What do we stand for?

The new Conservative policy statement leading into the last 2 months of the present Labour government (probably) was unveiled in Brighton a week ago and needs to become a mantra:

  1. Act on Debt
  2. Get Britain working
  3. Make Britain family friendly
  4. Back the NHS
  5. Raise standards in schools
  6. Change politics

Stephen Gilbert recommends that every Conservative activist puts this up on their wall and looks at it before every action they make.

John Redwood’s blog this weekend had a very clear summary of how to put priorities 1 and 2 into effect and the IoD this morning came up with an almost identical set of suggestions.  Britain needs to raise net tax income – and the best way to do this is to REDUCE tax rates. Britain needs to increase employment by reducing taxation on employment creation, so REDUCE NI contributions, especially for small business and new jobs.

Making Britain family friendly needs similarly clear and direct thinking. Families know more about how to make families work than government, so reduce council tax to give families the income they need.  Cut local and central government bureaucracy but reinforce front line services, whether that is social services, education, public health or housing officers.  And above all give people access to a world class health service, delivered by the NHS, through private complementary healthcare and the third sector.

Raise standards in schools is about resourcing but it’s also about choice.  Take power away from Whitehall and give it back to schools.  Support new academies and embrace private education inclusively, whether as academies or just as a legitimate expression of choice.  You cannot drive up standards by attacking the best.

Finally, let’s bring about lasting change to the political system in this country. We need to embrace the highest possible standards in public offer, whether nationally, regionally or locally, or in government, the civil service or local council executives. David Cameron and the Conservatives have started the process of change by inviting hundreds of new faces into politics.  We need to see this change through until the last of the old guard have moved on and we have a parliamentary and political process that we are all proud of.

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About Stephen Oliver

I am a management consultant/non-executive director and charity trustee based in Switzerland.
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