William Hague hits the nail on the head
Check out this brilliant speech by William Hague. For me it's just why I'm a Conservative and just what we need to do with vibrant, young leaders to get back where we should be. Problem is, look at the date and it's 1999. Just before we do well in the Euro-elections and slump into a disastrous 'core vote' strategy. This is the vision and confident engagement we need today.
"It is one of the Conservative Party's fundamental principles that we all owe obligations to fellow members of society, including those who are poor and sick. And although free individual efforts must play a huge role in fulfilling these obligations, they will not be enough by themselves. In health, for instance, private insurance cannot be relied on as the main financial support of health care because it would leave poor and sick people uninsured....the political problem for us has been that many people did not believe us. Labour told them we had secret plans to privatise the NHS and state education. We need to slay that myth."
"So if the first criticism that we are turning our back on Margaret Thatcher and the free markets, I say that we will always be proud of Margaret Thatcher and we will always be champions of the free market but that we also believe, as previous Conservative Governments have, that schools and hospitals paid for by all taxpayers should be available to everyone in the country. "
"But if a future Conservative Government is going to devote more attention to reforming our public services and welfare state than ever before it needs to be clearer than ever before about its attitudes.
"It needs to explain not just the role of the free market but its limits. It needs to win over the support of the professionals and those who rely on those services. It needs to use a language that explains clearly what we mean and is attractive to those people who we will need as allies of reform but who have sometimes seen us as their enemy."