Tories seek progressive laurels

David Cameron claims ground on the left
David Cameron claims ground on the left

Conservative leader David Cameron has claimed his party is best-placed to deliver a progressive agenda for Britain.

Writing in the Independent today, Mr Cameron says Labour has failed to deliver its promises of "social justice and economic efficiency" since 1997.

Whether in the fight against poverty or efforts to create environmental sustainability and improve social mobility, the Labour party is a "roadblock to progress".

Mr Cameron concedes that the centre-left's state-centred income redistribution agenda made considerable progress in the fight against poverty.


He argues the 21st century is seeing a shift of priorities, however, which means the progressive goal of "making British poverty history" can be achieved through "conservative means".

Environmental challenges are best tackled through the markets and incentives, while the Tories' "radical school reform" plans mean "we are the true progressives now".

"When you consider the huge challenges our country faces, the Labour party with its outdated approach is the roadblock to progress," Mr Cameron argues.

"Take its timidity in the face of the environmental challenge. Or its rigid attachment to the state as the only method of fighting poverty. Gordon Brown's government has neither the means, the modern philosophy nor, as we saw with his 10p tax attack on low-paid workers, the will to deliver a progressive agenda."

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