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Mrs Campbell

This is very good - and what is more it also chimes in with the "freedom" agenda which is being pursued more generally i.e. it goes to the 58 days debate as well. Our security is much better protected in our own hands with assistance from the police and the security services than wholly in the hands of an authoritarian State claiming to protect the common good. After all, yesterday's Treasury announcement shows how secure we are

Tony Makara

As William Hague pointed out at conference a few years ago Tony Blair's third-way philosophy was stolen from Oswald Mosley. So there was nothing particularly new about that idea. The thing today that clearly divides the party is the issue of statism. Labour are welded to the concept of a huge monolithic state directing every aspect of social policy. David Cameron's entire approach is different, in fact minimalist. David's belief that the small proactive groups free of state control can do more good in society is bourne out by the facts. Rather like the military concept of blitzkreig, smaller, more mobile units are far more effective than one huge clunking offensive. The term less-is-more certainly applies to the modern Conservative strategy. The statist philosophy of Labour belongs to the last century. It has been tried, tested and has failed.

David Lindsay

"Under Margaret Thatcher, the Conservative were able to highlight the growing economic opportunities offered by the market, making it increasingly clear as to which was the winning side."

Really? We are on the brink of nationalising a bank (which used to be much better-run as a mutual building society closely tied to a locality) in order to counteract the ruinous consequences of the anti-conservative "free" market for the thoroughly conservative Common Good.

What next? We shouldn't have to wait too long to find out.

Get real

"The line which he sketching out across the centre ground is between New Labour’s vision of the welfare state, the Conservative vision of a welfare society."

It is wishful thinking to think that the welfare state can just wither away. Ideally the Conservatives would dratically reduce the number those who are entitled to incapacity benefit. But there are too many voters in key seats who are dependent on it. Without real reform of the welfare state, talk of a welfare society is mere rhetoric.

Andrew Lansley's NHS policies show that the Conservative Party is courting, rather than taking on, the statist interest groups and political classes.

The Conservatives' policies are riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions. There is no clear vision or theme, a damning indictment of Oliver Letwin's performance as the part-time policy co-ordinator. It is time to give his job to Michael Gove whose schools policies are a radical alternative to the statism of Labour and Lansley.

tired and emotional

Schools and welfare first, solve those and the trust and experience needed to tackle the huge problems in the NHS will come. NHS is term 2 or 3.

Tony Makara

One of the main reasons statism doesn't work is the inevitable tiers of bureaucracy that accompany it. Labour seem to believe this leads to some kind of accountability but all it does is clog the system. One department becomes three, three becomes six and they end up bickering with each other and not getting anything done. The best way to run anything is with a chain of command. A pyramid of responsibility. Our public services need to be purged of all superfluous waste. That will mean a loss of jobs but it will have to be done. An audit should be carried out and every public service worker should be made to explain what exactly they do and how it relates to their work. Too many people are riding the public service gravy-train, contributing nothing of value and are a drain on efficiency.

Get real

Tired and emotional indeed! The NHS literally kills thousands of patients every year by inflecting them with MRSA and other superbugs. It is a far bigger threat to life than Islamic terrorism. NHS and health reform must be a top priority for the next Conservative government.

Tony Makara

Get real, yes, my son contracted impetigo after a visit to a NHS hospital. I believe hospitals should take the radical step of banning all non-staff visitors. Perhaps visitors could still speak to loved ones by some sort of video or audio link. I know that hospital visits play a vital psychological role in recovery, however it can't help the situation when so many visitors are bringing all manner of infection in and out of hospital.

David Sergeant

Get real, at the last election the Conservatives offered the "Patients Charter". Electorally get real.

Get real

David Sergeant, where did I advocate the Patients' Charter? You appear to be one of the wet TRG trolls here.

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