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Friday, September 07, 2007

Call To Return to "Principled" Conservatism

As National rushes headlong to the "soggy centre", many party supporters might relate to the thoughts of former British Conservative Party deputy leader Michael Ancram.

According to Maxim Institute's Real Issues;

Ancram has released what some call his "alternative manifesto," warning that a modernising British Conservative Party should not become "values free," or "a theatre workshop for the purely pragmatic," for risk of it wilting.

Lashing modern politics as controlled by "cynical sound-bites" and "vacuous slogans," Mr Ancram seeks to identify the "ageless values" and "enduring beliefs and principles" of conservatism. He suggests applying these to the "kaleidoscope of conflicting and contradictory human activity," essentially to ensure that there is a steady foundation for the party in a changing world.

Titled "I Am Still a Conservative", Mr Ancram's treatise identifies a set of ideas which make up "the Conservative soul." They include: "freedom," "the promotion of aspiration and merit," fighting poverty based on long-term strategies geared towards self-sufficiency, reducing bureaucracy, "the small State," the "community" and being "the good neighbour."

He identifies placing importance on institutions such as the family, the Crown and Parliament and care of the environment as pivotal to a conservative approach.

New Zeal With Cameron's centrist conservatives trailling Labour in the UK polls (and the Conservatives bleeding money and members), maybe it's time to change tack?

In New Zealand, John Key and National may also be forced to re-consider their "principleless" approach when the "honeymoon" is finally over.


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