In the third of a series of ten point guides to David Cameron’s first year as Tory leader, ConservativeHome looks at the ‘ten biggest reassurance events’ of the last twelve months; the moments when the Tory leader communicated a more recognisable conservatism to the party’s traditional supporters.
- David Davis is kept in charge of home affairs and given the lead on drugs policy (although David Cameron later refused to rule out shooting galleries).
- Ex-director of innovative think tank Nick Herbert is given the job of spearheading police reform and delights the Right with initial thinking.
- An excellent speech to the Centre for Social Justice promised to build the nation of the second chance.
The speech emphasised marriage and the family – a theme that began
David Cameron’s leadership bid in the summer of 2005 and was reaffirmed
in his 2006 party conference speech.
- David Cameron reaffirms Michael Howard’s ‘prisons works’ policy.
- The party has also been willing to take on the left-wing media. George Osborne has targeted the BBC’s tendency to crowd out competitors, Hugo Swire has cautioned against an excessive licence fee increase and Tory MPs have lined up to attack BBC profligacy and bias. Only this week George Osborne proposed to put public sector job advertising online – a move that could be deadly for The Guardian.
- A commitment to scrap the Human Rights Act (which was condemned by Ken Clarke).
- A commitment to bring in English votes for English laws (which was recommended by Ken Clarke).
- A re-emphasis of the party’s homeland security credentials after August’s airline terror scare.
- The beefing up of the rather banal Built To Last document happened after a nationwide consultation but the beefing up did not include tax or immigration.
- David Cameron’s decision to back the renewal of Britain’s Trident-based nuclear deterrent.