- David Cameron presents himself as a ‘liberal Conservative’
in an overt pitch to LibDem voters and the culmination of an ultimately
successful push to destabilise Charles Kennedy’s leadership.
- The announcement of the A-list – focusing on diversity of gender and skin colour; rather than upbringing and life experiences.
- Michael Howard’s dog-whistle approach to immigration politics is abandoned with a promise that genuine refugees should be taken "to our hearts", fed, clothed and schooled.
- Oliver Letwin’s commitment to redistribution
was an indication of David Cameron’s later decision to declare war on
relative poverty. On tax, global warming and inequality, Oliver Letwin
has emerged as a leading influence on David Cameron – just behind Steve
- The patient’s passport is abandoned
and with Stephen Dorrell’s appointment to the public services policy
group it becomes clear that Majorism is back in charge of health
policy. David Cameron made a speech praising the public sector ethos and put the NHS at the centre of his party conference speech.
- John Redwood once said that the Tories were the party of lower
taxation or they were nothing. David Cameron and George Osborne would
spurn John Redwood, Rupert Murdoch and Lord Forsyth’s Tax Commission,
however, in their controversial insistence that stability must come
before action to reverse the heaviest tax burden in British history.
Instead of lower taxation the Tories promise to put up blue-green taxes and reduce the tax burden on businesses and families.
- The Tories backed away from their traditional support of nuclear power
– more accurately, the Tory leadership backed away from nuclear power.
Alan Duncan actually consulted Tory MPs and found overwhelming support
for a new generation of nuclear power stations but that didn’t stop him
making nuclear energy the policy of last resort.
- William Hague visits Washington and distances the party from the Bush administration and later adopted the European worldview on Israel. Also on the foreign policy front we see David Cameron repudiate Margaret Thatcher’s apartheid policy.
- David Cameron embraces proposals from Andrew Tyrie MP that would produce a step increase in state funding of political parties.
- The commitment to tackle climate change has arguably been the most
significant change David Cameron has made to the Conservative Party. The huskies trip to the Norwegian glacier was the iconic illustration of this change.
The first ten point guide in this series looked at The Peaks of DC’s first year. The next will list the ‘Reassurance Moments’.