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My beliefs

I didn’t learn my political beliefs from a book. I learned them from life. From my grandparents who lived and fought through the war. From my parents who taught me to work hard and take responsibility. From all those formative experiences that help to define us: buying your first home, getting married, and becoming a father.

Real life has little to do with ideological templates. We are not, as liberals think, forever trying to escape our responsibilities to one another. Neither do we exist, as so many on the left seem to think, to take our instructions from government and conform with what culture warriors tell us to do.

The facts of life are conservative, and conservatism is all about commitment and community. It is through community – from our families to our national identity, and everything in between – that we build up intangible bonds of familiarity and trust. We need unifying institutions, and common participation in customs and traditions, to recognise familiarity in one another, and to have confidence that good deeds will be reciprocated.

Instead of seeing politics as a battle between the state and markets, or collectivism and freedom, we need to view it as a partnership of three: a partnership between state, market and community. We need strong communities to make markets work. We need markets to produce wealth and fund the state. And we need the state not only to protect us from threats but provide services and create anew the conditions for the revival of community and a strong market economy.

What does this all mean in practice?

I support:

  • An economic policy to improve productivity, manufacture more at home, reduce the trade deficit and increase growth in the regions
  • Far greater support for families, helping couples to have children and bring them up, and supporting them with the childcare that they decide is right for them
  • A world-class education for every child in the country, more technical education, and the opportunity to train and retrain through our working lives
  • Responsibility for the decisions that shape our lives and communities, and control of the services we rely upon, moved closer to home
  • Controlled immigration, a tough approach to law and order, and an uncompromising response to extremism
  • A strong defence, and new laws to stop hostile states like China and Russia from using our open economy and society against us