I've just received a press release from the Cameron campaign listing the "five major challenges facing Britain" and promising that Mr Cameron will set out "a clear policy direction on each" as he tours the country over the next few weeks. The five challenges appear to be:
- The challenge of terrorism and the need to protect our security whilst preserving our liberties
- Improving quality of life
- Delivering a dynamic economy
- Reforming public services and
- Strengthening families and communities.
In Leeds today, Mr Cameron addressed the first 'challenge'. These are two extracts from the press release's report of Mr Cameron's words:
“A modern, compassionate Conservative approach combines an emphasis on upholding our shared national values - freedom under the rule of law – with an understanding that we’re all in this together; that we have a shared responsibility to tackle terrorism...
“This Government has been casual about our security. There are serious questions to be answered about the resources available to our security services, the effectiveness of our border controls, and the operation of our asylum system. At the same time the Government has been casual about our liberties. The Prime Minister said that when the police ask him for new powers, he says yes. That’s a failure of judgement and leadership. Fighting terrorism requires vigilance not just about security, but about our liberty.
Serious about security and our liberties. It's the And Theory again! Anyway, I shouldn't interrupt:
“Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I want us to build a stronger sense of national cohesion in this country. There’s a tremendous amount of excellent work going on at the grass roots level: I recently visited a fantastic initiative in Dewsbury which helps British Asian children learn English, a vital part of community cohesion.
“But there’s much more to be done. I want the Conservative Party to get really stuck in to this agenda. There’s so much we have to offer. We’ve always believed in personal responsibility; we must now show that when it comes to creating community cohesion, this is part of a shared responsibility – that we’re all in this together. We’ve always believed in limited government; we must now show that community organisations, voluntary bodies and neighbourhood action are all part of our vision for renewing community cohesion and pride. We must make it clear that there is such a thing as society, it’s just not the same thing as the state.
“I’ve already begun to outline some of the specific policy ideas that follow from this approach. More school exchanges to encourage greater social mixing. Greater emphasis on the teaching of English. A national school leaver programme, involving business, the armed forces and voluntary organisations to give young people a constructive and inspiring start to adult life...."