Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What are Cameron's Conservatives for?

Gordon Brown stood for the leadership of the Labour party on a platform that argued that the renewal that was undertaken in order to gain power needed to be repeated if Labour was to keep power. The fact is that by successfully occupying the centre ground, by modernising and reaching out beyond its own activists Labour ended up turning the Tories into a replica of what it used to be itself – a party with a narrow base, a party obsessed about the wrong things and a party seen as old fashioned and out of touch. To his credit David Cameron understands all of this and it is why he is busily re-branding and re-positioning today’s modern Tory party. Cameron knows that to be taken seriously he and his party need to be seen as the future, to be heralded as the bearers of hope and deliverers of change. The problem for Cameron is that the promotion of such a message takes the Tories into unchartered waters. Why? Because the history of the Tory party is centred on the core belief that politics can't change people’s lives.

Can you ever imagine a time when a future Tory manifesto included a passage about the strength of our common endeavour or about ensuring wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many not the few? Me neither.

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