30 JUN 2009

What will Cameron's Conservatives look like?

Today I was invited to join a panel of Conservative Parliamentary candidates to discuss what Cameron's Conservatives will look like if the Conservatives win the next election. The gathering was run by the excellent Conservativehome website and covered everything from what David Cameron's central team operation looks like, David's style to the next generation of Conservatives.

Pictured with me are leading Conservative Parliamentary candidates Debi Jones (Sefton) and Andrea Leadsom (Northamptonshire South).

If the Conservatives win the next election, the House of Commons will be a very different place.  Over half the MPs will be new - a greater change than has been seen for over 200 years. There will be over 60 female Conservative MPs. The average age of the House of Commons will fall dramatically.  Given that the MPs would be newer and younger, I suspect a Conservative dominated House of Commons may turn out to be surprisingly radical.

And, frankly, it needs to be. Our politics are broken, as David Cameron never ceases to say. We have to mend the broken society, fix the broken economy and stitch our broken constitution back together again too. 

People tell me they are particularly fed up that they don't feel able to change things about them.  On the one hand there is the monolithic Europe thing going on - which seems so remote on the one hand yet passes most of our laws on the other.  Then there are the dreaded QUANGOs like primary care trusts that seem not to react to quickly to what people want to see.  Getting this right will be incredibly difficult and controversial. For example, say you believe in free trade without the remote laws and you are deemed to "hate Europe". Not so of course - we just want to run our own show a bit more. Call for QUANGOs to be culled and people yawn saying they've heard it all before and it never happens.

So everyone is cynical.  Yet this is important. Involvement in our communities must make it possible to change things around us.  It's that ability to shape things that gets people involved and strengthens the ties that bind. As a basic rule, it ought to be possible to fire anyone who makes a decision at the ballot box. That is why I support a retooling of our European engagement towards free trade and reform of the way our public life works. Not easy, but to recognise and be concerned are the first steps on the path to solving any problem . . .


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Charlie Elphicke

Here you can read about local news matters and what I've been up to. You can make comments too. I'd welcome your feedback, so please do feel free to comment!