Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Davis Message

What with all the excitement and all, some DC supporters have forgotten DD's underlying message:

"What exactly is Davis' 'message'? My understanding was that his pitch was (a) I'm the unity candidate, (b) I'm the experience candidate and (c) I'm the candidate with the right background. All this is perfectly legitimate stuff, but hardly amounts to an intellectually coherent message that can be 'carried on'.

In reality of course, Davis spelled out his message right back at the start of the campaign in May:

"At exactly the time when the Blairite model is failing, it would be extraordinary for the Tory party to try to imitate it. Instead, timeless Conservative principles need to be applied to modern problems. Those principles are rooted in a commitment to liberty, and liberty does not date...

So now, only a low-tax economy will generate the wealth required to pay for secure pensions and better healthcare. Only radical reform of public services, empowering the parent and patient, can give the nation the quality of schools and hospitals it expects. Only a zero-tolerance approach to yobbery, crime and disorder will make our neighbourhoods safe."

Since then he has filled out the detail, from his "Growth Rule" boosting growth though limiting tax and spend, to his pledged Swedish Model of schools reform, to his choice and competition agenda for healthcare. And throughout it all, he has consistently stressed the need to help the most vulnerable in our society, the very people who are most damaged by current state failure.

For us, the core of his message is a bold Tory programme for maintaining economic health while transforming our public services. And no, it's not all DD's own work- indeed most of it is set out in the Reform Manifesto and Direct Democracy. And yes, it's possible that DC would also pick up some of the ideas.

But only DD has had the courage to commit himself publicly to the programme. He is a man of strength, and as we said right at the outset, a conviction politician. And that is what makes this DD's message.
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