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New network for progressive conservatives is launched

Screen shot 2010-03-18 at 08.32.56 A new group was launched yesterday evening to champion the Conservative Party's "progressive conscience". The group is called 'Bright Blue'. It declines to be described as a network for "modernisers" but its agenda closely resembles that of the Platform10 blog.

At its launch party one of its principal founders - Tim Flagg - said that the network would focus on poverty, inequality, climate change and education. It promises to be independent of the party leadership and optimistic about what conservative politics can achieve. The full team members are listed here.

Speaking at the launch David Willetts said that Bright Blue was rooted in Disraeli's desire to see the "elevation of the poor". He said that he hoped the group would be open to new ideas including the application of evolutionary biology and game theory to political development.

BrightBlue - which is led by very young Conservatives - had, Willetts continued, a particular interest in the arguments of his recent book, The Pinch. Conservatives he said had a responsibility to ensure justice across the generations and today it was harder for the young to get a foot on the housing ladder, harder to build up pension funds, harder to enjoy social mobility and harder to see the same quality of natural environment.

Contributors to the first edition of its quarterly magazine include a number a number of people from the left, including former Blair advisor Matthew Taylor and Observer journalist Anushka Asthana. Some more conservative voices were also included, such as me!

I wish BrightBlue much success. I won't agree with everything it does but it is another sign of the liveliness of today's centre right.

Tim Montgomerie


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