The Conservative Party in Blackpool: Hurd extols public servant class: Patricia Wynn Davies reports on the Foreign Secretary's entry into an ideological fray
Friday 08 October 1993
Warning against giving the impression that the Conservative Party believed in a 'permanent cultural revolution in the style of Trotsky or Chairman Mao', Mr Hurd said: 'We must show that we are not driven by ideology to question every function of the state, to make impossible the life of our public servants, or to depreciate the worth and quality of the different public services.'
In a speech markedly different in tone from fringe meeting addresses by Peter Lilley, Secretary of State for Social Services, and Michael Portillo, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Hurd told the Tory Reform Group: 'We must show that we value those we rely upon to provide the service. The teacher, the nurse, the serviceman, the doctor, the postmaster, the police officer, the civil servant, are not relics . . . whom we should periodically despatch to the rice fields for thought reform and indoctrination. They are not entitled to special privileges or immunity from sacrifices, for example on pay. But they, and those whom they serve, rightly distrust any whiff of dogma which they may detect in the way governments tackle the problems of their profession.'
In a speech aimed more at the wider electorate than the hotbed atmosphere of a conference of activists, Mr Hurd said that it was all the more important to show the right balance could be struck because there was a 'general political malaise, a cynicism about politicians and political affairs' that was souring political life in most democratic countries.
That malaise tended to work to the advantage of minority parties: 'It is no surprise that in this country it should generally favour Mr Ashdown, whose confused and contradictory messages reflect all the uncertainties of voters who feel that the politicians and they themselves have lost their way.' Building on what was achieved in the 1980s did not mean looking at the problems of the 1990s with the language and ideas of the 1980s.
A speech by Mr Lilley to the Conservative Way Forward group seemed to endorse precisely that language and those ideas. He followed up Wednesday's Thatcherite speech with an equally ringing endorsement of Baroness Thatcher's 'conviction politics', and a declaration that, on social policy and on Europe, 'the tide of ideas' was still flowing powerfully in the direction of the right.
Mr Portillo attacked what he called the 'modern malaise' epitomised by the 'decades of claptrap served up by sociologists' and 'political correctness' that subverted value judgements.
He said people looked to government to do too much and felt disoriented in a society that had discarded many traditional values. 'You cannot increase the role of the state without diminishing the role for the individual. That transfer profoundly alters the way communities work.'
He said the party should stand up for the decent majority, who 'want to help the needy. They do not, however, want to help those who are better off than they are, nor those who make no effort.'
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
voicesJust when you thought you could find a man, get married, and have a baby by the age of 35... it turns out you’re too late, says Grace Dent
sportNapoli 2 Arsenal 0: Gunners must now face either Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona in knock-out stages
musicAs Mariah Carey and Noddy Holder rake in the royalties from their classics, why there hasn't been a decent festive hit for 20 years?
theatreAuthor Daniel Rosenthal recalls the mishaps that almost brought the curtain down on the likes of John Gielgud and Diana Rigg
filmFilm producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
lifeAs the Royal Mail plans to phase out deliveries on two wheels, it's no wonder posties are in a spin
musicThe 21-year-old beat Ella Eyre and Chlöe Howl to win the honour
lifeFull of the joys and want to help your fellow man? December isn't the time to do it
techLuke Blackall reports on precision engineered prams and babygros that monitor your child 24-7
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute
- 2 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 3 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 4 Exeter to Edinburgh and back in a day: How one fresher's lost bet left him facing a 900-mile round trip
- 5 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial
- < Previous
- Next >
£77099.84 - £96375.26 per annum + Bonus + Benefits : Harrington Starr: My clie...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + Bonus and Package: Harrington Starr: Trading appli...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Developer (Win...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Senior QA Engineer Tes...