The Father of Conservatism

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Herein lies the Ghost in the political machine of the Rt. Hon. Edmund Burke. Much like Max Weber arguing with the Ghost of Marx, this blog seeks to make relevant and where appropriate support or reject Burke's 'Reflections' against the backdrop of the disastrous New Labour experiment.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Bravo! Mr. Montgomerie - A powerful call for 21st social Conservatism

Like arguments, it is very hard to blog about things you agree with. If two people agree you always nod and smile and move on as there’s little point of patting each other on the back on how good their argument is. However, I feel that praise has to be heaped upon Tim Montgomerie’s piece in the Telegraph today.

His vision of a new chapter of moral Conservatism is one that Edmund Burke’s ghost agrees with fundamentally. Tim’s article rests on the premise that: “Social reform is the missing ingredient of modern conservatism,” and quite rightly so. For too long the party has been contaminated by crude laissez-faire reductionism, which has poured its way into our social fabric and left it stained for the past 30 years.

Yes, the cleansing of a creeping Socialism needed to be stopped. Maggie and Reagan should be congratulated on killing this dangerous entity; however their economic coup and subsequent trend for 3 decades was not matched by a Conservative rebalancing of the social sphere.

Tim is right that these include: the end of the Liberal’s blind eye on family breakdown; crime; benefit culture; and the total failure of our education system under New Labour - the latter of which I sadly am a product of. Although this point of the article is for the battle within the conservative ranks, not the liberal detractors.

The point couldn’t be clearer that: “Without a moral purpose, a political party will never inspire.” Just as Maggie offered hope to millions with her economic revolution, so a social rejuvenation must be the sceptre that taken up but 21st Conservatism.

Tim notes that: “Conservatives need to articulate a moral ambition.” Again eloquently written and highlights that Labour, often to the layman in the street, is perceived has rallying to a higher purpose or an ideal that is meant to help all - something which is often a vote winning.

As Conservatives, we all need to steal this ideological ground from Labour, forget DC running to the centre as that will only lead to stagnant politics. The battle will be how much can new conservative initiatives can inspire and help the average person and nurse the nation back to social health. Cameron is courting the idealism that is associated with the NHS, but perhaps he should modify his approach and call for a social NHS on conservative terms - ‘Staterun’, but small state run - as it must oil the gears to get society moving again.

This task however isn’t just to convince the electorate, but the more social liberal wing of the party, which is of a formidable size. That task has started today, courtesy of Tim Montgomerie’s article - may this be the first of many a rally cry.