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By Tim Montgomerie
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Rosette with heart2Michael Howard wrote a good piece for yesterday's Times (£) in which he worried about the regulatory demands that the state is placing on the hospice movement. He was championing the same issue on this morning's Today programme. The ex-Tory leader was speaking as Chairman of Help the Hospices. I wonder if people who never much liked Mr Howard when he was Employment and Home Secretary or Leader of the Opposition might have been willing to give him the benefit of more of the doubt if they'd known about what has been his long-standing support for the hospice movement. More broadly I wonder if more people might be willing to give the whole Conservative Party more of the benefit of the doubt if they knew the extent to which Tory parliamentarians in general support good causes….

  • Michael Gove on faster adoption…
  • Robert Halfon against petrol prices…
  • Damian Hinds against excessive payday lending rates…
  • Andrea Leadsom arguing for childhood early intervention…
  • Jeremy Lefroy leading parliamentary efforts against malaria in the developing world…
  • Mark Pritchard campaigning for a ban on circus misuse of animals…
  • David Burrowes for the release of Gary McKinnon…
  • Nick de Bois against knife crime…
  • Gavin Barwell and Charles Walker campaigning for greater understanding of mental illnesss..
  • Steve Barclay for the victims of dangerous driving…
  • Cheryl Gillan on autism…
  • Nadhim Zahawi's campaigning and fundraising for vaccination programmes in Afghanistan…
  • Tim Loughton on freedom for Tibet…
  • Robert Buckland's leadership on human rights freedoms…
  • Baroness Berridge and Angie Bray on religious freedom…
  • Paul Maynard for language therapies…
  • Claire Perry against online porn…
  • Andrew Murrison, Liam Fox and our own Lord Ashcroft for military veterans…


This is not a full list! It's just a quick taster. But I do think Tories need to be readier to make the moral case for what we're doing. Back to Michael Howard and his best known line as Tory leader was when he delighted his backbench MPs by telling Tony Blair that he as a grammar school boy wasn't going to take lessons on educational mobility from a public schoolboy. Yet again Ed Miliband was on the attack at PMQs today accusing the Tories of hurting the poor. Cameron should have hit back with a Michael Howard style attack. We, he could have said, are not going to take lectures from the Labour party that abolished the 10p tax rate… that left youth unemployment at some of the highest levels in Europe… did next to nothing about tax evasion… left the country with its biggest ever debts… created a benefits system that encouraged welfare over work… presided over immigration levels that hurt the lowest-paid… allowed grade inflation that left children without qualifications that employers could trust… introduced policies that inflated energy prices for poor families… allowed hospital diseases to get out of control…

…You get the idea. Labour doesn't deserve the moral high ground and it's time to knock them off it.

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