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MONDAY 7th July 2014 Speech to Bright Blue Conference 2014: Aspiration Nation It’s great to be here, and I want to begin by thanking Bright Blue for hosting this conference.The central message from today is that we win elections when we’re being optimistic about Britain.It’s there in our history - from Harold Macmillan’s ‘you’ve never had it so good’, to Margaret Thatcher’s revolutionary zeal for a property-owning democracy.When we’re telling a story about a Britain on the rise, about a Britain where our children can aspire to more than their parents, that is when we take the public with us.I…
TUESDAY 19th NOVEMBER 2013 Speech to Bright Blue: Which party should a liberal vote for in 2015? Three years ago shortly after the formation of the coalition I called for an electoral pact between the Conservative Party and Liberal Democrats at the next election. I now see that this was misguided. By 2010 I had spent more than 10 years campaigning for the Conservative Party to become socially and economically more liberal. I had hoped that we would win a majority as a modern, compassionate Conservative Party. But when we didn't, I saw the coalition and an electoral pact in…
SATURDAY 28th JULY 2012 Speech to Bright Blue: Tory modernisation 2.0 It is evidence of true political dedication to be gathering on a weekend in July to discuss Conservative modernisation. You might be wondering whether the exercise is worthwhile when you could be watching the Olympic cycling road race or the swimming heats. But let me assure you that it matters: we only have a Conservative party today because of previous generations of modernisers. I tried to show this in a pamphlet, After the Landslide. It was written after our landslide defeat in 1997 to show how we could learn…
WEDNESDAY 12th DECEMBER 2012 Speech to Bright Blue: What will Modern Conservatism mean in 2015? Some of the most resonant phrases which encapsulate deep truths come from obvious sources: the Bible, Shakespeare or the great novelists. Others come from less elevated sources. I have always admired the anonymous advertising copywriter who devised the phrase “Traditional Values in a Modern Setting” for one phase of the Daily Telegraph’s Evolution. Conservatism is about preserving the best traditional values: love of country, family and place. The desire to enable each individual to make the best of his or her talents, while giving that…
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