David Cameron will today portray himself as the man to complete the reforms Tony Blair will fail to deliver before he leaves office.
Despite reservations among Tory right-wingers that Mr Cameron is "aping" the Prime Minister, the Tory leader will acknowledge that Mr Blair offered Britain the missing element of the Thatcher revolution by promising social justice and economic efficiency.
In a speech to the Demos think tank, he will say: "Social justice and economic efficiency are the common ground of British politics. We have to find the means of succeeding where the Government has failed."
He will accuse Mr Blair of being interested in short-term fixes to grab headlines rather than sustainable, long-term reform, and will attack Gordon Brown, his likely opponent at the next general election, for imposing top-down, "failing bureaucratic measures".
Claiming the Tories have won the battle of ideas, Mr Cameron will say: "Our aspirations are shared by others on the common ground ... aspirations for a vibrant open economy, a decent society in which no one is left behind and where everyone who needs it gets a second chance." He will say the Tories now need to win "the last battle" - to replace short-term bureaucratic fixes with long-term solutions.
Answering his right-wing critics, Mr Cameron will say: "As a Conservative Party changed by those recognitions begins to build a better Britain, we will be fulfilling, not betraying our inheritance. We will be showing that we have understood our past, and have found the way to our future."
Further signs that the Tory right is unhappy with Mr Cameron's strategy will emerge in a speech by the former party chairman Lord Tebbit, who will liken him to Pol Pot. He will tell the Bow Group: "Is he the party's Chairman Mao or Pol Pot, intent on purging even the memory and name of Thatcherism before building a New Modern Compassionate Green Globally Aware Party somewhere on the left side of the middle?"Reuse content