Conservative Diary

« Highlights of David Cameron's press conference with Barack Obama | Main | Euroscepticism will triumph in the Conservative Party. It's just a matter of time. »

Dr Fox goes to Washington to pay tribute to the kind of president that Obama will never be

By Tim Montgomerie
Follow Tim on Twitter.

My favourite tweet of yesterday came from the Labour MP Jamie Reed:

Screen shot 2011-05-26 at 07.44.21

It's of course right that an American president gets the warmest of welcomes from the British state. Our countries are bound by so much history, so many economic interests and by a view of the world that comes from a shared belief in liberty... but Obama is no conservative.

Obama spent as drunkenly as Gordon Brown during the economic recession. He has presided over protectionist measures and, more significantly, progress on free trade deals with other states has ground to a halt. He favours climate change deals that are rightly opposed by conservative leaders like Harper and Abbott as economically disastrous. He has a troops withdrawal timetable for Afghanistan that is all about his re-election timetable rather than the security needs. He says one thing about Guantanamo and wiretapping but does another. He dithered over Libya and then, as Mark Pritchard has stated, made only the most half-hearted of contributions to the campaign.

At yesterday's Obama speech some Tory MPs were behaving like teenage girls at a boyband concert. Celebrity rather than philosophy was king.

Fox Liam Apr11 4,000 miles away, in Washington DC, Liam Fox was paying tribute to a president worthy of Conservative MPs' admiration. The Defence Secretary was a special guest speaker to mark what would have been Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday. Here was a truly great conservative president. Unlike Obama, Reagan cut free trade deals. He saw lower tax and less government as the path to growth. He described the Soviet Union as evil and ran the arms race that eventually forced the Kremlin to capitulate. America was stronger at the end of the Reagan years while Obama is making America considerably weaker.

Here's an extract from Dr Fox's speech in which he praised the Thatcher/ Reagan partnership:

"They came to power within months of one another. Their inheritance was a dark one with the menace of the Soviet Union, the threat of nuclear holocaust and economic pessimism.. When they left the stage the Berlin Wall had fallen, the Soviet Union was crumbling and the oppressed peoples of Europe liberated. Economic supply side reform had transformed not only the British and American domestic outlook but change the terms of economic debate across the globe. Fundamentally, they instinctively recognised that defence and security is not simply a matter of military hardware. They recognised in the Cold War that it was necessary to de-legitimise the views of the Communist world not least by having a clear and credible alternative of their own based on liberty, law and the application of constitutional government."

Download a PDF of Dr Fox's full speech.


You must be logged in using Intense Debate, Wordpress, Twitter or Facebook to comment.