The Common Ground
David Davis is rejecting the idea of moving to the centre, instead talking of common ground.
David Davis made a high-risk intervention in the Conservative leadership race yesterday when he rejected calls for the party to fight on "the centre ground".Despite claims otherwise, Conservative policy over the last few years has been firmly on the centre ground. Issues like Immigration and Europe have been emphasised for the sake of the party faithful but the main thrust of policy has been not to upset the apple cart.
Such a statement from a leadership candidate is not without its risks, but is a welcome focus on policy over style. Potential rivals have been quick to jump however. They are trying to create a strategy based exactly on that centre ground.
His remarks clash directly with the views of David Willetts, the shadow trade and industry secretary and a potential leadership rival, who in a speech today will urge Tories to "challenge Tony Blair for the centre ground of British politics".The common ground that Davis spoke of was a reference to Keith Joseph, the brains behind the Thatcher revolution. For those who have forgotten, his ideas propelled the party to four consecutive election victories and revived a nation headed inexorably downwards. To dismiss this out of hand as more failed right wing policies as some have done is to ignore the facts.
We applaud this return to real Conservatism.