Conservative Diary

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A defining moment in the history of the modern, compassionate Conservative Party

Last night I argued that Cameron's speech plus various pro-poor announcements plus the appointment of Iain Duncan Smith were all further signs that the modern Conservative Party (as we must learn to call it) is completely committed to fighting poverty.

The change is captured in this goosebumps moment from David Cameron's speech:

It was important because Cameron meant it and the Tory grassroots loved it. Jonathan Freedland still can't bring himself to believe what is staring him in the face, however.  "The audience thundered its applause," he writes in this morning's Guardian, "probably approving the machismo of the attack rather than sharing its concern for the badly off". At some point the Left will realise that the Conservative Party is serious about its compassionate politics - from the top of the party to the grassroots. I've seen Iain Duncan Smith get consistently positive receptions - sometimes even rapturous receptions - when he talks to local Tory Associations about the agenda of the Centre for Social Justice. And, Mr Freedland, he gets that warm reception without attacking Labour.

Tory-Tree-plant The Conservative Party has always been a powerful political force but if it raids deeply into Labour territory over the next few years - planting the Tory message deeply into the soil of social justice and green politics we could be talking of realignment.  The Left thought it had a monopoly of 'values voters'.  No longer.  It should be worried.

Tim Montgomerie


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