Tags: Churchill | Thatcher | Cameron?

Churchill, Thatcher . . . Cameron?

Monday, 05 December 2005 12:00 AM

It is said that in every generation, one great leader is born. Today, as the British Conservative Party elected their fifth leader in a decade, the new heir presumptive took his position as the second youngest leader in Conservative history, next only to William Pitt (1759-1806). His long and well-fought campaign was filled with the same conviction and confidence that his decade's predecessor, Margaret Thatcher, had displayed when she took the leadership from Edward Heath at the latter part of the 1970s.

David Cameron, undoubtedly the next Conservative prime minister, and in my opinion, one who will become the second leader who will truly earn the title "Greatest Prime Minister Since Churchill," won a victory Monday that will change the course of history for the dying party representing conservatism. As a nation, Britain has viewed conservatism as either a way of life or as an object or person, but I believe the greatest mistake that many of us make, is the belief that conservatism was created by Churchill and Thatcher.

People in Britain voted for Thatcher for the same reason they voted for Churchill. These leaders embodied, defined and represented true conservatism, which is the belief that everyone has equal rights but are not necessarily all equal. Cameron brings the same approach to British politics. He follows the two greatest leaders of the last century, and like them, adds his own unique qualities; the language of conservatism is updated constantly but the message never changes.

Conservatism is a wonderful idea. If realized, it offers the greatest hope and freedom, which under the leadership of Churchill, beat Adolf Hitler's socialistic dictatorship, and, under Thatcher, it stopped the strikes of the 1970s. Our lack of growth, stunted under the socialist Harold Wilson (1964-1970), the Conservative Edward Heath (1970-1974), and then the socialist James Callaghan (1976-1979), brought Britain to her knees.

Under Thatcher, we began to realize some of the dreams that had been suppressed. The era from 1979 to 1990 began an age of growth that Thatcher had referred to in a lecture given to the Conservative Political Centre in 1968, titled "What's Wrong With Politics." It was the start of a true American age where we became a land of free thinkers and doers; an age where we depended on ourselves and each other, not the government and the state benefits system.

Cameron brings youth, hope and determination to the table. He has modeled himself after a great leader of the past and the ideals she held to, one whose name will always be respected -- the Iron Lady who many loved to hate, Margaret Thatcher.

Cameron's campaign Web site is filled with the updated version of conservatism. The language may be slightly different, but the message is still the same. His campaign strikes at the heart of our beliefs. In comparison to Thatcher's seven-point Conservative Political Centre lecture, the two beliefs are almost identical.

Cameron refers to a belief in family values and adds. "but we shouldn't preach to people about how they live their lives." Thatcher commented that "I believe that the great mistake of the last few years has been for the government to provide or to legislate for almost everything."

The Labour government has told us where we can send our children to school; they have told us how we are allowed to discipline our children; they have informed us of how the school will educate our children. They've told us that, although we are meant to have a free education system paid for through our taxes, we have to pay for the privilege of furthering our education at university level. Although Cameron's support of tuition fees conflicts with my own present view, I feel I could support it if and when the burden of individual taxation is lowered. How shortsighted of Blair and his Labour government to have ignored fundamental education; how focused of Cameron when he states, "We believe in high standards in health and education –- the challenge is to deliver equal access to first-class public services without burdening today's generation with higher taxes, or tomorrow's generations with higher debt."

Cameron's policy of "Lower taxes, but not in fostering greed or favouring the rich," offers a similar policy expressed again at Thatcher's 1968 lecture:

"People should be encouraged if necessary by taxation incentives to make increasing provisions for themselves out of their own resources. The basic standards through the state would remain as a foundation for extra private provision. Such a policy would have the advantage that the government could concentrate on providing things which the citizens can't. Hospitals are one specific example."

Both Cameron and Thatcher believe the same thing that has thus far escaped Tony Blair and his Labour Party. Conservatism unites all people; socialism divides. Conservatism tells you, "You can have it, and this is how you do it," while socialism tells you, "You can't have it and you shouldn't want it because not every person can do it or have it."

Cameron offers firm leadership based on the belief that equality is the right of everyone. However, he also believes that encouraging people to stand out in a crowd and to excel is vital. Conservatism was the principle of Churchill's administration. It was the principle of Thatcher's. It will be the principle of Cameron's.

This country is going to make a change. We've got the leader with the right ideals. Now all we need is a general election and the time to clean up the mess.


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It is said that in every generation, one great leader is born. Today, as the British Conservative Party elected their fifth leader in a decade, the new heir presumptive took his position as the second youngest leader in Conservative history, next only to William Pitt...
Monday, 05 December 2005 12:00 AM
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