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Gareth

You know Ed, some of us never lost our belief in social justice. Even in the 1980's I was appalled at the callousness with which so many members of our party treated the unemployed, for example. As someone proud to call myself a One Nation Tory long before IDS et all jumped on the bandwagon, I find all these road to Damascus conversions rather amusing. Particularly since so many of these self-same right wingers were firmly in the 'all the poor are feckless' camp 10 years ago.

Coxy

Ed, it's good to honour past leaders, but I'm glad you've only honoured the last three! Can't think why you didn't go back any further to JM..........!

Michael McGowan

I have seen no evidence that IDS has jumped on any bandwagon. He seems to believe what he says and has received a lot of flak for saying it. The good thing which he has done is to redefine "social justice" in more liberal terms .....rather than making the mistake that a lot of "modernisers" and old-fashioned One Nation Tories like Ken Clarke make of kowtowing to the diktat of the left on matters of social justice.

wasp

I think IDS is the one ex-leader who has really made a contribution to the party since leading office and even though I think he would have been over promoted running a whelk stall I salute what he has done.

Still hate the term social justice though.

Gareth carver

What about a 'defender of democracy' award for all those who resisted the challenge to rob the membership of a vote?

Gareth

The One Nation bandwagon is groaning under the weight of recently acquired passengers. IDS & Co spent years banging on about Europe and little else and have suddenly discovered that vast swathes of the country won't vote for us because they think we are selfish and concerned only with fringe issues.

Where was the concern for community cohesion when we closed the coal mines? Or introduced the poll tax? Or put VAT on fuel? Or lectured single mothers? Or positively revelled in the inequalities in our society?

Michael McGowan

I agree with a lot of what you say Gareth but the "modernisers" don't help themselves, and mar their own message, by being equally intolerant of dissent in their own way. By the way, VAT on fuel makes perfect sense if The Conservative Party is to be taken seriously on environmental issues.

James Hellyer

"Where was the concern for community cohesion when we closed the coal mines?"

That was demonstrated in the commitment to no compulsory redundancies, the generous payoffs offered...

Then the NUM intervened.

Sean Fear


Huh? Didn't you boast about being a "Thatcherite" on another thread a few days ago, Gareth?

Would you rather that we had continued with the economic policies of the seventies then? Who knows, we might now have the standard of living of somewhere like Greece.

John Hustings

"As someone proud to call myself a One Nation Tory long before IDS et all jumped on the bandwagon, I find all these road to Damascus conversions rather amusing. Particularly since so many of these self-same right wingers were firmly in the 'all the poor are feckless' camp 10 years ago."

What nonsense. As if the *modernisers* give a stuff about the poor! They positively despise them! They despise their *reactionary* views.

Speaking as someone who, like Davis, was son of a single mother and grew up on a council estate, it was a *right-wing* policy (the assisted places scheme) that helped me get out of it. But perhaps it is my background that gives me different priorities from Portillo et al.

"Where was the concern for community cohesion when we closed the coal mines?"

Most people in the Conservative Party recognise that this was in the best interests of everybody. Both for the British economy (which has a very great effect on the welfare of the poor) and for the miners themselves. It is a monumentally stupid idea to artifically prop up a failing industry at the cost of the country.

You sound like you are to the left of New Labour on this issue!

"Or introduced the poll tax?"

What exactly sets the poll tax (ahem, community charge) apart from all the wicked stealth taxes Labour has imposed? What makes it more unfair than, say, inheritance tax?

Just because the poll tax was unpopular does not mean that it was somehow morally wrong. If Labour introduced the idea now (not such a far-fetched notion) they would probably get away with it.

"Or put VAT on fuel?"

Can you suggest a fairer method of taxation than either of these two? One that would benefit the poor?

"lectured single mothers?"

The lecturing is done more by the modernisers and liberals than social conservatives. Listen to yourself!

It is a gross misrepresentation to say the Conservatives "lectured single mothers". But because of the likes of you, they are now afraid to even broach the topic. And hence our disastrous social breakdown continues without being addressed. Who suffers the most from this silence? That's right: the poor. It is the poor that suffers the most from broken homes.

Yes, you really *do* care about the poor, don't you?

"Or positively revelled in the inequalities in our society? "

Who did this??

Some of us don't have the notion of "equality" set as the central unquestionable goal of society. It is a nasty, totalitarian concept.

Rather than have anyone anywhere enjoy any advantages whatsoever (even natural ones) the totalitarian-left wish to impose an equality of misery. Another word for this is socialism. I suggest you adopt this as your chosen doctrine, since it seems to fit you well.

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