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John Hayes displays his passion for apprenticeships in the House Magazine - while referring to St Augustine, Aquinas, Hegel, Burke...

By Paul Goodman
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...Disraeli, Wilberforce and Shaftesbury.  He tells Sam Macrory of the House Magazine that his apprenticeships programme -

“ - is about installing, in the whole of society, purposeful pride. When society is riven with purposeful pride, Britain will stand tall; it’s as big a mission as that. It’s about understanding [that] what we do together is more important that what we do apart. It’s about understanding the collective wisdom of the ages is enshrined in great institutions like the courts, Parliament, the church and the crown, and the everyday institutions we encounter – families, the ‘little platoons’, as Burke called them.”

The Burke quote is frequently used by Conservative politicians but it is unusual for David Cameron's senior Ministers to dismiss "the centre ground" -

“The common ground in politics is the ground which reflects people’s preoccupations, their sentiments, their hopes and their fears. And any politician who’s truly, not just claims to be, the people’s champion, must be guided by the people’s desires. I always have been...I see [the apprenticeships policy from a Tory perspective because mine is the party of Wilberforce, Shaftesbury and Disraeli after all. Social justice is in our blood, it’s absolutely written, tattooed across every Conservative’s breast.”

As Macrory writes: "The numbers can’t be argued with: there are more apprentices." (Though I would like to know a bit more about how those numbers break down.)

Given Hayes's unusual G.K.Chesterton conservatism - in the modern Tory party, anyway - his quotability, and his fixer role as the co-Chairman of Cornerstone, I remain surprised that to date he has flown undetected beneath the radar of most political journalists.


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