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TCW Editors: We need more Conservative May and less Chairwoman Mao


What should be in the speech made by the leader of the Conservative Party at the Conservative Party conference? We’d settle for some conservatism: that would be a good start.

It is a moral imperative that Theresa May promotes the values of democracy, capitalism, free enterprise and civil society. It is equally a moral imperative that she safeguards the family life that works for children – married family life – without which there is no civil society. This means exposing socialism and leftism in general as the destructive, morally bankrupt and evil ideology it is. It means celebrating the morality of the market and individual liberty, and the principle of duty to self and others on which this depends.

It does not mean sucking up to the non-taxpaying youth who have no experience of adult life and demand other people’s labour and resources.

The most important value of conservatism is democracy – government of the people, by the people, for the people. It does not mean government of the Brussels bureaucrats, by the Brussels bureaucrats, for the global elite. So it is time for May to celebrate Brexit and not apologise for it.

Brexit is the first opportunity in decades for Britain to correct the democratic deficit that for too long has seen power ebb from the British people to an unelected, unaccountable and corrupt European elite. This elite is as reckless with UK taxpayers’ money as it is with European borders. The British people saw the European project for what it was – a hold-up job – and they rightly voted to escape.

May must not kowtow to Michel Barnier and the rest of the Brussels bullies any longer. She must remind them that she will put British interests first, and that walking away from the table is the best option if they do not get real on a deal. They are only going to hurt their own. We need more Thatcher and less obsequious Cameron. In sum, May should remind Britain that only the Conservative Party, and not the hopelessly divided Labour Party, can deliver the real deal for Brexit and the British people.

Closely linked to Brexit is the free market. This is the system that has transformed billions of lives around the globe and banished crushing poverty from Britain. May should explain to those who feel left behind and to those who are still in relative poverty that free enterprise, not socialism, is the answer. It is enterprise that stimulates economic growth and the jobs that will lift people out of poverty, above the minimum wage and into greater prosperity. Government can no more do this through top-down meddling of the State than it can abolish the law of gravity. It is socialism’s welfare dependency that stifles it and undermines the self-sufficiency of families.

May should explain that it is immoral to punish through high taxation those who work hard for themselves and their family. Yes, there should always be a safety net, but it is evil to set up a system that traps people, especially children, in dependency. This is what the Left does – it wrecks lives for votes. Conservatism respects the dignity of the person and believes they can improve.

If May continues to adopt the language of the Left and debates on their terms, she is lost and conservatism is lost. Socialism has controlled the agenda for too long. There should be no class baiting such as ‘hammering the rich’. Who are the rich anyway? Those on more than £100,000 a year? Or £500,000 a year? We have no idea. We need less trashing of entrepreneurial excellence and more celebration of independent hard work from our Conservative Prime Minister.

And that depends on a strong civil society rooted in the family, faith and a dispassionate legal system. These are the building blocks of society – not the quangocracy, not government, its bureaucrats nor the ‘experts’ in Whitehall. The government does not know better than the people; politicians do not know what is best for children over and above their parents. Marriage and responsible parenting must once again be recognised in the tax system, as must service to one’s family and community where it releases the burden of care from the state.

Middle-of-the-road, liberal claptrap has held the Conservative Party to ransom and conned its leadership. Its members know what it has disguised – a surrender, if not a complete capitulation, of the argument to the Left. It must stop now.

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Edited by Kathy Gyngell

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