John McCain is about to speak to Tory conference. His speech was introduced by a powerful video that documented his military service and included a commitment to abolish inheritance tax [can we have that here, too, please, Mr Cameron?]. Here are three key sections from Senator McCain's speech:
Conservatism's self-evident truths: "Conservatives believe in a short list of self-evident truths: love of country; the importance of a strong national defense; steadfast opposition to threats against our security and values that matches resources to ends wisely; the integrity of the rights of individuals and the values of families and local communities; the wonders of free markets; encouraging entrepreneurship and small business; low taxes; fiscal discipline; and generally, the government that governs best governs least. As a governing party we should emphasize that government should only do those things necessary for the well being of the nation - and do them efficiently -- that individuals can't do for themselves. Much rides on that principle: the integrity of the government; our solvency; and every citizen's self-respect, which depends, as it always has, on one's own decisions and actions, and cannot be provided as just another government benefit."
The centrality of the war on terror: "We once thought we could leave Afghanistan to its endless misery once it was no longer a theater of Cold War competition. What interests of ours were affected by the oppression inflicted on an exotic and remote people? We learned the answer to that question on September 11, 2001. We once relied on our friends, the Saudis, a reliable supplier of oil and purported force for moderation in the tumultuous politics of the Middle East. As long as the regime was stable, what difference did it make if it paid a little lip service and bribe money to extremist clerics who preached in their madrasas a toxic brand of anti-West hatred to men who had no other cause to live for? We learned the answer on September 11, 2001. And what of the hate taught in the madrasas of Pakistan? It found its cruel and violent expression here in the hands of British citizens. There is no distinction between our interests and our values. They are the same. What shall we do if not take up the challenge of defending our values from the hateful ideology that abhors them? Shall we withdraw from the world? Pay extortion money to direct their hatred elsewhere? Wall ourselves off from the world? Close our doors to immigrants and deny ourselves the energy and ingenuity that always accompanies new arrivals to our countries? No, of course not. But we can't win with our soldiers alone. We must marshal our ideals into battle, and we must organize our diplomacy, our commerce, our intelligence and our armies behind them."
Tribute to David Cameron: "So, my friends, let me close by reiterating how grateful I am for this opportunity, and how greatly encouraged and proud I am to the see my fellow conservatives in Great Britain, under David Cameron's very able and determined leadership, stand up to stake your claim for leadership with honesty, courage and resolve. You claim the future, and you will see more of it than I will. But I am content and inspired in my late years to know still, as I have always known, that there will always be a Britain, and that the future is in the safe hands of the two great peoples who long ago decided to make history together."