In Wednesday's Times Daniel Finkelstein called for a more positive and hopeful Conservative Party. I couldn't agree more with his premise. I've long admired the Republican Party and the way it has kept faith with Ronald Reagan's morning in America optimism.
British conservatism has not matched that positivity. It has inherited Mrs T's handbagging approach to politics. Daniel Finkelstein, who worked with William Hague from 1997 to 2001, wrote this:
"Without fully realising the choice it was making, the Tory party began to paint the skies black, became the pessimistic party. This country is being strangled by regulation and taxation, criminals are taking over our streets, family life is collapsing, immigration control is a joke, alcoholism and drug abuse is rife, the constitution is crumbling and we are being subsumed in a European super-state. Oh yes, and no one decent can go out after 8 o’clock. Eight years later it seems clear that this choice was the wrong one. And Mr Cameron’s intervention in the Sky debate suggests that he realises it too."
The intervention in last Thursday's Sky debate was recorded by Clive Davis - but more of that in a moment. DF thinks the Tory Party needs to be more hopeful about modern Britain:
"A Blue Skies party might say this — that this country is already prosperous but untold opportunities lie ahead for all if we build a flexible low-tax economy; that one of the greatest advances in social policy of the last 30 years is that we now know that crime can be beaten with the right policies and that in other countries this is happening; that immigration can be an immensely positive thing and that assimilated communities have been enormously successful and will continue to be so provided we get the system under control; that many cities outside London are booming and that there is now so much to do after 8 o’clock. I could go on, but you get the idea."