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The new policy groups show the energy and desire to tackle core problems in Britian today, and stand in stark contrast to the condescending attitude of the Labour government who believe they can legislate such problems out of existence.

Very good to see that housing will be covered and I hope the policy group on housing will look at ways in which we can help counter homelessness, which of course has risen sharply under the Labour government.

Excellent point about housing, Tony. Homelessness in a country of our economic standing is a social disgrace and I hope that IDS will be trying to harness charities and churches to band together, with tory government financial aid, to reduce this problem to almost zero.

I do wish IDS would consider defecting to Labour. Here we have a geniuine attempt to be 'tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime', and hopefully some good stuff on housing and vunerable children in care. The more I see of this man the more I like him. This is an odd thing to say but in some ways he is to the left of some in New Labour.

Apart from his support for Iraq, he has to be my favourite of the last 6 Tory leaders. Of course it's easy to look at these things in opposition, quite another to fight for them in government, but I wish he would consider it.

David Belchamber, yes, it is something that shames our country. Its heartbreaking to see that young people in their teens are living on the streets away from their families. How can this happen? Why has our society broken down to the point where our children are living in the gutter. This whole question goes beyond housing and reflects the social decay in our society. People are alienated from mainstream society and the great tragedy is that we have a government that literally doesn't care. The Labour government only seem to be interested in the winners in our society, the losers are forgotten and written off as being of no value. Those people on the streets are real people, not statistics, they do matter and we do care. Let's work to bring them back into the fold, back into our society, where they belong.

About time someone on the centre right looked seriously at the issue of looked after children. The statistics speak for themselves. Perhaps Michael Gove can talk about it sometime since its part of his portfolio...

The Prison Reform group, headed up by Jonathan Aitken (pictured with CSJ Director Philippa Stroud), will be looking particularly at over-crowding and tackling recidivism rates through more effective rehabilitation.

Rehab? make prison sentences a nightmare for the recidivists, hard labour and harsh standards.
Prison should not be a soft option. If you offend against the mores of society you cannot be allowed to demand those same mores being applied to you in prison.
I am tired of the siren voices demanding that crims be given a soft time in jug. I want retribution, revenge, not a five star Hilton Hotel lifestyle.

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