Letter: Only fairness can save Tories

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The Independent Online
Sir: I agreed very strongly with many of the Prime Minister's points in his address on moral issues ("Major ventures into the moral maze", 19 September). I fully support his courageous efforts to revive the party's fortunes. We have been lucky in having a leader with a consistently higher poll rating than the party he leads. However, therein lies the basic problem which Tories have to face up to with the same kind of courage that John Major has shown over the years.

The ominous conclusion from so many years of a strong right-wing bias in leading policy areas cannot be denied; inevitably such socio-economic programmes simultaneously create the unfair society unless governmental action corrects this trend.

This is sadly what we have now reached. Vast numbers of moderate fair- minded people in Britain feel vehemently that Thatcherism has led to a modern society of gross unfairness and inequalities. These are steadily undermining what was once our green and pleasant land.

The grotesque contrast between unemployed and low-paid citizens engaged in a desperate struggle to survive and senior directors' prolonged obsession with their own huge remuneration packages is one such image. There are many other painful examples.

In abandoning the one-nation principle the Conservative Party has overlooked two vital truths: the state exists to help the defenceless; and the Thatcherite creed that nothing matters except making money causes the collapse of the fair and balanced society.

If you add the serious misuse of public assets for private gain that occurs in such examples as railway privatisation the total picture remains bleak indeed.

At this juncture references to reducing direct taxes for better-off citizens and even abolishing their capital tax obligations is ruthlessly careless of society's overall good.

Meanwhile the Cabinet still has its chance to move away from extreme right-wing policies and avoid the smashing defeat which is otherwise facing our party at the next election.

HUGH DYKES MP

(Harrow East, C)

House of Commons

London SW1

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