Monday, July 11, 2022

A conservative candidate

I taught both American Government and International Relations electives to high school students for several decades. If you are as interested in British politics as I am you will have noticed that consequential things are happening right now. Boris Johnson has resigned as Prime Minister and as leader of the Conservative Party and so there is a contest for a new leader who will become the new Prime Minister. There are a lot of contenders. Their system moves pretty quickly: the Parliamentary MPs will narrow the number to two and then from those two party members will make the final decision. A contender is Kemi Badenoch, an MP who has served in several ministerial positions, and who seems to be getting attention. I like what I've read about her. From her statement printed in the The Times  yesterday:
.... Too often people feel that whoever is elected, the answer is more government. By promising too much and trying to solve every problem, politicians don't reassure and inspire, they disappoint and drive disillusion. More taxes. More rules and regulations. And ever cheaper borrowing to keep government afloat no matter the cost to savers or the wider economy.

Instead. we need strong but limited government focused on the essentials. Lower taxes yes, but to boost growth and productivity, and accompanied by tight spending discipline. ....

We cannot maintain a cohesive nation state with the zero-sum identity politics we see today. Exemplified by coercive control, the imposition of views, the shutting down of debate, the end of due process, identity politics is not about tolerance or individual rights but the very opposite of our crucial and enduring British values. ....

We need the discipline to transform government into an effective and streamlined machine for delivery, not a piggy bank for pressure groups. Rather than legislate for hurt feelings...we must strengthen our democratic culture at a time when democratic values are under assault from without and within. We need to reinvigorate the case for free speech, free markets and the institutions that defend a free people because our values and our ideas are too precious not to fight for with all our heart.

One of my heroes is the American thinker Thomas Sowell, who said that "if you want to help people, tell them the truth; if you want to help yourself, tell them what they want to hear". I'm putting myself forward in this leadership election because I want to tell the truth. It's the truth that will set us free.

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