As this post goes live David Davis will be speaking to the Centre for Social Justice about global poverty. Mr Davis' speech applies three of the key themes of his leadership campaign to the challenge of poverty:
(1) "The Conservative Party must offer an agenda that is ‘good for me and good for my neighbour’." He will emphasise that he is an authentic conservative - Eurosceptic, tough on crime, committed to lower taxation etc - but (in tune with the And Theory) he'll argue that a concern for the poorest people of the world is also authentically conservative: "There is no contradiction between being a party that controls immigration and that also cares passionately for Africa’s children. Our own country’s security and prosperity have never been more dependent upon the extension of political and economic freedom in other countries." He will say that this balance of hard-headed and open-hearted commitments is essential for the Conservative Party to reach the wristband generation.
(2) "We must overcome the great challenges of our time by being true to ourselves as conservatives." In this section he will back David Cameron's recent criticisms of Christian Aid: "We need conservative ideas if we are to make poverty history. And free trade is the biggest idea of them all. David Cameron was completely right last week to say that Christian Aid’s antipathy towards capitalism was not serving the world’s poorest people. Comparing the impact of free trade to the impact of last year’s tsunami was offensive. More importantly – the demonisation of capitalism is not in the interests of the world’s poorest people." Mr Davis will say that "the EU’s protectionism and its aid budget are not good servants of international development" and that "both must go the way of history before we can make poverty history".
(3) "We must talk to the British people about what we believe and that conversation must start now." Mr Davis will conclude his speech with these words: "If I became leader of this party I wouldn’t spend half of this parliament setting up commissions. I already know what I believe. I believe today what I believed six months ago. I believed six months ago what I believed five years ago. I know that Britain’s economy needs lower and simpler taxes and the first budget of the next Conservative government must begin to deliver them... And I know that free trade, good governance and property rights are the key to progress in the third world. I will spend all of this parliament explaining those beliefs to the British people. Some of them may not look popular now but time and the facts are on our side. This parliament is still young. I have the determination to spend the whole of this parliament selling an authentic, socially-just conservatism to the British people. In the last two parliaments our policies became as timid as the limited time we gave ourselves to sell them. There will be serious policy development under my leadership but I’m not willing to spend three years in a policy vacuum – and spent one year filling it. Our main policy priorities need to be communicated and explained now. The role of free trade in making poverty history will be a top priority.”