The Rt. Hon. Michael Gove, Chief Whip, delivered a rousing speech in praise of the Coalition’s record in promoting prosperity. Gove was on hand to launch The Good Right, Tim Montgomerie’s and Stephan Shakespeare’s collaborative effort to restore public faith in the Conservative Party.
For too long the party had allowed Labour to portray itself as the party of compassion, Gove claimed. This was not only the wrong message to send the electorate, it was also historically wrong: some of the most important policies to protect the vulnerable and poor were the work of Conservative, not Labour, governments. From Arthur Balfour’s Education Act and Harold MacMillan’s house building programme to Margaret Thatcher’s unleashing enterprise, Tory leaders had understood that the State can be an enabler.
David Cameron had continued this tradition, Gove maintained, by accepting the State was both “guarantor of security and the emancipator of all”. The Coalition’s success in turning around the economy, argued Gove, had enabled Britons to “see that rewards in our society spring from effort or enterprise”. In this way, the present Government had proved that a sense of fairness motivated its policies. Gove praised also the work of Iain Duncan Smith, whose reforms had made work pay once again. The Work and Pensions Secretary had increased employment so dramatically, Gove argued, that “Yorkshire has created more jobs than the whole of France”.
Syed Kamall, Conservative MEP, concluded the evening with a personal testimony: the son of a bus driver, Kamall said he had become a Conservative at the age of 20 because he felt this was the Party that recognised work as a moral endeavour, and even the humblest workers as worthy of respect.
Sian Hansen, Executive Director of the Legatum Institute provided opening remarks.
Transcript of Speech
Whatever Happened to Compassionate Conservatism, by the Rt. Hon. Michael Gove, MP [PDF]
Podcast—Whatever Happened to Compassionate Conservatism? Speech by Michael Gove, MP
Podcast—The Good Right, with Michael Gove, MP, Syed Kamall, MEP and Tim Montgomerie
- What’s Good About the Right? By Michael Gove, New Statesman (View)
- Tell voters we are warriors for social justice, Gove urges PM, By Francis Elliott, The Times (View)
- Tories must win over ‘hearts’ to get re-elected, By Ben Riley-Smith, Daily Telegraph (View)
- “We are warriors for the dispossessed.” Gove’s rallying cry for the Conservatives, By Peter Hoskin, ConservativeHome (View)
- SNP wants more money from Whitehall not to help the needy but to serve its self-interest, claims Gove, By Michael Settle, Herald Scotland (View)
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