all but a lucky minority of young workers the aspiration of owning one’s own home is unrealistic – let alone unrealised. In the true and free sense of the word, ‘market’ is a misnomer when succeeding ‘housing’. Thus the Treasury would do well to liberalise the supply side by cutting stamp duty and relaxing planning regulations. This would also alleviate the need for social housing – rightly subject to increased scrutiny since the calamity at Grenfell Tower – allowing funding to be increased in real terms for the neediest. Given the current monetary climate, there is no better time to fund public-private partnerships, thus generating investment as a foundation for growth, and alleviation of perhaps the most pernicious form of injustice: poverty. Tax reform can promote economic justice too. Whilst low taxes are expedient for liberty and prosperity, shifting some of the tax burden towards inheritance and away from income would give the hard-working but asset-poor – and the economy they uphold – a much-needed boost.

Today’s burning injustices have been put firmly on the agenda because of a rise in populism and socialism. Yet the potentially most effective solutions are both radical and liberal, inspired by a vision of an open, meritocratic, and indeed just, Britain. The case for conservatives to provide them is as much ethical as it is electoral.

Samuel Chadwick is the runner up in the Tamworth Prize 2017. He is a first-year student at the University of York studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics. The views expressed in this article are those of the author, not necessarily those of Bright Blue.