Lost: One ConservativeHome columnist, last seen on these pages on June 14th.

Appearance: Thoughtful mien, Archimandrite-type beard, Aston Villa scarf.

Reward: Please e-mail Lord Ashcroft with your opening offer via the ConHome contact details.


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On conservatism

“This is why the clash between IDS and George Osborne is so important. The two men represent, in Tim Montgomerie’s dichotomy, the two approaches of the modern Party: Easterhouse modernisation, which focuses on fighting the kind of poverty found on the Glasgow estate after which it is named, and Soho modernisation, which is all about social liberalism. Easterhouse and Soho are useful labels, but they represent a false choice for the Party. Both approaches have their achievements – Easterhouse brought us the Modern Slavery Act while Soho brought us equal marriage – but they also have their limitations and weaknesses. Easterhouse requires a focus on fighting extreme poverty rather than helping people who might be just a little better off, but for whom life is still a struggle. Soho often focuses on causes, like the pursuit of “general wellbeing” and support for “green taxes”, that are far removed from – and sometimes run directly against – he interests of ordinary families…Instead of these polarising approaches, I have always felt we should have a different model, that might – to extend Tim’s language – be called Erdington modernisation, named after the working-class area of Birmingham. With this approach, of course we would still help the very poor and of course we would fight injustices based on gender, race and sexuality, but the Party would adopt a relentless focus on governing in the interests of ordinary, working people.” – March 22

ConHome Summary: Neither Easterhouse nor Soho but Erdington.