News from British and Canadian Conservatives

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Conference Roundup

It's hard to do this year's conference justice in one short article, but I will give it my best shot.

This year's trip to Bournemouth was notable for its much younger demographic than in previous years. I didn't feel out of place with dark hair, and most of us had our own teeth. Students have been a well represented group in recent years, but I'd say that there may have been a few more around this time. The biggest increase in attendence came with those in my age group though - late twenties, thirties and forties. A generation previously missing from the Conservative Party, but now very much at home with David Cameron's brand of Toryism. As a body of people, conference looked like the next generation preparing to take the reigns of our country, rather than the last generation looking back at the last time we ran the country.

Businesses and organisations had already detected this switch, with many more stands at the conference, and more events sponsored by the big names of business, including the likes of Tesco, Anderson and Next.

Many comentators have pointed to the limited number of policies. It is true that there's a long way to go on that front. We are however clear that we oppose ID cards and would use the money saved to strengthen border controls. We want to focus on social responsibility, which has been ignored by the Liberal-Left alliance running our country at present. To that end we will abolish the Human Rights Act to replace it with a new Bill of Rights. We will focus on the NHS, which is now better funded than almost any other, including the excellent German service, yet continues to under perform. We want lower taxes, but can't commit to them as the budget defecit is so high and national debt is spiraling out of control. We won't deal with overcrowded prisons by freeing criminals on the Early Release scheme; we'll build more prisons. We believe that Equality doesn't mean treating diverse people the same; it means giving everyone opportunities.

There will be more detailed plans built upon this basis of social responsibility and economic competitiveness as the policy groups come forward with more plans. These reported on their work at Conference and opened up the debate to the party membership and anyone else willing to help to build a better Britain. I will be making my submissions over the coming days, and hope that I will be able to influence policy as I have in the past. The Conservative Party's listening, so now's the time to speak your mind.

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