The New Year is usually a time for introspection. What are we hoping for? What are we going to do? Same for all of us. And there are several fronts on which this self-examination takes place. This post considers the political 'front' as we move into what I believe will be a General Election year. Tim Montgomerie on Conservativehome tells us that he's going to do his political introspection by drafting 'A Statement of Conservatism'. One of what he calls the components of this 'Statement' will be "Government should be as small as possible, but as large as necessary". This principle is one of the fundamentals of my personal view of what constitutes Conservatism.
So how does David Cameron's New Year Message measure up. Simon Heffer in today's Telegraph seems to be checking up on David as well - and offering advice in his own inimitable way. His article focuses on the issue of 'the size of the state' rather well. The line that caught my eye was
"It is inequitable, outrageous and economically suicidal for all of the burdens to be borne by the private and productive sector when the public and unproductive one is coming through the worst economic crisis for 70 years with just the odd bruise"
Anyway, back to the 'Message'. Here's an extract;
"...the modern Conservative vision is of responsible government and responsible business helping to build a responsible 21st century Britain - where social reform and decentralisation strengthen our society, where a stronger society reduces demands on the taxpayer, and where lower taxes, a less interfering bureaucratic state and green growth combine to produce a sustainable economy".
"Where is morality in asking our children to pay off our debts ?.........Where is morality in encouraging people who have borrowed too much, to borrow a little more?"
I know its only a New Year's Message', but that presses all my buttons. I hope I won't be mocked as slavishly sycophantic, but I see the foundations of a winning, 'responsibility manifesto' taking shape before our eyes.