22 May 2007

Core Values: Aspiration

"I lead — I don't follow my party."

In its 8:10 interview with David Cameron, the Today programme made no attempt to hide its intention of making as big a mountain out of the grammar school molehill as possible.

Yet for me the above quote was the most important thing Mr Cameron said. Yes, even more than "It's because I'm so passionate about aspiration that I want to get away from a sterile debate about grammar schools," "Let's import into all schools the things that make grammar schools successful," or "I want us to be the party that is for excellence and opportunity for all." His resolve to lead sets Mr Cameron in a different league from that of Mr Blair, driven as he has always been by his focus groups and pursuit of flattering media headlines.

Like everyone else, I have reservations and questions about some of the things that Mr Cameron is doing. Nevertheless, like the Conservative leader, I want the party to take the real steps necessary to deliver opportunity for all. Therefore I for one am willing to follow, not join the whipped-up peasants' revolt.