There’s nothing like a Coalition to get the Conservatives writing about what they really want for Christmas. I have introduced you to two MPs writing about banks, and to five MPs writing gently about most things. Now I can tell you about 16 Conservative MPs, one Conservative peer and 9 Conservative experts serving up “The future of Conservatism”.
Have I left the best to last? Only you the audience can judge. More of you will like what these authors have to say. A few of you UKIPers will no doubt say that none of it means anything unless they all resign their seats. The UKIP plan would be to fight them in UKIP colours so they could be lost to Labour or Lib Dem federalists. I expect no less of you.
The aim is to restate Conservative values, and call for a return to them. We believe there is “a limit beneath which no man shall fall, but no limit to which any man might rise”, as Churchill claimed. We stand against collectivism and in favour of greater liberty and justice. We do not believe utopian dreams can be enacted successfully by all powerful states, we do not like unaccountable power and too much government. We think in recent years too many modern rights have crowded out our ancient liberties. We think the EU has done much damage to our democracy.
To us Conservatism is idealistic, believing in freedom, peace and justice, but practical and pragmatic in how we bring about what we seek. We want the greater welfare of all. We do not wish to take sides in a class struggle, nor do we believe that anarchy, the ultimate minimalist government, is the best way forward. We want affordable and effective government, doing those things which only government can do. We prefer our government to be more enabler than provider. We like government to remember that the best answer for most people most of the time is that they be left free enough to take responsibility for their own lives.
The book will give you Graham Brady’s view of selection and grammar schools, Bill Cash’s view of the need for an EU referendum, Geoffrey Cox’s view of how we tame the unhelpful side of Human Rights, Edward Leigh’s view of flat taxes, Steve Baker on why we should cancel HS2, Colin Moynihan on how to spread and develop competitive sport, John Baron on making more use of the Commonwealth, James Clappison on how to control immigration more effectively, David Davis on Conservative philosophy, some of my views on familiar economic subjects, and much else.
The book is to be launched at an event at this year’s Conservative Party Conference and speakers will include Rt Hon David Davis MP, former Shadow Home Secretary and Party Leadership contender in 2005, and myself as Chairman of the Conservative Economic Affairs Committee, followed by a panel discussion chaired by Graham Brady MP, Chairman of the 1922 Committee.
The launch will take place at 2pm in the Main Hall, Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester, M2 5NS on Monday 3rd October 2011.
The book published by Conservative Home will be available on general sale at Party Conference for £9.99 plus postage and packaging. Copies can also be ordered from Biteback Publishing, Westminster Tower, 3 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7SP, Phone: 020 7091 1260 e-mail: email@example.com .
I have allowed this advert. I will not myself be taking any financial reward from it.