Monday, April 12, 2010

UK Conservative Massive in the area

I'm not sure what the collective noun is for Conservative Frontbench spokesmen/women, but by golly are we going to be hit by one over the next few weeks:

Owen Paterson (Shadow SOS for Northern Ireland),Jim Paice (Shadow Minister for Agriculture),Caroline Spelman (Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government), David Willetts (Shadow Secretary of State for Universities and Skills), Andrew Lansley (Shadow Secretary of State for Health),Iain Duncan Smith (Head of Centre for Social Justice and former Leader of Conservative Party), Nick Herbert (Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), William Hague(Shadow Foreign Secretary), Francis Maude (Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office) and the man himself, David Cameron will all be visiting our part of the United Kingdom over the period of the election campaign.

Whilst the presence of so many Englishmen (and the odd Scotsman) on this side of the Irish Sea may cause certain of Ulster's representatives to spontaneously combust, I'm also confident that the majority of those inclined to vote pro-Union will welcome this further sign of us being pulled into the mainstream of our nation's politics.

Two of those visitors in particular will be worth listening to; Ian Duncan Smith and David Willetts. IDS with his work on social inclusion and compassionate Conservatism is following directly in the footsteps of one of my political heroes, the architect of One Nation Conservatism, Benjamin Disraeli. The work being done by the Centre of Social Justice isn't, in my opinion, given enough prominence within the party, never mind the country at large.

Willetts has been described as a "One Man Think-Tank" and having just finished it, I can thoroughly recommend his latest book, "The Pinch: How the Baby Boomers Took Their Children's Future - And Why They Should Give it Back". In the political epoch of the idiotic soundbite, Willetts stands out as a genuine "thinker", one who seeks to challenge intellectually the reader, listener and potential voter.

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