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Two big themes for tomorrow's Conservative Party

By Tim Montgomerie
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Yesterday I looked at the Johnson/ Davis/ Truss thinking on the future of the Conservative Party. In the latest instalment of 'After the Coalition', being serialised in The Telegraph Kwasi Kwarteng proposes a balanced budget amendment to ensure that Britain never borrows during a boom again. In the Daily Mail there's more from the David Davis 'Future of Conservatism' book and its 26 authors with a call from Graham Brady for more grammar schools to restart social mobility.

In today's Times I attempt to identify some common themes in the manifesto ideas coming from backbenchers. I suggest that there is a belief that:

(1) the answer to capitalism's problems is to supercharge it with more competition, not tighter regulation; and

(2) we should stand up to monopolistic business practices in the same way we stood up to over-mighty unions in the 1980s and the over-mighty EU now.

I write:

"The Tory Right’s great worry is that we will emerge from the economic crisis with a model of capitalism that is farther away from the ideal. They see the solution as greater competition, not more regulation. The defining idea for this new conservatism is empowerment of the little guy against the big and powerful. More power to choose a school for your children. More freedom to set up a business without red tape. A simpler way to transfer your bank or electricity account to a rival supplier. Some are even willing to contemplate less tax on income and a little more on wealth. Most of this should be comfortable territory for David Cameron and it defies stale ideas of Left and Right. Within days of becoming Tory leader in 2005 he placed full-page adverts in papers promising to stand up to big business. It’s a natural evolution for a party that transferred power from union barons to members and wants to transfer power from Brussels to states to champion consumers, patients and parents against monopolistic suppliers."

Read the whole thing (£).


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