Sunday, 28 September 2014

UK Prime Minister In Tears As A Long Time Friend And Strong Party Member Defect To Opposition Party.

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This is really a long piece coined from daily mail but it is worth reading if you are interested in politics. Almost four decades ago, a young, long-haired William Hague took to the Conservative party conference platform, and berated its elder statesman and ageing activists for not moving with the times.
'It's all right for you,' be beamed. 'You won't be here in 30 or 40 years' time.'
Today, some 37 years later, he bid a final farewell to the Tory conference, reflecting that as first leader, and then Foreign Secretary, he had 'been, gone, come back and given it another decade, and am now going again'.
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Prime Minister David Cameron was seen wiping tears from his eyes, as one of the closest friends and allies of his premiership address the Tory faithful for the final time, before standing down from Parliament at the next election.
The moment of emotion came after a difficult 48 hours for the Prime Minister, who saw a second MP defect to UKIP and Charities Minister Brooks Newmark resign after being caught sexting in a newspaper sting. 


Mr Hague stunned senior Tories at the reshuffle in July when he announced he was standing down as Foreign Secretary immediately, and would continue as Leader of the Commons until the general election.
He received a long standing ovation from the Tory faithful as he delivered his final keynote speech, declaring that 'politics always needs the chance for new ideas to come forward'.
But he could resist the opportunity to take on some old foes, and address a few new enemies.

He mocked the 'infuriating but effective smoothness' of Tony Blair, over whom he triumphed across the despatch box but was roundly defeated at the ballot box in the 2001 election.
Socialism, he warned, is a 'blind alley of history never to be ventured down again'. 
And after more than a quarter of a century in Parliament, he had 'never seen a frontbench worse, weaker, or more woeful' Ed Miliband's today.

There were triumphs too, noting that while he was mocked and ridiculed during his time as leader at the height of New Labour popularity, time had proved him right.

'On fundamental national issues we should always stick to what we know is right, even in the face of derision and attack,' he urged a packed Symphony Hall, at the Birmingham ICC.
'Much scorn was heaped on us, and on me, when we campaigned against joining the euro fifteen years ago. 
'But we have been vindicated by events one hundred percent. Today we have a Chancellor who was told by many economists to change course and it is to the lasting benefit of our country that he had the strength and foresight to ignore them.'

Before this, his final speech more than 35 years after his 1977 debut, Mr Hague was introduced by George Osborne.
The Chancellor said Mr Hague had attracted the love of the party and the country during his time in politics.
After quitting the frontline following his general election pasting, Mr Hague only returned when Mr Cameron became leader.
Mr Hague said: 'I have worked with him every day for the last nine years and I have seen him calmly and steadily defy every prediction to produce an outstanding economic record in the face of much contrary advice.

'He has returned repeatedly from Brussels with negotiating feats said to be impossible.
'At the same time, I saw as foreign secretary he took the greatest possible care to give endless hours of thought when British nationals were in danger, when our forces are committed to action, as they are today.


'As I leave government in the next seven months I salute the inexhaustible patience, the tireless perseverance and the steadily-growing success of the man who led us into government at the last election and deserves to win big at the next election.'
Mr Hague used his valedictory address to poke fun at the Labour Party, telling activists: 'It tells you something about how long I have been speaking to Conservative conferences... that on the first occasion I did so in 1977 George (Osborne) would have been six years old.
'And I know this: even a six-year-old George Osborne would speak more economic sense than a 47-year-old Ed Balls.'

He told the conference he had spoken more times than even he could remember at the annual gatherings.
Mr Hague added: 'This is the last time - politics always needs the chance for new ideas to come forward and I decided the time has come for me leave the frontline after a quarter of a century in Parliament.
'Thirty-seven years ago, I said half of you won't be here in 30 or 40 years' time and I am not in the least bit surprised some of you are still here while I have been, gone, come back and given it another decade, and am now going again.
'I want to thank the wonderful membership of this party for supporting me over the decades, through thick and thin, and for listening to endless speeches by me as a teenager, as a candidate, as secretary of state for Wales, as leader of the opposition, as foreign secretary, and now as leader of the House of Commons.'



Reflecting on the developments in politics over his career, Mr Hague reeled off a list of Conservative achievements over the decade.
He won a standing ovation after telling activists: 'We have done all this while at the same time in those 40 years winning the battle of ideas to show that freedom and free enterprise are the true foundations of national success and that socialism is a blind alley of history never to be ventured down again.'
The appreciation was mutual for the Prime Minister, who said he watched Mr Hague's speech with 'pride and awe'.
Mr Cameron wrote on Twitter: 'I watched the final William Hague conference speech with pride and awe. He has been and remains a great Conservative.'
Meanwhile, Mr Hague, a veteran of many political battles, turned his sights on the Tories' current opponents - a 'divided and dysfunctional' Labour Party and the 'hypocritical and dishonest' UK Independence Party.

The former Tory leader said Labour's giants of the past Clement Attlee and Nye Bevan would 'weep for their party' if they could see its leadership today.
Mr Hague joked that Labour leader Ed Miliband lacked the 'infuriating but effective smoothness' of Tony Blair and the eloquence of Neil Kinnock.
He said: 'I have watched the Labour Party for 26 years in Parliament now and in all those years I have never seen a frontbench worse, weaker or more woeful that theirs today.
'Where once the late John Smith commanded esteem, or at least there was the eloquence of Neil Kinnock.
'Where once there was the infuriating but effective smoothness of Tony Blair, now there isn't even John Prescott to make their weakness highly entertaining.
'You have to go back to Michael Foot and 1983 to find a Labour Party less prepared to govern, for this is the left-wing, backward-looking, unreconstructed, divided, dysfunctional and unimaginative Labour we have seen, who have never said sorry and not learnt the lessons of their catastrophes and will make all the same high taxing, overspending, nation-bankrupting mistakes again if given half the chance.
'If the giants of Labour's post-war ideas, and if Attlee and Bevan could look down on the Labour leadership today, they would first not believe their eyes and then they would weep for their party and quite possibly their country.'
Mr Hague also turned his sights on Ukip, which has recently gained the membership of defected former Tory MPs Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless.
He said: 'We will go on fighting to hold that referendum and win that fight while those who have joined Ukip sit on the sidelines doing precisely nothing to bring it about.
'Let us be very frank, let me say it like a Yorkshireman - it is not only self-defeating and counter-productive, it is also hypocritical and dishonest to say you want to give people a choice on Europe and then help the election of a Labour government that will never give people that choice.' 

It is an honour to be introduced by one of my closest friends and colleagues, the man who has done nothing less than completely turn around the British economy in just four years of discipline and decisiveness - George Osborne.
It tells you something about how long I've been speaking to Conservative conferences that on the first occasion I did so, in 1977, George would have been six years old. And I know this: even a six year-old George Osborne would have more economic sense than a 47 year-old Ed Balls.
I have addressed the Conservative Party Conference more times than anyone can remember, including me, and this is the last time.
Politics always needs the chance for new people and ideas to come forward, and I have decided the time has come for me to leave the frontline, after a quarter of a century as a Member of Parliament.
37 years ago I said, 'half of you won't be here in 30 or 40 years' time'. I'm not in the least bit surprised that some of you are still here and it is me that is going.
I want to thank the wonderful membership of this party, for supporting me over these decades through thick and thin - and for listening to endless speeches by me - as a teenager, as a Conservative candidate, as Secretary of State for Wales, as Leader of the Opposition, as Foreign Secretary and now as Leader of the House of Commons.
Over those four decades I have watched this Party, the Conservative Party, rescue our country from drifting debt-fuelled Labour governments not once, but twice, and in that period we should be proud that we gave millions of people the chance to own their own homes, brought Trades Unions within the law, set free our industries from the stifling dead hand of nationalisation, ended the straightjacket of exchange controls, put a stop to penal rates of taxation, enabled small businesses to thrive, turned the sick man of Europe into a nation walking tall, helped lead the free world to the fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of communism, then fought our long and far-sighted campaign to keep the pound and reshaped our Party to open it to the diversity and fresh ideas of a new century, and have now gone onto to transform a failing education system and a bloated welfare state, created more apprenticeships than ever in history, seen more women into work than ever before, brought down unemployment in every part of Britain, cut the European budget for the first time in history, given Britain the fastest growth of any leading western nation, and done all this while at the same time in those forty years winning the battle of ideas to show that freedom and free enterprise are the true foundations of national success and that socialism is a blind alley of history never to be ventured down again.
All that time ago I urged Margaret Thatcher on, to be truly radical. Looking back on it now, I suspect she was going to be truly radical anyway. But a bit of encouragement never goes amiss. As a teenager I was inspired by her to enter politics, and after leaving the Party leadership myself I was again inspired to return to frontline politics by David Cameron.
I have worked with him every day for the last nine years and I have seen him calmly and steadily defy every prediction, to produce an outstanding economic record in the face of much contrary advice, to return repeatedly from Brussels with negotiating feats said to be impossible, and at the same time, as I saw as Foreign Secretary, to take the greatest possible care and give endless hours of thought when British nationals are in danger or when our Armed Forces are committed to action as they are today. As I leave government in the next seven months I salute the inexhaustible patience, the tireless perseverance and the steadily growing success of the man who led us into government at the last election and deserves to win big at the next one.
Securing a better future for Britain requires a Conservative majority in the House of Commons, and as my last service in the senior ranks of this Party I am going to tour the constituencies, help raise the money, fight for our excellent candidates and meet every voter I can so that my colleagues, this time without all the demands, dilution and distraction of coalition, can truly bring the tax, education and welfare systems of Britain into the 21st century. Britain needs a majority Conservative government.
The coming election presents a stark choice. A survey of Labour's candidates this month showed that nearly all of them think Labour didn't spend too much when they were last in power, that most of them don't think immigration is too high, that half of them want to scrap our nuclear deterrent and that a third of them want their Party's relationship with the Unions actually to be closer, which would mean ceasing to think for themselves at all.
And if you think their candidates outside Parliament are bad enough, let me tell you about the ones already there. I've watched the Labour Party for 26 years in Parliament and in all those years I've never seen a frontbench worse, weaker, or more woeful than theirs today.
Where once there was the late John Smith commanding the scene, or at least the eloquence of Neil Kinnock, where once there was the infuriating but effective smoothness of Tony Blair, now there isn't even John Prescott to make their weakness entertaining.
You have to look back to Michael Foot and 1983 to find a Labour Party less well-prepared to govern the country, for this is the most left-wing backward-looking unreconstructed, divided, dysfunctional and unimaginative Labour leadership in thirty years, who have never said sorry, have not learned the lessons of their catastrophes, and would make all the same high-taxing over-spending nation-bankrupting mistakes again if given half a chance. If the giants of Labour's post-war idealism, if Attlee and Bevan could look down on the Labour leadership today, they would first not believe their eyes and then they would weep for their party, and quite possibly for their country.
We all know that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Those who can't even remember they ran up the biggest deficit in history in the immediate past will definitely repeat it.
Today the real ground-breaking advances in expanding opportunity for hardworking people are actually opposed by the Labour Party, and are instead the achievements of a non-Labour coalition and of the Conservative Party in government.
It is a staggering achievement that at a time when other European economies are flat or struggling we have more people in work than ever before, that unemployment is falling faster than for a quarter of a century, that there are 2 million more private sector jobs and 400,000 more businesses, that we've cut income tax for over 25 million people, and that at the same time we have capped welfare spending, cut immigration and brought down crime. That is nearly 2 million more people waking up each day knowing they've got a job to go to, knowing they have a wage coming in, that their hard work is rewarded, and that is what is at stake in this election.
The coming election is a choice between more of this great progress on the one hand, or on the other a lurch back to the days when Gordon Brown not only ran out of everybody else's money but Ed Balls and Ed Miliband actually advised him how to do it.
The next election is a straight choice between these alternatives.
And it is a straight choice between a referendum on Europe with the Conservatives or no say on Europe at all with Labour.
Deep in the Conservative Party, running through all our history, is a belief in the strength, value and longevity of a distinct British democracy. That is why we campaigned so passionately for Scotland to stay in the Union. And it is why we believe that, with the passing of five major treaties governing our membership of the European Union since the last national referendum on this issue nearly 40 years ago, this is the time for a major political party to be committed to a national referendum so the British people can again have their say, and to hold it in the first half of the next Parliament.
This is one of the key choices at the election. Labour have spent 10 years making up their minds about whether they want a referendum on Europe, and after 10 years of dither, uncertainty, confusion and contradiction they've ended up making the wrong choice and are still seeking to the deny the democratic will of the people of this country.
Faced with that choice next May anyone who votes for UKIP is not voting for a referendum on Europe but is actually obstructing it, is helping a Labour leader who would ensure no referendum takes place at all. We will go on fighting to hold that referendum and win that fight while those who have joined UKIP sit on the sidelines and do precisely nothing to bring it about. Let us be very frank – let me say it like a Yorkshireman: It is not only self-defeating and counter-productive, it is also hypocritical and dishonest, to say you want to give people a choice on Europe and then help the election of a Labour government that would never give people that choice.
On top of an improving economy, on top of falling unemployment, on top of welfare under control, on top of improved education, the only way to secure a referendum on Europe is to vote Conservative on 7th May.
Our long attachment to the democratic strength of these islands means that we understand the need for fairness, balance and equity between all parts of the United Kingdom. The legitimate need for greater autonomy and devolution in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is one we respect and have made work, while the grossly wasteful artifice of regional government in England is something we and the people of the country have resolutely rejected.
We are wholeheartedly committed to the further devolution to Scotland and Wales that is rightly on its way. But such further devolution turns the matter of Scottish MPs continuing to vote on even the most minor policies in England from an anomaly into an injustice, and from an issue that many want to postpone into one that must be now be faced. It is time for the way decisions are made to be fair to all, including the voters of England.
My longstanding view is that when Parliament makes decisions affecting only the people of England, or only the people of England and Wales, then those decisions should be made only by the MPs elected to represent them.
If the representatives of Scotland are well able to decide many of their own laws, as they surely are, then when we representatives of Yorkshire, Kent or Norfolk are gathered together we have the ability and right to do so as well.
The Prime Minister has asked me to chair the Committee of the Cabinet which is to address at last this question. We have begun our work and we are open to the views of all. But we are not open to attempts to evade and dodge this issue for years to come. If no agreement can be reached then each party must present its proposals to the electorate.
So we will argue our case with the other parties, but in the absence of agreement we will relish taking our case to the country.
The Conservative Party is acknowledged to be the world's oldest and most successful political party, and 37 years on from when I first stood at the conference rostrum I think I know why.
First, it is that our principles are broad, constant and true. Conservatives always believe that people, not governments know best and that the spirit of enterprise will always triumph over the soullessness of state control. We've been through times when our opponents thought the Soviet Union would turn out to be efficient, and even now our rivals cannot bring themselves to believe that there is more wisdom in the humblest of consumers, voters and householders than in the grandest target-setting committee in Whitehall.
But our success has also lain in renewing in each generation how we apply these great principles in a practical way to the new challenges of the time, while those on the left alternate through history between attachment to a universal ideology which turns out to be universally wrong, or the ditching of all principles and ideology which turns out to be empty and rudderless.
And our success is greatest when our practical but liberating approach benefits millions outside the narrow impressions of some people's views of Conservatives. The mass extension of home ownership in the '80s and indeed the sharp raising of tax thresholds today show how the nation as a whole benefits from Conservative principles in action.
Our Conservatism is not exclusive. And many of the things I am proudest of achieving as a Conservative MP illustrate the sheer breadth of the work our Party can do.
As a Conservative Minister for Disabled People I wrote and took through Parliament, with John Major's great encouragement, the Disability Discrimination Act, a landmark in improving the lives of Britain's disabled people. I am proud to have done that as a Conservative, because we believe in opportunity for all, and that every individual has abilities that should be celebrated and developed.
As a Conservative Secretary of State for Wales I concentrated on creating apprenticeships and employment, like our government today, and on enhancing the environment and countryside of Wales, because it is part of our Conservatism that our natural environment is to be cherished and preserved.
As a Conservative Foreign Secretary I reversed Labour's neglect of our diplomacy, set about restoring the Foreign Office as a great institution and opened new British Embassies and consulates with a mission everywhere to promote our goods and services, because I believe Britain will always need to be a great influence in the world and because we should unashamedly support our businesses, jobs and industry. And I placed us at the forefront of the promotion of women's rights, because it is part of our Conservatism that half of humanity should not be held back, and we have to grasp as the great strategic prize of this century the full social, political and economic empowerment of women, everywhere.
As a Conservative I've led the global campaign against rape as a weapon of war, the prevention of sexual violence in conflict, not only because this is essential to resolving conflicts and achieving peace in the world, but also because there is a moral dimension to our beliefs that runs from Wilberforce through Shaftesbury to our work today to uphold the dignity, and rights of all individuals.
There is not and must never be anything narrow about our Conservatism.
That I and others can work on so many issues within a career in the Conservative Party shows its breadth and its unending relevance and potential.
And by the way, I've done all this work and held so many high offices starting as I did as a comprehensive schoolboy in Rotherham. Don't anyone ever try to tell me that you have to be privileged, or come from the south, or be connected to anybody at all, in order to get to the top in the Conservative Party. Our Party is a party for everyone.
My last advice from the conference platform is always to keep that breadth of inclusion and sense of progress for all.
And it is to point out that we have always been at our strongest when we have done what is right for the long term, and in this coming election it is our long-term economic plan that is the only certain way forward for a growing and more prosperous nation.
On fundamental national issues we should always stick to what we know is right, even in the face of derision and attack. Much scorn was heaped on us, and on me, when we campaigned against joining the euro fifteen years ago. 
But we have been vindicated by events one hundred percent. Today we have a Chancellor who was told by many economists to change course and it is to the lasting benefit of our country that he had the strength and foresight to ignore them.
In the 21st century I am confident that Conservative values and beliefs will become more important than ever.
In a more competitive world, our beliefs in taxes and regulations being limited by what is fair and healthy for an economy are the right ones.
In a more dangerous world, our belief in the importance of our national defences and global alliances will be as crucial as ever.
In a rapidly-changing world, our ability to adapt our Conservatism to promote opportunity for all who can use it and dignity for all who seek it will win us support that is as strong as ever.
So in the last 40 years I have felt it important to be a Conservative and believe in everything this party has achieved.
I am sure that in the next 40 years our Party will achieve even more.
I know, as Leader of the House of Commons, that there are people sitting behind me who are going to be the outstanding leaders, ministers and Prime Ministers of the future.
With your support, they will go on to successes that Churchill, Thatcher or any of us would admire.
Even beyond the House of Commons I will never stop fighting and arguing for Conservative values and principles. At this last conference before a vital General Election we have so much to be proud of and to communicate.
This Party has a great team of Ministers, unlimited talent and potential behind them, a record of rescuing this country from disaster in only four years and with your support we will win the next election and secure the future of our nation, and go on to great achievements in future decades, for the good of the British people, and in keeping with the great history of both our party and our country.





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