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England will remain a centralised state if only because the institutions have become so withered and discredited. This is not a simple reversible process with a few laws, it requires a revolution to sweep away the current political system and its parties

I see that unlike CH the BBC have declined to even refer to this speech so far, choosing to focus on the "not flinching from change" story instead.

Where is his decentralisation? On education, schools will be required to stream and to use phonics, and encouraged to select by race, but prohibited from selecting by ability.

On party organisation he has been the most centralising leader in the history of the Conservative Party. That surely reveals the real David Cameron.

This is clever of Cameron - he is advocating greater decentralisation (clearly the current consensus in theory if not in practice), but for small-c conservative reasons. It's good that conservative philosophy has finally come round to the view that power needs to be exercised as close to the people as possible. But whether Cameron will actually be able to make this work is another matter altogether - translating this principle into clear and effective policies may be difficult.

Good ol' Cam,

Talk to Muslims in public about your views on their wifebeating. Right On!

I am glad A-lister Sayeeda Warsi felt able to tell Cam he had earned significant support from the female delegates.

TOSH. tosh. t o s h.

Opposition Conservative leader David Cameron Tuesday called for the rebuilding of a British identity, in which all people feel they are part of a shared national endeavour.

His vision was of Britain held together by a "strong sense of shared identity and common values." A society, Cameron said, which "people are not bullied to join, but are actively inspired to join." Speaking on the second day of a two-day London conference on Islam and Muslims in the World Today, the opposition leader insisted that community integration was a "two-way street" and not all about putting the onus on Muslims.

"It has to be about the majority population too - the quality of life we offer, our society and our values," he said, while criticizing the image of British culture given of "drugs, crime, incivility" that were all too common part of life in modern Britain.

Opening the conference on Monday, Prime Minister Tony Blair unveiled controversial plans to launch a reported Pnds 1 million (Dlrs 1.9 m) fund to change the teaching of Islam at British university.

"We need to do to encourage the right intellectual and academic debate," said Blair, who was criticized for refusing to invite mainstream British Muslim organizations to address the conference.

Cameron referred to the impact of poverty and poor life chances have on the sense of isolation and belonging felt by many Muslims and the racism and bigotry that had done much harm to community relations.

"You can't even start to talk about a truly integrated society while people are suffering racist insults and abuse, as many still are in our country on a daily basis," he said.

Britain was facing a growing problem of "cultural separatism" among some parts of the Muslim community, which "failure to articulate the nation's values meant people were not encouraged to become active citizens," the opposition leader said.

"The challenge now is to create a positive vision of a British society that really stands for something and makes people want to be a part of it," he suggested.

Cameron pointed to America, which he said was, while "not perfect," an example of a country which had created a sense of national identity beyond faith or ethnic origin.

"In Britain, we have be honest: We have failed to do the same. We have not opened up our sense of citizenship to all those that have come to live here," he said.

But the Conservative leader also blamed the lack of belonging felt by many young Muslims in the UK on the "influence" of a number of Muslim preachers.

"What's more, there are some Muslim organisations that advocate complete non-participation, especially in political life, as part of being a good Muslim," he said.



But the "Conservative" leader also blamed the lack of belonging felt by many young Britons in the UK on the "influence" of a number of anti-British politicians

Is it just me or does the old Mufti bear a striking resemblance to that old pussy George Galloway? We must be told!

Some people don't understand. We would be empowered, and phenomenally so, but we would only be empowered to do what Cameron wanted us to do, not to do what he didn't want us to do. Sounds fair enough to me, given his infinite wisdom.

"Of course America is not perfect. But it does succeed in creating, to an extent far more evident that we have achieved here, a real sense of common identity - about what it means to be an American."

Tax Freedom day in the USA was 30th April this year.

If Cameron pledged a 30th April Tax Freedom day, he would have my vote, as that would show a real committment to reducing govt interference in our lives.

Has Cameron not stopped to think that everyone outside his wealth-circle is just too knackered to be f*cked to do anything in the community? If we paid less taxes, and thus had more time, more people would probably volunteer without any government interference.

You empower people by taking less of their hard-earned money off them.

In an unfortunate part of the speech Cameron quoted the Grand Mufti of Egypt, who has gone on record saying: "When Allah permitted wife-beating...

Yes very unfortunate. Why doesn't Dave invite the Mufti round to Whites Club for a chinwag about equal opps over non-alcoholic cordials?

After all, I don't think there's any colour or religious bar there (as long as you're well stashed). It's only women who get the boot from Dave's exclusive roost in St James's.

Isn't it time he showed some consistency (for once) and resigned his membership of this sexist extablishment.

Total bollards. Right, how do you create a more cohesive society when differing cultures/races decide not to mix? Empowering people how? Less tax, less hours at work, less financial burdens (ie ) mortgages people cannot pay). Dear, oh dear. Nul points DC.

Chellovek @ 18.31:

"Tax Freedom day in the USA was 30th April this year".

We have only just celebrated Tax Freedom Day - on 1 June!

Can anyone remind me when it fell in 1997?

Frighteningly David, TFD has occurred before 30th May more times since 1997 than under Tories in the 10 yeare before (but it's all marginal)

In short, neither party can really claim to be an overall lower tax party than the other.

It would be good if the summer policy announcements included some more decentralisation stuff - elected police commissioners was a good start. I've already said we should localise the NHS. The more the better.

"Tax Freedom day in the USA was 30th April this year.

If Cameron pledged a 30th April Tax Freedom day, he would have my vote, as that would show a real committment to reducing govt interference in our lives."

Get out of the 1980s - Its not about money anymore - we all have vast sums of this - its about 'Quality of Life'....

Empowering people - sure - I'm all in favour of it. But empowering means relieving people of the tax-burden so they're empowered to choose where they spend their own money.

Screw Mohammedans, Catholics, CofE: they're all irrelevant delusional diversions. Until Project Cameron grasps this fundamental idea - reducing the tax-burden so people can have both true choice and true power - they're going nowhere.

I've already said we should localise the NHS. The more the better.

My hospital is local so you can close yours down

Dave - How can the people feel 'empowered' when the powers to govern ourselves have been given away.

And you are not willing even to talk about it.

Tax Freedom day in the USA was 30th April this year...

If we paid less taxes, and thus had more time...

The average American takes 13 days holiday annually. We take 28.

If health services were decentralised, we would have better accountability to patients, better engagement and this sort of mess we currently have in the NHS would be reduced.
See the policy on:

Mark Fulford is right.

They have fewer holidays in the states. They are also richer than us, more democratic, and stronger. But such matters don't enter the minds of euro weenies til Putin cuts off the fossil fuels, or we are threatened by the Russkies or anyone else stronger or more dangerous than us for that matter.

"Get out of the 1980s - Its not about money anymore - we all have vast sums of this - its about 'Quality of Life'...."

How about freedom?

we all have vast sums of this

Speak for yourself fat cat

Yes Rachel but I thought they had already merged Child Social Services with Education and split it off from Adult Social Services.

I don't see how you can possibly run an NHS when firms like Roche hire PR firms to fill news bulletins with stories of women wanting Herceptrin and Hewitt falls over herself to impose it on PCTs.

Isn't it the case that the NHS is gender-biased towards women and huge sums are spent on breast caner though more women die of lung cancer and prostate cancer is funded poorly.

Surely the NHS has been biased against men for decades and devotes resources in a highly political maner

to take your points:
1. yes but if all under one roof (NHS, social care and education if at LA level) would vastly improve services and reduce bureaucracy.
2. Quite agree about drug firms but there are deals that can be brokered with them. Finally we have one with the multiple myeloma drug but we have been arguing for this for years.
3. I haven't myself seen a particular gender bias (until recently most suicide prevention programmes have been male focussed as they are at higher risk). Prostate cancer is a difficult one - read what the National Screening Committee (which is pretty independent, unusually) has to say about it - more people die with it than from it, and treatments can cause some pretty awful side effects - not an easy one compared to some screens (although the breast screening evidence has been called into question recently it was thought fairly robust at the time).
I have however seen huge political biases into how money is allocated (Ms Hewitt's constituency funding is almost double some areas) and also in the target setting and some of the populations considered " more worthy". It is this political targetting and interference that really cripples the NHS and undermines the clincian's ability to treat patients without overwhelming bureaucracy.

I would feel empowered when you give me back my country, i.e.:

(a)England, vis-a-vis the UK, i.e. an English Parliament. Otherwise restore the UK as an entity and indeed go further by consolidating the best of each area's tradition and law into a single pan-UK system. Tinkering about with thoughts of an English Grand Committee won't resolve matters, any more than Scottish devolution killed the independence movement;

(b)the UK, vis-a-vis the political EC. Announce that a future Tory government will not abide by any parting shots by Blair on a mini-constitution but will examine any such proposals afresh. Ooh yes, and a referendum please.

(c)the UK, vis-a-vis unrestricted borders. Whether this level or that level of immigration is OK is immaterial without entry control.

All other topics are subsidiary and up for debate, as I don't realistically expect any Party to have a portfolio with which I agree in every respect, even if my one vote every few years is taken as wholehearted endorsement of every last detail of a manifesto and a few more besides.

If Cameron intends to empower Muslim communities he will very quickly discover that they have instituted sharia law (formally, rather than informally as now) and that rather than 'community cohesion' (the very phrase makes me gag) he has what Muslims really want - a totally separate state within a state that rapidly outgrows its host until it is able to re-centralise and impose sharia on the whole.

"you've got to be pretty bloody minded not to see the net social and economic benefits of migration to British culture."

What are they then?

1. Chicken tikka masala
2. Er...that's it.

I have been hitherto an enthusiastic supporter of Cameron, I even agree with Willetts on schools, but the more DC opens his mouth on immigration and, above all, Islam the more I tend to see what Melanie Phillips terms 'soft-headed brainlessness'.

I just think that Cameron doesn't get it yet. Despite Gove's welcome presence, DC just doesn't get it. Why is he pandering to the Muslim community's sense of victimhood and reinforcing their sense that we, the kuffar, must integrate with them? We the host nation must adopt the practices of the colonisers in order to have better cohesion?

How can DC laud America's assimilation engine and not see that it has stalled and conservatives over there fear they have gone from melting pot to polyglot boarding house?

There are few Americans these days. Now you're an African-American, a Mexican-American, a Korean-American even an Italian-American or an Irish American.

Assimilation dies the moment you stop believing your culture is superior to all others. It's all about cultural

Unfortunately, 'the opinionators', the arbiters of the PC universe, the teachers, bureaucrats, councillors and journalists all despise British culture and history to such an extent that they seek to overwrite it with the glories of Arab culture, or a fabricated European history, or anything they can use to supplant our common history and values.

Remember those values? Remember who shares them with you? Can you recollect how they remain unsaid and just sit behind every conversation and reinforce every relationship? Where did all that go, that sense of a shared destiny? Our culture, our history, our pride. The glue that has bound British society together for centuries cast aside in contempt for nothing but a source of cheap labour willing to do the jobs we lacked the courage to force our own to do.

Much more of this and I'm going to leave the party.

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