Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Cameron Unveils Built to Last Document

Newsnight will be doing a feature on David Cameron's new Built to Last document tonight. They're also blogging about it HERE. Sadly they haven't seen fit to ask me to grace Ms Wark's sofa, so I shall share my views with you now. I did a piece of Channel 4 News earlier but I forgot to watch it to see which piece they used. Bet it was the bit where I said we should be arguing the case for lower taxes (wash my mouth out!).

The new Built to Last document is a great improvement on the first version. It's still a statement of aims and values but more detailed. Apart from the fact that it only talks about flatter and simpler taxes, conveniently omitting the word 'lower', I think it's excellent. It is something that virtually every Conservative should be able to sign up to. It should also give the lie to those who claim the Conservatives are policy-lite. Of course the Party shouldn't have detailed policies in every single area at this point in the electoral cycle, but this document helps cement the foundations of a proper policy forming process.

I think the key part of the Built to Last document is the phrase the 'Responsibility Revolution'. I can't say it's the snappiest slogan I have ever heard, but it has the virtue of meaning something.

I am clear about the new direction we must set for Britain. To meet the challenges of the twenty-first century, and to satisfy people’s aspirations today, this country needs a responsibility revolution. A revolution in personal responsibility – giving every individual the
skills, the resources, and the confidence to take control of their life. A revolution in professional responsibility – giving all those who work in our public services the freedom to fulfil their vocation. A revolution in civic responsibility – giving our neighbourhoods and communities the power to shape their destinies, fight crime and improve the quality of life. A revolution in corporate responsibility – giving business the encouragement and the incentive to help enhance our environment and improve well-being. That is the mission of the modern Conservative Party: a responsibility revolution to create an opportunity society – a society in which everybody is a somebody, a doer not a done-for.

You can download the full Built to Last document HERE.


Anonymous said...

Did someone just run a search-and-replace over the old Common Sense Revolution documents?

Anonymous said...

I must say I am quite impressed with this mini-manifesto. I suppose it's because I'm just a sucker for talk of freedom and localism.

ian said...

Corporate Responsibility?! I can't wait to read that one.

Praguetory said...

One policy idea which appears consistent with this statement is the idea of capitalising an element of pensions (this policy has recently been introduced in Slovakia). These ringfenced amounts could be drawn by the government for items such as unpaid fines, council tax and penalties for things like missed doctor appointments. It's about time people who were in the system were rewarded. Under Labour you are whacked.

Anonymous said...

I watched all of Channel 4 news tonight and I'm afraid I didn't see you at all, Mr. Dale.

The camera lingered instead on a few hotties at CCHQ.

So, every cloud...

Iain Dale said...

It appears they didn't use my glorious interviewette! Didn't think I was that boring! Ms Newman will be put over my knee and firmly spanked.

strapworld said...


That is a sexist and inappropriate remark, not befitting an illustrious member of the A Club or as we must say these days "A" Kommunity.

It is also an indication that you are of a disposition to beat the fairer sex, that is the greatest sin possible (except of course uttering a Muslim joke!).

There is a third dimension you obviously appear to believe that you can manipulate the press. You cannot.

Please take a little advice. Never do a recording. Always do live interviews! If you cannot, dont.

Now, where is that strap?

Anonymous said...

Good thing he had Inigo's Leftyspeak to hand..

Iain Dale said...

I fear imminent suspension by my employer...

Anonymous said...

This document suggests an immenent reshuffle. Topic for another thread maybe, but who's staying and who's going? For my tuppence worth, Hague gets treasury, maybe in a straight swap with the boy George.

Anonymous said...

Meaningless twaddle. All it does is give the chattering classes something to twitter about while DC sits tight, tries to stay out of trouble and hopes the government continues making itself unpopular. It's all so tedious it makes you weep.

AnyonebutBlair said...

I am a member of the Tory party and voted for Cameron and full support all he is doing and the content of the mini-manifesto as a positioning exercise. My concern is that whilst Dave is moving the tories to the left (or centre) and electorate as a whole is moving to the right (see latest Spectator poll) as a response to the liberal-left NuLab. I am starting to have some sympathy with Peter Hitchens - we need an alternative in low/flat taxes, strengthened freedoms, strong and effective criminal justice system and policing, cut in pointless bureacracy, radically smaller government etc. Now that would make a manifesto.

Anonymous said...

I like Prezza's response: "Another triumph of style over substance." I think he's fallen into a trap there. In the spirit of Private Eye's 'Out of Con-text' might I suggest CCHQ puts an endorsement on the front cover - "Another triumph" - John Prescott.

Jonathan M Scott said...

As a moderniser (and by the way, I voted for David Davis but am 100% behind our new Leader - so that must make me a "NeoCam", short for Neo-Cameroon), a tax-burdened 30-year-old and a recent economic migrant (albeit from Ulster), I think Built to Last strikes the right chord in terms of both tax and immigration.

It has, let's face, been assumed that if we bang on about tax and immigration we would win the general election. We didn't do so in either 2001 or 2005 and our message on both tax and immigration were misunderstood by key sections of the electorate. Voters are pretty clear that the Conservatives are 'sounder' on both these issues that the other main parties.

The difficulty is, of course, that in a general election if we say we are going to cut £Xm taxes, key voters in key marginal seats think, 'yes, I could do with the money, but will that result in cuts in public services?'. We need to convince thse voters that we will put economic stability and public services first, and then try to reduce their tax burden. Otherwise 'Lab hold'.

Don't forget demographic change in key marginals. When we beat the drums about immigration during a general election, we put off large sections of the population - not just ethnic minorities - but also many Conservative-leaning white voters. I suspect that we could have taken seats such as Harrow West/East and Wolverhampton SW if our message on immigration hadn't specifically put off Asian voters who represent large sections of the electorate. Let's get the message right otherwise 'Lab Hold'.

I will certainly vote yes to Built to Last as I believe that it forms the basis for a compelling set of policies that could win us the next general election. I also think that it is a lot more memorable and effective than the "10 words + Accountability" from the 2005 campaign, i.e. ESEFEPPO

Social Justice (fight social injustice)
Environment (meet env threats)
First Class Health, Education, Housing
End Global Poverty
Protect our Country
Power to the People
Open, Meritocratic, Forward-looking Party