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.'
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Parma, Missouri: 80 per cent of town's police quit after first black mayor is elected
- 5 Google search history can now be downloaded in its entirety, mass embarrassment expected
Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
'Jihadi John': Isis executioner Mohammed Emwazi wanted to wage jihad in Somalia until his friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
Parma, Missouri: 80 per cent of town's police quit after first black mayor is elected
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£35-45K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a .NET Developer / Web ...
£12000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A national firm of chartered ce...
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful web design/deve...
£18000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...