Monday, June 18, 2007

Progressive Conservatism?

I have to say that my fists normally itch when someone talks of "progressive" politics, because it is the language of the left used to suggest that anyone who does not agree with them is "reactionary". I also tend to find that what ever policies then get spouted forth are not about making progress but state control over peoples lives.

Imagine my shock then when David Cameron appears to be talking about "progressive politics" in this article in yesterday's Observer.

Well, it has to be said this is a clever trick, or rather it is a clever unmasking of a trick that the left in politics for years and years. That is the idea that the left have the ideas that will bring progress and the right don't.

Benjamin Disraeli said, on constitutional reform:
I am a Conservative to preserve all that is good in our constitution, a Radical to remove all that is bad. I seek to preserve property and to respect order, and I equally decry the appeal to the passions of the many or the prejudices of the few.
Which I think is a good motto for all Conservatism. Making progress forward by preserving what works and fixing or replacing that which does not.

One of the unfortunate consequences of the welfare state is that whereas it was originally built to stop people falling to low, and it was truly needed it seems now to have evolved to keep people tied into a poverty trap. That is not progress. That said figuring out a way to deal with that problem is another matter.

The Conservative party is, and always has been concerned about lifting people out of poverty, educating people and building a strong society. Now we are making it clear that is progress, that the left have failed, and progressive ideas come from the right not the left.

Anyway, David Cameron is going to make a speech later today outlining some more flesh on Conservative policy and making real progress on societies problems. You can read the text here (Many thanks to Iain Dale for the link)

So there you have it. Conservative Home has this, whilst Fraser Nelson has this. All good stuff.

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