07 September 2007

Time For Change

David Cameron and boxer Amir Khan, yesterday announcing plans for a National Citizen ServiceJust days after Michael Ancram gave us his "simple political creed," suggesting there are three core Conservative values — integrity, national pride and humanity — David Cameron has now summarised the beliefs that drive him: family, responsibility, and opportunity.

He asserts that the political agenda flowing from a belief in those three values "means that the most important driving force of everything you do, the principle and purpose of your politics, is to give people more freedom and control over their lives":

Because freedom is the real benefit of a strong family - it's the security it gives you to get on and get out and get up, with a strong family behind you if you fall.

It's because if you believe in responsibility, you have to give people freedom. You literally cannot be responsible for something unless you have power and control over it.

And it's because opportunity means the freedom to be a doer not a done-for, taking down the barriers so that everybody can make the most of their life.

So that will be the central test for the decisions I make: will it give people more freedom and control over their lives?

That is the overriding aim of the government I will lead...

This will be the choice at the election.

State control from Labour. Freedom with the Conservatives. And we will say to the British people - choose freedom."
Thus, for all the talking up of differences by the media, it is perhaps unsurprising that "the essence of the modern compassionate Conservatism" David believes in is not all that different from that described by Michael in his pamphlet Still a Conservative: "Freedom of the individual lies at the historic heart of Conservatism and sets us apart from those who believe the state knows best." As David maintains, this key principle of freedom applies to every issue and we should not make the mistake of accepting the false choice presented by those on the left who say he shouldn't talk about Europe, crime or lower taxes and by those on the right who say he shouldn't talk about the NHS, the environment or well-being.

N.B. If you are looking for the Ofsted report Time for change?, click here.