James McGrathLong-standing readers of ConservativeHome may recall that James McGrath was a Conservative aide, first at Central Office and then for Boris Johnson. Lamentably, he was forced out of his role here over a ludicrously overblown storm in a left wing teacup over a question of Politically Correct linguistics – the sort of thing that Labour would probably have just weathered and ignored. (Indeed, this is a good example of where they have the advantage over us: they recover their wounded, whilst we – intimidated by the whiff of very small bore shot – leave them on the field.)

Much more importantly, I am delighted that this talented and principled man has been elected to the Senate in Australia (a place I rhapsodise about elsewhere). I mention it here because his Maiden Speech is magnificent. Just read this, and imagine a British parliamentarian putting down his marker like this:

Freedom and liberty are not abstract concepts. You either have freedom or you are not free. Whether I serve here for 16 days or 16 years, I shall always judge myself on how I have battled against tyranny and fought for the axis of enlightenment – that is, liberty of the individual, a free market, small government and low taxes. I will let others badge and brand and box me, as, in my great broad church that is the Liberal Party, my pew is a moveable feast. I have campaigned against dictator-loving Islamist fundamentalists in the Maldives; Sinn Fein- and PLO-supporting Labour candidates in London; and godless rebranded communists in Mongolia – not to mention the Queensland branch of the Australian Labor Party!

I urge you to go and read the whole thing.