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"A speech by David Cameron devoted to these international human rights issues is overdue."

Agreed. In the leadership campaign he said we should say as much about Darfur as we do about Gibraltar and Zimbabwe - not as little about the latter as we do about the former!

Making a speech on these lines would be beneficial for all sorts of reasons:
1) It would be the right thing to do
2) It would acknowledge the excellent work of the Conservative Human Rights Commission
3) It would contribute to changing public perceptions about the Party
4) It would be an opportunity to demonstrate some passion & conviction.

My fear though is that the reason we have not yet had a speech such as this might be because there is a tension between the views of foreign policy advisors such as Hurd (senior) & Patten, and some of DC's close supporters and allies, such as Vaizey & Gove.

If you hadn't noticed from other "human rights" stories, Dep Ed, noones interested! How about something on Hagues comments on the constitution?

... or something about Muslims. That also gets people goin.

Actually, I'm interested in this story. However, I can't help feel that had these brave defectors met Prime Minister Michael Howard instead of Leader of the Opposition David Cameron, Howard would have called them "economic migrants" and "bogus asylum seekers", and, thanks to David Davis's "strict upper limit on migration", Mr Myeong-Cheol and Mr Dong-Hyok would have been deported back to their deaths in North Korea.

My, how times have changed!!!!

How many votes will a speech on human rights in North Korea, Burma or on the Moon actually win us?

How many people, when you knocked on doors in last month's local elections, said "I'd vote Conservative, but I don't think your leader has been sufficiently vocal about the voting rights of people in Vietnam" or wherever?

Considerably fewer than those concerned about joining the Euro, our country's porous borders or the fact elderly people can't leave their front doors without being mugged and murdered, I'd imagine.

A worthy occasion; a totally unworthy speaker. Bercow is an unprincipled rascal.

Why didn't they add further 'cross-party' lustre to the occasion by inviting equally popular figures such as Mark Oaten and Nick Griffin?

Thank you for your comment 'Ay Up' but you'll have to get used to a lot more similar posts. As I discussed on Sunday - in my post on 'progressive conservatism' - ConservativeHome will be dedicating a lot more attention to issues of social and international justice.

I agree, Oliver, that these issues are not decisive for a large proportion of voters but a commitment to these issues gives many voters the 'permission' to consider voting Conservative. Many people stopped voting Conservative in the past even though they had done well from Tory policies because they weren't convinced we were decent people.

Many people stopped voting Conservative in the past even though they had done well from Tory policies because they weren't convinced we were decent people.

Well if they think the 'other lot' are decent people they must live in cloud-cuckoo land.

We need to show that we are good Christians. The rest will follow naturally.

I, for one, am very glad that the issue of North Korean human rights abuses are receiving wider attention. I hadn't really thought much about North Korea until I happened upon the testimony of a camp survivor (http://judiciary.senate.gov/testimony.cfm?id=292&wit_id=665) a year or so ago.

I'd like to applaud the Editor's commitment to putting human rights issues in the ConservativeHome spotlight more often.

For god's sake when are some of you myopic fools going to understand that politics must be about what is right and just and not only about what mught or might not win elections. I am, for the first time ever, genuinely appalled at some of the comments on this thread.Those people in North Korean gulags matter and you ought to understand that.

Thanks for that Matt.

Agreed. This party has always been at its best when fighting Communists.

We need to transform this flagging party into an elite redbusting patriotic movement. Cherishing persecuted comrades from Korea is a vital step.

Exactly, we are on the right because we fear big government and we fear for our civil liberties. While we accept the vital role of the nation state it is also true that our position transcends national boundaries. If Cameron wants to be a Prime Minister of Great Britain he will have to be a statesman too.

And in terms of elections its not a bad thing if voters see him entering into that role already.

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