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As Conservatives we commit ourselves to ensuring that the opportunities and rights we have as british citizens continue to be spread to all corners of the globe.

Let's hope we don't make any promises with this that we can't keep.That is my fear with this whole excercise that we make the mistake that Blair made in 96-97 of raising hopes so high that eventually all that was left was disillusion and disappointment.

This is another issue we've not paid enough attention to in the past. With David Camerons vision of a community service, it will be interesting to see if it extends to helping send volunteers to developing countries. That might prove to be a better use of money than simply sending AID money which has a habit of getting lost in the system.

We will also take action to build those institutions - like the rule of law and property rights - that support development."

Someone has been reading Hernando De Soto, and a good thing too.

My memory of 1997 is one of shame and disappointment as Conservatives lined up to mock Robin Cook's new 'ethical foreign policy' which I wholeheartedly supported. I am delighted with this evidence of a change of heart, but changing the Foreign Office and its horror of anything which might upset foreign governments will be harder.

'We will speak out against injustice and oppression and use our influence to encourage the spread of liberty and human rights throughout the world.'

"It is our moral obligation to make poverty history." A bit cheesy but probably a vote winner and very true, just a tad too Geldoff/Curtisland for me in its tone but fair enough.

"We will fight for free and fair trade"; free trade IS the only real fair trade, so called fair trade pedelled by some allows protectionism and is open to curruption. An excellent article in The Business a while back on this.

How about a commitment to sign free "fair" trade with anyone and everyone willing to whether the EU likes it or not, and to leave the Common Agriculture Policy that impoverishes the third world, destroys our countryside and adds £12/week per person to the average European's shopping basket cost according to EU FIGURES?

"increase international aid," we should add; and improve the way it's spent, including tackling curruption and waste, investing in long term sustainable development working towards independence and freedom, not short term fixes that are damaging in the long term. A systematic and planned approach for growth is vital.

"But this is not enough. We will also take action to build those institutions - like the rule of law and property rights - that support development." Couldn't put it better myself. Maybe add reference to micro-loan programmes and free trade.

What about adding in about defending our allies from aggression, standing up for those nations who cannot do so themselves, and championing freedom, liberty and the rule of law. Make it a bit JFK.

I'd like to see it clearly state that our efforts will be focussed on being a driving force in multinational efforts, rather than seem like we aim to unilaterally save the world.

We will lead the World in the global promotion of green growth and use of unique possition to create a better tomorrow for all.

There's also a security argument to be made here.

Terrorism & violence thrive in some of the most deprived and war torn areas in the world, like Gaza, Afganistan, Iraq and sub-saharan Africa.

Its not just about a moral obligation, there is a self interest argument to be made there as well.

A commitment to not sell arms to oppressive regimes would also be welcome.

What's going on with the bold?

Conservatives will champion the cause of personal and economic freedom, self-empowerment, self-determination and democracy with the same vigour abroad as we do at home. We will be the enemy of human rights abusers, and the friend of oppressed people, and be the change we wish to see by following ourselves the same code of behaviour to which we implore others.

We will bomb everyone equally, without regard to their race, creed or colour?

Be sensible William.

I think 'Built to Last' would sound much better in verse:

Stability not tax will seal our economic fate
Security exists but is quite different from the state.
The quality of life should supercede financial greed
Future public services - not run but guaranteed.
Human rights and dignity should spread to every land
Security and freedom walk the tightrope hand in hand.
We'll know our limitations but support your aspiration
And devolute away in every corner of the nation.
A Cameroonie makeover and soundbites such as these
Are all we need to bring the other parties to their knees.

Can I nominate John Chilver as the poet laureate of this blog? Failing that, please can I nominate his comment as 'comment of the week'?

I've spent most of my life working in Africa and the Indian sub-continent, working with small-scale farmers. We may have a moral obligation to "make poverty history" but, believe me, this is an unattainable dream for Africa unless someone can figure out how Africa can produce governments that are efficient, effective and not corrupt. I have seen the governance, institutions and the infrastructure slowly but inexorably deteriorate across virtually every country in Africa.

We can't ignore it. There are hundreds of millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa who are starting to pour into the the EU via Italy and Spain. If Cameron can figure out a real solution to this he will be remembered for all time. The sad fact is that like the rest of this document, it is a triumph of spin over substance.

I second johnC for blog laureate.

The big problems in Africa are;
1. Nationalist Marxism (Mugabwe etc) and all the economic disasters it brings. A lot of Arican elections revolves around who can insult and blame Britain the most, as well as promise to give land to anyone who votes right (regardless of lack of farming skills), usually resulting in a bad choice for leader.
2. Culture problems, such as traditions of large families too big for one bread winner to sustain, tribal outlook not focussing on wealth generation or national situation, the poor treatment of women (one bread winner families) and economic traditions such as very limited non-mechanical farming.
3. Misuse of aid, such as short-term fixes (Red Nose Day spent thousands on £10 single use birthing kits, which aren't as needed as say, wells for water and farm tools), instead of long term sollutions like roads, railways, education etc.
4. The West, especially EU, refusing to allow free trade and dumping goods on African markets, something we fine others for doing if they do it to us.
5. Wrong outlook in the West, treating it as a zero sum game, or a permenant charity case, instead of being kind and helping get sustainable development and eventual freedom.
6. Bad government

Sadly Batman is correct.I fear there is a great danger of creating impossible expectations [that is if people actually believe it in the first place!]

Why not have a much more realistic goal, "To work towards reducing poverty in the third world"? As I have already stated elsewhere, we must add that we will not give aid money to corrupt regimes, but target the people in need directly.

Everybody knows that structural international aid does not help the needy. Like 'fair trade' (as opposed to free trade) it arguable harms them. So why the stale thinking for this otherwise noble goal?

Its a nice platitude, though Im not sure this Party can really carry it through.

'We will speak out against injustice and oppression and use our influence to encourage the spread of liberty and human rights throughout the world.'

Sounds suspiciously like Liberal idealism. Conservatives have traditionally favoured realpolitik and have tended to get into trouble when straying from this goal (see The Collapse of British Power by Corelli Barnett). Most people aren't really interested in foreign affairs except when we're at war.

Like it or not, the arms sales of British companies (which bring in a lot of revenue to fund our lovely NHS) are not an electoral issue. We can't expect other areas of the globe to ape Western standards, no matter how superior we believe them to be. Central to Conservatism is a belief in organic change as opposed to imposed change according to abstract design or another culture's standards. We were far more despotic in less advanced phases of our history. Why should we be outraged when other less advanced countries are?

On a different note, how about the Tories aim for the radical goal of Commonwealth free trade?

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