The Apollo Project
Liberal Ideas for the 21st Century
Monday, October 24, 2005
For "Modern Conservative" read "Neo-Con"
by Jabez Clegg

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." opines Kevin Spacey's character in The Usual Suspects. For one blogger, Neil Clark, who also happens to write for the Guardian, Tory leadership front-runner David Cameron is managing to pull off a similar feat.

It is no secret that Cameron's impact so far has been long on presentation and short on policy. No-one is quite sure what he's for, save mouthing some Blairesque platitudes. But this doesn't matter - he scrubs up well, all pink cheeks and hand-made suits, and can learn and deliver a speech when it matters. Cleverly, Cameron is leaving the substance of policy to his lieutenants. But let it not be forgotten that he was the man who penned the Conservatives' 2005 Election Manifesto. This document was the epitome of policy-lite that Cameron is making his own.

Now that Ken Clarke has been removed from the end game, Cameron has a free run to promote himself as the "moderate reformer". Take note, however - Clarke's pro-European and anti-Iraq views will not be on the agenda. As Tory guru Danny Finkelstein puts it:

"The central job of a new Tory leader is to put the Conservative argument in a different way ... to be the change, not just to talk about it. Putting policy meat on the bones just isn't the point"

The message, we think, is clear: vote Conservative, get Conservative. Just don't expect anything Liberal.
posted by Apollo Project @ 10:38 am  
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"What is Liberalism?: I should say it means the acknowledgment in practical life of the truth that men are best governed who govern themselves; that the general sense of mankind, if left alone, will make for righteousness; that artificial privileges and restraints upon freedom, so far as they are not required in the interests of the community, are hurtful; and that the laws, while, of course, they cannot equalise conditions, can at least avoid aggravating inequalities, and ought to have for their object the securing to every man the best chance he can have of a good and useful life." C-B.

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The Apollo Project seeks to put together new ideas on policies and campaigning to help broaden the appeal and enhance the impact of the Liberal Democrats.

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