Monday, April 30, 2007

Cameron the libertarian?

I find it fascinating that Conservative party leader David Cameron is now so explicitly using the language of libertarianism, which is not a mainstream political movement in the UK as it is in the US. In today's Telegraph, for example, Cameron argues:

"We cannot address social problems merely with state solutions. Government has a role to play in setting the framework of law and incentives that encourage the right behaviour. But the best thing that the state can do is to help build the independent institutions of a responsible society - strong families and strong communities."

Coincidentally, the Guardian today republished one of Margaret Thatcher's best-known speeches where she makes the same argument in far more robust Mrs T-style:

"But it is not the State that creates a healthy society. When the State grows too powerful people feel that they count for less and less. The State drains society, not only of its wealth but of initiative, of energy, the will to improve and innovate as well as to preserve what is best. Our aim is to let people feel that they count for more and more. If we cannot trust the deepest instincts of our people we should not be in politics at all."

No comments: