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Excellent stuff. As you know, 'good neighbour' was one of the 5 core values of prog con that I set out in my platform piece at the end of 2005.

Really good stuff. Well done.

The only way out of poverty is through work. That is why job-creation must become priority number one for a Conservative government. To create the million plus jobs needed to lift people out of poverty we need to become a nation of producers once again. The service-sector simply cannot produce enough jobs for a population of our size. Senior politicians need to understand that welfare dependency will only be eradicated by the creation of waged work. Gimmicks like the New Deal and Workfare will not create jobs.

It is a very good set of ideas but it did not directly mention equal access to opportunities. What the alchoholic most needs is sufficient skills and decipline to rebuild his life and support his family. If coersion and carrot is needed to get him back on his feet, then so be it. i.e. no benefit if he don't attend counselling /training. Benefit cut if no progress after 3 months. On the other hand, offer a bonus if he goes through the training well.

We will also need a special 'initial employment scheme' where the workers have less right so that employers can try out the reformed addicts etc.

Finally, we need to limit such 'compassion' to, say twice a lifetime for a person.

We all want to be kind, compassion and help everyone BUT unfortunately, resouces is limited (Socialist ideas where no one falls behind assumed the society/state have unlimited resources to help everyone. But sadly, this is never the case).

It is IDS' work in this field (and I've read just about everything that has been published by CSJ) that makes me so proud to be a Conservative.

The political left has failed and their policies have not worked, cynically they use welfare to keep these people voting Labour.

We need to cast a message hope and provide the support and encourage these people often in desperate circumstances to take the help and support on offer. It is absolutely right that government should be about providing the means and trusting the local providers (often the voluntary and charitable organisation) rather than a centrist top-down which simply isn't working.

Keep going IDS and CSJ, it's awe inspiring stuff.

You almost sound like Gordon Brown, Tony. Just teasing!

Of course work is important but the family is just as vital. Labour have not got any credible policies to reverse family breakdown.

Many people are also so broken by drugs, alcohol or other life experiences that they're just not ready for work. That's where the voluntary groups championed by IDS, David Cameron and Boris are so important.

It is enormously to IDS's credit that after being rejected as party leader he has remained a team player and has come up with some excellent policies. What a contrast with the career of Edward Heath (he of the poisoned chalice that is the European Communities Act 1972) who spent his post-leader days in a perpetual sulk!

Superb stuff. This is the core message that strikes at the heart of why caring Conservatism works and Socialism fails.

Well said Duncan. It used to be us who had a problem with ex-leaders. Now it's the Labour Party that is riven with factionalism.

Editor, I agree that the research carried out by IDS has been groundbreaking and the work undertaken by voluntary bodies is vital. I find it quite facinating that the most deprived areas of our country all exist in Labour fiefdoms. The very areas that claim to have spent more money on social problems. I feel not enough is done to link deprivation with Labour monopolies in local government. Why do these Labour heartlands create more and more poverty while Conservative strongholds tend to be prosperous and upwardly mobile places to live? The link between Labour councils and poverty needs to be pointed out.

Great stuff and well overdue.

And to think that IDS was attacked by the Left of the party as being too right wing and not "caring" enough - why haven't any of the "caring" people ever produced this?

I suspect that in fifty years' time getting rid of him as leader will be seen as the biggest mistake the party made since winning in 1992. And God knows there are plenty to choose from.

As my MP, and someone who has canvassed for him in the last 3 elections, I know what an excellent constituency MP he is, and this marvellous and well thought out speech is of no surprise to me and the others here in Chingford. I'm proud of him and indeed it shows that although perceived as right-wing he is what being a Conservative really means, caring, thoughtful and taking responsiblity and not just knowing "your rights"

Allow me to add a teeny word in favour of religious outreach, please.
We are motivated, not by money, but by being inundated.
When one million Poles arrived penniless, homeless and unable to speak English, we dealt with them. Why? they are our fellows, that's why.
When our Church pontificates about birth control, divorce and so on, who picks up the pieces of family breakdown? We do, of course.
We don't bang on about things that don't affect us like Climate Change or the Ozone Layer or which party to support. We roll our sleeves up and get on with it.
The State's response?
Have you got the names, addresses, ages, racial profile, civil status, Nationalities and Passport Numbers of the people you are helping. Have you all got recent CRB checks? Are you inclusive? How many Disabled, Black, Lesbian and Gay people are in your purview? What resources do you use? Did we provide them? If not, who did?
And then loads of promises. More promises.
Then, finally, perhaps, a tiny trickle of money.
And guess who is at the front of the queue when it comes to taking the credit?

"The political left has failed and their policies have not worked, cynically they use welfare to keep these people voting Labour."

Posted by: Mike T | April 25, 2008 at 11:11

IDS uses careful and careing language. It's a nice start but, unfortunately, there is a substantial element to the problem which is not nice and will need to be dealt with both politically and actually. Long before NewLabour it was obvious that Labour exploited the poor for their votes, this was handy because it coincided with the main reasons why Labour people go into politics, viz., to get money off other people (tax payers) for them to spend as it suits. For example a basic thought of Brown over bashing private pensions is to make people more reliant on state benifits. The same for the ex-10p tax payers.

As a reverse example I remember an objection to Conservatives selling Council Houses. The Conservatives saw owner ocupation as an end in itself Labour said at the time it was a ruse to make sure more people supported Tories in the future, it did not cross many Labourites mind that a political party would do such a subtantial thing except to help itself.

When you wonder what Brown is up to think that to Labour old or new, particularly Brown, politics and government is about manipulating the nation and its finances for their political benifit.

(I wonder if IDS is using careful language because he remembers his last speech as party leader where he called Labour the most corrupt, dishonest and incompetent government in living memory - and then he was sacked and that was the end of such robust language. At the time I wondered if one reason for sacking him was that the party didn't have the guts for the fight IDS seemed to be winding them up for. I suggest to deal with Brown's style of politics there is the need for a robust fight and I wonder if the party is up to it.)

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