By Tim Montgomerie
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At yesterday's Windsor Conference (a terrific event btw that I hope will be replicated in the months ahead) I suggested that Michael Gove (for his school reforms) and Iain Duncan Smith (for his commitment to social justice) were the two most inspiring ministers in the current government.
At a dinner for the European Young Conservatives in Oxford last night, I named four other contemporary conservative heroes – Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin for taking on the public sector interests that had caused his state's deficit to swell; New Zealand's John Key for not just acknowledging but celebrating the role of the government safety-net (we are, after all, small state rather than no state conservatives); Canada's Stephen Harper for his blue collar conservatism; and Boris Johnson for his can do optimism.
I also paid tribute to my great political hero from history, William Wilberforce – the politician who fought a successful forty year battle against the slave trade and then slavery itself. He teaches us the inspiring value of perseverance in the service of great goals.
Please use the thread below to nominate some other great conservatives from history. Say what they achieved and why they inspire you.
And please try not to mention the greats that always get mentioned – Thatcher, Reagan and Churchill. We know about them and, perhaps, our focus on them has sometimes distorted our understanding of the breadth of conservatism.