David Cameron has written an ARTICLE in the Telegraph this morning which has one aim - to reassure the Right that he is the heir to Margaret Thatcher and not the heir to Blair. It's the first time he has sought to do this in such overt terms, and I welcome it. Here are the highlight of the article, but I would encourage you to read the whole thing HERE.
Far from copying Tony Blair, I am learning from his many and serious mistakes. Instead of simply accepting the political consensus of the time, as Blair did, I am challenging it. New Labour was all about coming to terms with Conservative victory in the battle of ideas. The modern Conservative Party is about replacing the failed New Labour experiment, not aping it. Those who ask whether I am a Conservative need to know that the foundation stones of the alternative government that we're building are the ideas that should unite us all: the ideas that encouraged me as a young man to join the Conservative Party and work for Margaret Thatcher.
Those ideas are profound and enduring: freedom under the law, personal responsibility, sound money, strong defence and national sovereignty.
That is why, under my leadership, we have opposed ID cards and will replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights that better protects both our security and our freedom. It is why I have made the strongest commitment to supporting the family and marriage that any Conservative leader has made for a generation. It is why we are pledged to share the proceeds of economic growth between public services and lower taxes, thereby ensuring that over time the state takes a smaller share of national wealth.
It is why we support the replacement of Britain's nuclear deterrent and have led the campaign for better conditions for Forces families. It is why we will restore Britain's opt-out from the European Social Chapter, and it is why we have announced our withdrawal from the federalist European People's Party.
Commentators such as Tim Congdon seem to have forgotten much of what Mrs Thatcher said and did. It was Mrs Thatcher who launched the Scarman inquiry in 1981 in an attempt to understand the alienation of young black men. And it was Mrs Thatcher who launched modern environmental politics with her Royal Society speech in 1988. The reduction of Thatcherism into a sort of laissez-faire libertarianism does not do justice to her record. She was animated by a vision of the good society – a vision obscured by decades of economic dirigisme and cultural relativism. The task she set herself was to restore not only personal liberty in economic matters, but also a sense of duty, respect and moral obligation in social matters.
If 2006 was about changing the party, 2007 is about preparing to change the country. Over the coming months our policy review will report. We will be going firmly on to the offensive against Labour, and the record and plans of Gordon Brown in particular.